This interview with Sheridan Ripley is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life.
Q1: Many people liken the writing of a book to giving birth to a baby? Did you find this an apt analogy?
YES! We (the co-authors) brought this up a lot. It was like we were gestating together and ideas were growing and growing. The first trimester I actually felt like I missed as I joined the group at the beginning of the 2nd year. It was a 3 year process so the trimester analogy works well.
The 2nd trimester we had plenty of energy and got a lot done and things moved forward quickly. We had that happy, easy 2nd trimester.
That 3rd trimester felt SO SLOW!!! It was the editing, book layout, more editing. Details and more details and felt so long. I know I felt so heavy and weighed down by the process. Luckily we had each other for support and we made a great team.
Finally we were pushing the baby out and while there were little hold ups along the way, it was so exciting. The triumph we felt as we finally held our book in our hands was pretty amazing!
Q2: I’m fascinated by the concept of Heavenly Mother and really enjoyed the sections of The Gift of Giving Life that touched on the relationship with Her. Can you explore more about how LDS women might find strength and connection in this image of the Feminine Divine and how she might aid in giving life?
I believe I am a literal child of a Heavenly Father and knowing that he is a partner with a Heavenly Mother and together they are able to love billions of children, helps me to have faith in my ability to love and raise my boys.
Knowing that our bodies are patterned after their bodies also gives me faith that my body can grow and birth babies! We are mortal and there are instances when medical intervention is needed, but the majority of the time birth is safe. Our bodies are created to create!
As we connect with other women in a supportive loving way we can feel connected to Her because we are each created in Her image. Maybe that is why when women gather around women in childbirth we feel so uplifted, powerful and humbled at the same time.
Some women really feel a need for a connection of a mother figure, especially while pregnant. I have an earthly mom who I am very connected to and she was very helpful during my pregnancy, so I didn’t personally have a desire for a connection with a Feminine Divine at that point.
However there are women who may be missing that mother figure in their life and we all have a deep desire for such a connection. Knowing that there is a Heavenly Mother who stands beside Heavenly Father to help guide us and protect us especially during this time of pregnancy and birth is powerful.
Meditating and pondering on the idea of a Heavenly Mother and how that can help us as we give the gift of life and then raise our children is the best way for me to connect to her. I actually just took time to do this as I hadn’t really thought of this question until you asked it.
That is the great thing about our book and having so many contributors is it will speak to different women, because so many view points are included.
Q3: Do you have any specific tips for women wishing to incorporate more spiritual practices into their pregnancies?
We actually have a newsletter that moms can sign up for where they get a free 20 minute meditation MP3 as well as 5 tips to have a more spiritual pregnancy/birth. I think for each mom it may look different. Prayer and meditation are great places to start, as you will often get inspiration on where to go from there. I also love Mother’s Blessings as a way to have the strength of other women buoy up the pregnant mom. She can benefit from feeling their love and spiritual support
Q4: When women in the birth stories say they asked their husband for a blessing or that their husband gave them a blessing, what does that mean?
A blessing is similar to a prayer. All male members of the Church who are prepared receive the priesthood, which is the authority to act in God’s name. One of the ways they can serve others with the priesthood is by giving blessings by the laying on of hands. They can give blessings of healing or for comfort and guidance. In some cases a wife might ask her husband (or other priesthood holder) for a blessing before or during birth.
I know for me in my first birth, it was so comforting because with my first birth my husband gave me a blessing when I was concerned about the Thing 1’s lack of movement. In the blessing he said he would be born when he was ready. When we discovered that he needed to be born by emergency cesarean immediately even though I was only 34 weeks, I had peace knowing that my husband had just blessed me that “he would be born when he was ready.” I knew everything would be OK.
Thanks for the interesting interview and the review copy of The Gift of Giving Life, Sheridan!
Visit The Gift of Giving Life site to sign up for their newsletter and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth.
For my readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code. GWFWXR3F This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.