Larry R. Lawrence's conference talk about the Spirit giving customized instruction got me thinking about a time the Holy Ghost told me to do something that I DO NOT believe is right for everyone.
After I graduated from college, I moved to a little brown brick house in a new ward (congregation) and I got two new visiting teachers. Both of them were studying at the College of Midwifery in Orem. I didn't really understand what they did, but when they told me, I thought they were crazy. Childbirth wasn't anywhere on my radar then (I wasn't even dating anyone), but I questioned safety, cleanliness and pain relief just like everyone else. They calmly answered my questions, but I remained unconvinced.
Why would anyone have a baby without pain relief?? Why???? I mean, there was no good reason not to...
Anyways, one of those visiting teachers became my good friend Karly. I liked Karly. She sang us songs, played her guitar, made delicious popcorn on the stove and could find gems at the thrift store. And childbirth never came up. I mostly forgot. But then one day Karly graduated and she invited me to her graduation ceremony. She was going to speak. I believe she was salutatorian of her class. I wasn't really sure what I was going to find there and I was pretty apprehensive, but I wanted to support Karly, so I went.
Karly spoke. I don't remember what she said, but I remember still being secure in my belief that natural childbirth/home birth was crazy. I was not expecting that to change anytime soon. I was not expecting a spiritual experience at that meeting and I definitely was not expecting the valedictorian to speak with the Holy Ghost. But she did. As she was speaking, the Spirit whispered to me that this was something I needed to do. This is what I needed to do for my children. I committed then and there in my heart to do it. It was a complete about face.
And a couple years later, when I became pregnant with Ruby, I prepared myself. I studied and read. I practiced relaxation. I said prayers and labor started in such a way that it was easy for me. I was actually reading my scriptures and *almost* asleep. I just kept being *almost* asleep until they let me push.
Over the years I've had many women ask me for advice and I don't think I've helped a single one. No one I've talked to has had a natural childbirth. I think this might be because I'm not converted to natural childbirth. I know it's not for everyone. I don't even know, really, why I was supposed to do it (although I have my theories ;).
What I am converted to is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and wants the best for me. If the Holy Ghost tells me to do something, I'm going to do it. And that is why I have made the birthing choices I have.