Sandra Graves

Birth Prayer
cast bronze
11 x 6.5 x 7 in.

There is no more literal way to talk about women and labor than in the example of pregnancy and giving birth. Pregnant women have been elevated to goddess status at various times throughout history and in various cultures but presently in the United States there is a very confused sense about what it means to be pregnant and give birth. Many value career above family and therefore see a pregnant woman as a burden or economically non-productive. A woman who becomes pregnant is sometimes seen as weak and incapable. In our hospitals, a birthing woman can be treated as sick and ailing instead of going through a strong and natural process.

The list goes on and on, but on the opposite side of the scale are those who appreciate the magic of the event. “Birth Prayer” is about the power of the pregnant woman. She is complete, ethereal, proud yet humble. She is raw and grounded as her sense of self has been enveloped by her growing child taking over the body that was once hers alone. She is in the hands of something much bigger than herself.

A society that honors the spiritual and powerful process of women who, by choice or not, are pregnant is truly enlightened.

© Sandra Graves