Volume 7

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 2

Charis Around the World

Childbirth in Kenya
by Jannekah Guya

More Than What You Have Become…

Recently I attended one of the saddest births I’ve ever been to.  I had the absolute joy of being the very first person to touch this sweet little princess outside the womb.  I was the first person to cuddle her and to tell her how beautiful and special she is.  I was also the first person to love her.  When I asked her mother if she wanted to see her daughter she shooed her away with her hand and turned her back to her. When the baby cried and whimpered because she was hungry, her mother refused to nurse her, saying she was too tired.  The mother had another little girl who died when she was still a baby and I wondered if she was afraid to love this sweet little girl for fear of getting hurt again.  I was also later told she had no husband, no job, no one to help her as she was recovering from the birth, and not a scrap of food in her house.  It seemed she just saw this sweet little angel as another problem and burden in her life.  It’s my prayer that God will heal this woman’s heart and remove her bitterness so that she can embrace and love her precious little gift.  And I pray that no matter what happens, this baby girl will overcome and that nothing will stop her from being who she is created to be and accomplishing what she was created to do.  Please pray with me for this, and also for this ministry.  Situations like these are a painful reminder of why this work is SO important.  We didn’t meet this mother until she was already in labor, and I think that was the biggest part of the problem.  If these mothers can be reached early and know that someone is walking the journey with them, loving them, encouraging them, and praying with and for them, they will be better equipped and strengthened to do what is right, even when it’s hard, and to love and care for their babies, even when it’s a sacrifice.

Studies show that “mothering the mother” by displaying this kind of love, care, and support for her prenatally, during labor, and during the postpartum period can actually create better maternal-infant interaction, reduce post-partum depression and anxiety, increase self-esteem in the mother, and cause higher maternal assessments of their babies.  According to research, such practices have resulted in decreasing newborn abandonment by the mother, decreasing rates of infant abuse, and increased father involvement the first three months of an infant’s life.  It can also increase a mother’s interest in her baby and her interaction with her newborn.  That time in the first few minutes, hours, and days after birth may alter the mother’s LATER behavior with her baby.  If the mother does not feel alone, inadequate, or hopeless, but rather supported, heard, empowered, precious to God, and created for His good purposes, this will have a positive impact in the way she views herself AND her baby.  It will influence her decision making, determination and success in motherhood and life.  Maybe if these mothers learn to be the women they are created to be, the men will be inspired to be the men they are created to be.  Maybe they can then raise their children to be who they are created to be, too.  Then just maybe, Kenya can change, one baby, one mother, one family at a time.

I was watching Disney’s “The Lion King” with my daughter recently and I was struck by the scene where the baboon, Rafiki, tells Simba the lion that his father is in fact not dead as he’d believed for several years.  The baboon tells Simba to follow him and he’ll show him where his father is.  Simba runs after the baboon as fast as he can, scrambling to keep up, desperate to find his father.  Finally they stop at a river and the baboon tells Simba to look into the water.  Disappointed, Simba says, “That’s not my father, that’s only my reflection.”  The baboon tells him, “No, look harder.  You see, he lives IN YOU!”  Then the spirit of the father appears in the clouds and in a booming voice tells Simba, “Simba, you have forgotten me.  You have forgotten who you are and so you have forgotten me.”  Then he says the most prolific thing of all, “You are more than what you have become.  You are my son.”

I was taken aback by that because he said, “You ARE more than what you have become.”  Not “You CAN BE more than you have become.”  You ARE.  Why?  Because you are my son.  Wow.

Isn’t this whole scene so true of the world that we live in?  We live in a world where people have forgotten God, so they have forgotten who they are.  God sees us as HE created us, not by what we have or haven’t become.  He knows who we are even when we don’t.  He knows we are children of a King!

Jesus Christ came as Emmanuel – God with us – God revealed THROUGH us.  In our lives and in this wonderful service to families that God has called us to, may our reflection be that of the Father.  May we be like that silly little monkey who helps the desperate, lost children find their Father and discover who they are in Him – royalty.

* Research cited from “The Doula Book” by Klaus, Klaus,and Kennell

Blessings, Yannekah

Jannekah, Martin,  Ezriel and  Amariah Guya

Our International Charis Family
Your stories from around the world touch us and we pray for your safety.
Thanks, Love and Blessings to every one of you!

'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth,
 Among  them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and The one who labors with child,  together,
 A great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
 Jeremiah 31:8, 14~~~
©2012 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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February 2012