THE HOLINESS OF BIRTH
When my first child, Ernie, was being born, I felt a Presence--it was “thick”, like the Presence at the tadpole pool--and I thought something like, “God is here.” There could be a scientific explanation of the phenomenon -- certainly at the moment of birth the physiology of the mother must be undergoing powerful changes which might produce such a feeling. Louann Brizendine writes in The Female Brain, “As the baby’s head moves through the birth canal, more bursts of oxytocin fire in the brain, activating new receptors and forging thousands of new connections between neurons. The result at birth can be euphoria, induced by oxytocin and dopamine, as well as profoundly heightened senses of hearing, touch, sight and smell.”
But the Presence I experienced was definitely out there, something other. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be also.” The passage in The Wind in the Willows exactly describes my experience. “…it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near.” In that hospital room, the Presence was very, very near me, Dr. Karsh, the nurse, my baby.