While maternal care and well being is an international concern in political and economic circumstances and a public provision in countries with state sponsored social care the celebration of pregnancy, by contrast, is often a private affair. The only time, in fact, when pregnancy is celebrated publicly is when a pregnant celebrity poses on the front of some well known magazine with her belly exposed.
I am choosing to mark the state of pregnancy in a different way. Yesterday was the Christian celebration of the ‘Feast of Visitation’ and has its’ roots in the biblical verses found in Luke 1:41 to 56. It is the day when Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus, goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth’s unborn baby leaps in her womb upon hearing the voice of Mary. Elizabeth is overcome and utters the words that have become the second line of the Catholic ‘Hail Mary’ prayer: ‘Blessed Art Thou Among Women and Blessed Is The Fruit Of Thy Womb’.
The motherhood narrative is one of joy and expectancy. There is a particular poignancy associated with the first rush of the excitement of a happy pregnancy which is universal in the human dimensions of joy and hope that it contains.