The Maiden is Gone
The Mother is Born.
A woman's first labor is a journey that inevitably culminates in not one but two births - birth of the child and birth of the mother.
It is a right of passage in which, perhaps for the first time in her life, she offers up the entirety of her body for someone else. In surrendering to each powerful contraction, she surrenders her very self, over and over.
It symbolizes from the very beginning that she would go anywhere, endure anything, and sacrifice everything for her child.
It is the start of the refining process of parenthood, when self centeredness is put on an altar and burned away, leaving behind a more purified humanity.
With each magnificent effort the woman whispers to her baby, "I don't know you yet, but I believe you're worth it."
It is no wonder the sound of a baby's first cry can bring a room to its knees in awe. For just a moment everything pauses to observe the sacred miracle of new life, both in child and woman.
The maiden is gone, the mother is born.