Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage through Pregnancy

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9781944967604
$18.95
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Item No. 9781944967604

by Laura S. Jansson

Pregnancy is not just a trek from one medical appointment to another but a journey of the heart. Here at last is a guidebook through its sacred terrain. For each week, Orthodox doula Laura Jansson provides a new reflection on a theme specific to the ground covered at that stage. From one milestone to the next, she helps us unearth the spiritual treasures buried within the physical experiences of childbearing. These are gifts of love from a merciful God who reaches out to us, making a perilous expedition into a path of salvation.

About the Author: Laura S. Jansson is an Orthodox Christian doula, childbirth educator, and mother living and writing at the intersection of birth and faith. She earned her Masters degree in Theology and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, UK, and has also resided in the USA, Serbia, Germany, and Fiji. Since 2005 she has guided scores of expectant mothers on the path to parenthood, witnessing with wonder as bellies and souls grow along the way.


Praise for Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage through Pregnancy

"This eloquent book leads us week by week through the deepening journey to birth, accompanied by the insights the Orthodox faith uniquely can provide. Fertile Ground is an able companion and a wise guide to the deeply transformative experience of pregnancy and birth." -Kh. Frederica Matthewes-Green, author, mother, grandmother, and former childbirth educator

"Laura captures the sacred and eternal aspects of pregnancy and childbirth that can get lost in the medical exams, morning sickness, and dramatic life changes. She does not shy away from or sugar-coat the difficult topics or real hardships of pregnancy. Rather, she laces them with stories, scriptures, and theological reflection to find, within them, Christ Himself. This book captures how, with pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, we find ourselves drawn forward toward the love of God who invites us to co-create with Him." -Dr. Philip Mamalakis, professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, author of Parenting Toward the Kingdom, and father of seven

"Laura’s incredible ability to home in on the feelings of women in pregnancy and immediate postpartum stages gives her work an astonishing depth. As the mother of eleven children, I had many opportunities to reflect and pray while pregnant but never found an appropriate resource. This book was long needed. I will buy it for every pregnant mother I know." -Pres. Melissa Naasko, mother of 11, clergy wife, and author of Fasting as a Family

Read more under EDITORIAL REVIEWS


Author: Laura S. Jansson

Paperback: 320 pages

Also available as an audiobook and ebook

Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

AFR interviews Laura Jansson, author of Fertile Ground

LOOK INSIDE… Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage through Pregnancy

Editorial Reviews

"This eloquent book leads a woman - a couple, a group of pregnant women - week by week through the deepening journey to birth, accompanied by the insights the Orthodox faith uniquely can provide. Take your time, since one of the first lessons of pregnancy is your body's insistence on taking its time and doing all things with full attention and deliberation. Each week you grow heavier, and each week the 'heaviness,' the profundity, of this privilege and burden become more real. Fertile Ground is an able companion and a wise guide to the deeply transformative experience of pregnancy and birth." -Kh. Frederica Matthewes-Green, author, mother, grandmother, and former childbirth educator

"I was ecstatic when asked to endorse the book you now hold in your hands. From the first time I heard about it, I waited anxiously and asked after it occasionally, as one does with a pregnant mother. It was well worth the wait. Not only does she write from her experiences as a mother of four and as a doula, but Laura’s incredible ability to home in on the feelings of women in pregnancy and immediate postpartum stages gives the book an astonishing depth. Some of what she writes will always be applicable and a woman can pluck out and keep these little pearls of wisdom for later. While describing the feeling of being exhausted and alone while caring for an infant, a sense that tends to ebb and flow in our lives, she reminds mothers of her own realization that she is '...part of a huge secret army of caregivers keeping vigil through this night…' and includes a broad range of people in all stages of life. I know that this section is one I will never forget and I will remind myself at any time that I find myself feeling tired and thinking that I am alone." -Pres. Melissa Naasko, mother of 11, clergy wife, and author of Fasting as a Family

"Laura Jansson, a doula and a mother several times over, understands the 'pregnant body as theology in motion, and the journey of pregnancy as an embodiment of the soul's journey toward God'. She offers a meditation for each week of pregnancy, filled with poetic reflections and profound insights into the meaning of co-creating life with God, bringing both depth and transcendence to the pregnancy pilgrimage. I wish I'd had her as my companion through my own pregnancies! What a treasure this book is. May our every act become an act of prayer, most especially the sacred act of bringing new life into the world!" -Elissa Bjeletich, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts and Blueprints for the Little Church

"What can possibly capture the miracle and mystery of pregnancy and childbirth, cocreating life with God? Laura seeks to do just that in this work. To read this book is to invite Laura, a mother and doula, with you on your journey through pregnancy. St. Porphyrios writes, 'A child's upbringing commences at the moment of conception. The embryo hears and feels in its mother's womb. Yes, it sees and hears with its mothers' eyes.' Laura illuminates these words and captures the sacred and eternal aspects of pregnancy and childbirth that can get lost in the medical exams, morning sickness, and dramatic life changes. This is a book about pregnancy, about faith, and about life. It cannot be read in one sitting but, like pregnancy and becoming a parent, needs to be taken in little by little, step by step, week by week. She does not shy away from or sugar-coat the difficult topics or real hardships of pregnancy. Rather, she laces them with stories, scriptures, and theological reflection to find, within them, Christ Himself. Her heart and mind as a mother and doula come across to the reader as support and respect for the sacred process of pregnancy and childbirth. This book captures how, with pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, we are humbled at the awesome nature of the process and task and find ourselves, simultaneously, unqualified yet drawn forward toward the love of God who invites us to cocreate with Him. You cannot read this book and not want to be pregnant!" -Dr. Philip Mamalakis, professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, author of Parenting Toward the Kingdom, and father of seven

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Additional Information

Author:
Laura S. Jansson
Dimensions:
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Publisher:
Ancient Faith Publishing
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