4. Why had no one told me that my body would become a battlefield, a sacrifice, a test? Why did I not know that birth is the pinnacle where women discover the courage to become mothers?
This quote is from Dinah’s narration in Part Three, Chapter One, as she gives birth to her son. As soon as Dinah goes into labor, her first thought is to cry out for her mothers. In the tradition of her people, women in childbirth are always surrounded by their mothers and sisters. She feels very alone without the familiar faces of Leah and Rachel and without anyone to speak to her in her native tongue. Dinah has served as a midwife and seen the terror and pain on women’s faces, but she had always assumed she would do better when her time came. However, during her own experience of childbirth, she learns the reason why delivery is so difficult: it prepares women for a lifetime of sacrifice and selfless giving as mothers. She experiences firsthand both the fear of death and the power of another woman in the room as she calls her name and encourages her. Dinah finds a source of strength from her mothers in her labor, remembering the teachings of Inna and Rachel. Armed with this knowledge, she instructs the midwife to cut her and pull the baby out. With the memory of her mothers, she finds the courage within her to become a mother herself.