Since reading Theology of the Body Extended, I waited patiently for this book. This book, like the previous book, extends Pope Saint John Paul II’s work beyond the sex. This one, however, is specifically about child birth and is geared for a more general audience.
I was not disappointed. For those unfamiliar with JPII’s Theology of the Body, she opens with a brief introduction. From there, she discusses finding God in the ideal childbirth experience, the less ideal experience, and finally she shares the testimonies of several Christian women about their childbirth experiences.
If you have never thought about childbirth as a spiritual experience, this book will certainly help you. Each chapter concludes with probing questions to help you uncover where the Holy Spirit is in your experience. You will walk away from this book in awe of God’s creative work in women. The woman giving birth could not possibly be closer to God and His work in that moment.
This book is equally for mothers who have had children and for those who are preparing for their first child. I considered getting a copy for a cousin who will be soon having her first baby.
But this leads me quite naturally to my only complaint. My husband’s cousin who is due in a couple months is giving birth via scheduled c-section. I was hoping more illumination into birth via c-section. I know that the author has had a child via unplanned c-section. I’m still emotionally healing from my unplanned c-section experience. She spends so much of the book on the ideal situation, it can at times be a difficult read for women who have had complications. Every childbirth is different, even with the same mother, so it’s impossible to cover everything. Of all of the less than ideal situations, she does give c-sections some attention, but as one of the most common “less than ideal” situations, I think it could almost get its own book. After reading her first book, I considered writing my own book about c-sections and Theology of the Body. Maybe I should do it.
I bought my book directly from the publisher after personally corresponding with the author a few times to bug her (“Are you done yet?”). I recommend that you do the same to support the small publisher, but it is also available on Amazon.