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A (photo) birth story: Mine and hers

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Strength and dignity—she is tender, she is fierce

One woman every minute dies in childbirth*.

I am not her. You’re not either.

But every “her” has a name.

She’s built with strength and dignity. She’s woven together by the Creative One—all beauty and resiliency, determination and vulnerability.

She is tender; she is fierce.

She is our sister. Our friend. Our grandmother.

She is our blood.

Somewhere back in time a thousand generations removed, we are family. We still are.

We take for granted safe and clean birth. We look forward to Mother’s Day in hopes of fresh flowers and breakfast in bed. (Can I skip the laundry that day? Will someone else do the dishes? Oh please dear God, can I take an uninterrupted bath?)

But somewhere she’s laboring. She’s bearing down on a promise. She’s birthing new life into the world and hoping she’ll be there to hold a beating heart in her arms.

She’s hoping she won’t be the “one.”

Safe birth is not a given, friends. Maybe for you and I it is, but across the earth our sisters labor and push, rise and bloom into motherhood not knowing if they’ll wake up next to the child they so carefully grew.

Giving birth to a miracle

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My baby (Micah) at birth: 4.43 kg / 9.77 lbs

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Papua New Guinean baby at birth: 2.2 kgs / 4.85 lbs

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Beautiful mama and newborn in the fourth trimester

Beautiful motherhood in the postpartum period

 

That they may have life to the full

Help me stir up magic this Mother’s Day, friends—the kind of magic that’s disguised in reality as we link arms to empower women to empower women… who will go on to empower entire families and communities. It’s that simple and that hard and it really is that beautiful.

The statistics are unacceptable, yet changeable.

Let’s make birth safer for our sisters.

Will you help me? Will you join the Love A Mama Collective and I as we train up midwives and make room in our hearts for more mamas to live?

Will you join in the holy, ordinary, gritty, stunning work of Jesus?

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” —Jesus (John 10:10)

Please consider donating to the 2017 Love A Mama Mother’s Day Drive on behalf of your mom or another woman in your life. (Or perhaps donate on behalf of a baby you have lost to miscarriage or stillbirth?) We will send you a printable thank you card you can give her to let her know you’ve donated toward our Midwifery Scholarship for a young woman in rural India on her behalf. (Find more about our scholarship recipient, Jerina, here or learn more about the rest of our maternal health work here.)

It’s good to be alive, it’s it? It’s good to have a birth story to tell.

With deep gratitude,
Adriel XO

The Lovelies — Adriel Booker's online community p.s. Would you like to stay connected? Please join our private facebook group, The Lovelies. The Lovelies is a hangout group where we chat about all sorts of things relevant to women’s lives, but it’s also the core group where we discuss all things related to the maternal health work of the Love A Mama Collective.

 

About the photos:

Please note: The photos of me laboring and birthing our third son, Micah Ezekiel, were all taken by the incredibly talented Lauren+Douglas Photography. They are among the best, most precious gifts I have ever received and I wish I could share every single last one of them. The photos of women giving birth and holding their babies in rural areas were all taken by me, with their permission. They too, are among my greatest gifts; these women have woven themselves into my heart and have changed me. I love them—dearly. Please do not use or reproduce any of these photos without express written permission from me, Adriel Booker. Thank you.

 

*According to the World Health Organization, one woman dies in childbirth every minute.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Rachel 11 May 2017 at 1:07 pm

    One of the most moving pieces I’ve read lately! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our comfortable world. Thanks for sharing these precious, intimate moments with us <3

  • Reply Amy Patton 11 May 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Adriel, Your heart continues to move me and inspire me. Thank you for sharing your photos and those of the mothers who graced us with their stories. I am touched. Thank you for fighting for moms and safe births and healthy babies and moms. Blessings and joy this mother’s day.
    Amy Patton recently posted..Dear Mom, You Are NOT A FailureMy Profile

  • Reply Jody Collins 12 May 2017 at 3:02 am

    Adriel, it was hard to see these photos for all the tears I was shedding.
    Shared on Twitter and will continue to do so. What a great work God has birthed in you~may it continue to grow.
    Jody Collins recently posted..Nouns-Some Thoughts on People, Places & ThingsMy Profile

  • Reply Katya 30 June 2017 at 11:11 am

    What a way to document a mother’s momentous journey; your pictures captured every pain, joy, and love. They are so beautiful, it hurts! Keep on sharing your inspiring, Adriel! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Palmer 15 July 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Adriel, you have done a beautiful job of reminding us of two very important matters: that every life is precious, and that nothing should be taken for granted. I am truly amazed at the strength, grace, and beauty exhibited in these photos and even rejoice at the wonderful miracle of birth. May God bless you and your work.

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