This interview is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life.
I’m happy to introduce you to my dear friend and collaborator, Robyn Allgood. Robyn is magnificent. Though we have now written a book together, I’ve never actually met her in person (Skype doesn’t count). Next month I’ll have the privilege of, finally, wrapping my arms around her and hugging her with all the love I have in my heart for her (when we meet at the LDS Holistic Living Conference). Having been influenced by Robyn’s beautiful soul has inspired me in so many ways.
The following is an interview that will, hopefully, give you a small taste of why I love Robyn Allgood so much.
Tell me about your background?
I am a mother to five children, a doula, childbirth educator, and ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) Chapter Leader. I am not a domestic goddess, but I can sew somewhat straight lines if called upon while not under duress. I consider myself a book nerd of sorts. I love natural living, but I have been known to make mac & cheese from the box for lunch and slap on a disposable diaper because I don’t feel like folding the cloth ones. I am married to a tall, dark version of McGyver. At least I call him McGyver because he can fix anything and I love him to pieces for it.
How did you get involved with the group of ladies writing The Gift of Giving Life?
I guess you could say I entered the group later in the game. I think the project had started a year previous to me joining the group. Being passionate about birth and my faith, I was excited that these ladies were taking on this task. I followed their blogs and kept tabs on the project. While I was pregnant with my fifth child, I was talking with my mother and sister one day. I told them that my birth experiences had brought me a new appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They asked me to explain what I meant. I couldn’t put it into words. That really bothered me, so for the next week I studied the gospels looking for insights. I started writing. I was so nervous about what I had written. But my sister and brother-in-law loved my essay and encouraged me to share it. I noticed a call for more essays for the book, so I sent it in feeling very nervous and protective of it. I guess the ladies at TGOGL liked it enough that they asked me to give more input and possibly write more too. At first I was not sure I would have more to contribute but I ended up writing five more essays for the book.
What one person or idea has most impacted your birthing philosophy?
I don’t think I could pinpoint just one person. The first real birth books I read were by Roberta Scaer & Diana Korte (A Good Birth, A Safe Birth), Robert Bradley (Husband-Coached Childbirth), Carl Jones (Mind Over Labor), and Henci Goer (The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth) among others. Two other favorite birth books for me were Birthing From Within and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. If I really think about it, I feel that God guided me to glean from the scriptures and other books what I needed to know about birth. I had so many “aha” moments as I was reading. It all made sense in more than a temporal way but in an eternal sense, as if I had been taught these things once and had forgotten them. I really devoured birth book after birth book. I was a woman on a mission after my first birth became an unnecessary c-section. I couldn’t seem to get enough so I read a lot in preparation for my first VBAC.
Has being a part of this project changed you in any way?
Absolutely. The process of writing, reviewing and editing helped me process my own birth experiences and views on birth. It was like therapy. Each of the women who have been a part of the project has changed me for the better. I really admire them and saw things in myself I wanted to change. I appreciate how forgiving and Christ-like each of them are. (When I grow up, I want to be like them.) My views on birth changed in some ways too, to being more compassionate for the variety of experiences women have in childbirth and the journey that brings them there. I felt like my Heavenly Parents were helping me see birth and womanhood through Their loving eyes.
Visit The Gift of Giving Life site to learn more, sign up for the newsletter, and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth.
For my readers, I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code: GWFWXR3F This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.