"In Moral Labor" This is the title of an opinion piece by Agnes R. Howard in the March 2006 issue of First Things. It is a wonderfully written essay describing a sort of theology of pregnancy. I would be glad to mail a copy of the article to anyone who asks. (Actually, I can ask FT to send you a trial copy of the entire issue.)
Here is the final paragraph from the article.
At a time when biotechnology explores ways to enhance, produce, and destroy embryos, it may seem unnecessary to focus on ordinary pregnancy. But it is in this ordinary process, in practicing habits of nurture and hope on behalf of another, that virtue is developed. It is through doing well with the day-to-day care of new life that we grow prepared to meet extraordinary situations when they come. Reproductive technologies already abound at conception and delivery but as yet leave the span in between largely free. Pregnancy is an area in which we may still admit technology into our lives rather than the other way around. We should admit it in a way that honors the special work we undertake with the Creator.
Carol's pregnancy with our first child was the only time we had with this little one. We remember it with such clarity and with such mournful joy. Whatever virtue I may have, the experience of that hidden life added more to it than any other event I have yet experienced.