Thursday, April 05, 2007

Easter Birth

Thirty-one years ago this Easter, I had what I can only describe as an “in-body” experience. I was having a baby. It started out the normal way. “I don't think we're going to get the baby's room finished today.”

“Why not?”

“Well, I think my water broke.” Think? It was a gusher. So at 5:00 AM Saturday morning, we went to the hospital. Nowadays, they tell you to go home and wait until the baby's head is half out. But in my day, it was, “Get into that bed and stay there!” So I got onto a bed (a generous word), where I endured contractions for the next 35 hours. That isn't a misprint. Thirty-five.

Normally, contractions do something besides hurt. They create an opening for the baby. My contractions, while painful, weren't quite doing the job. And because it was Easter weekend, the intern didn't want to bother the doctor too early. So there I was—in pain and helpless.

My husband, who stayed by my side the whole time, was as helpless as I was. It was his first baby, too.

Saturday dragged by. Any enthusiasm we had begun with evaporated. How long would this go on? As Saturday night became Sunday morning, I began to worry. I knew women had died in the past because of difficulty in childbirth. Could it happen today? I said nothing to my husband. He was as exhausted as me, and I didn't want to worry him.

Around 10:00 AM, he left the room. I felt so alone. Was the baby going to survive this? Was I?

Suddenly, I felt another presence in the room. A warmth came into my body. The pain remained, but I felt as though God were holding me in his hands. And in my mind, I heard him say that he understood. That he knew what it was like to lose a child. And I remembered that it was Easter Sunday—the day Christ rose from the dead. And I realized that if God loved me enough to send his son to die for me, I could trust him now. I told him that I trusted him to do what was best about the baby and me. Whether we lived or not was his choice.

I felt peace flow through me. The pain was still there. But my fears were gone. I wasn't in the intern's hands, or the doctor's, but God's.

Not long after, my husband came in to tell me the doctor was on his way. Apparently, a threat to call the doctor himself had finally motivated the intern. Once the doctor arrived, things happened. I was given something to make the labour contractions more effective, and soon I was ready. Ready? I was desperate to get that baby out!

But as we headed for the delivery room, the doctor warned me I might need a Cesarean. Just in case, I shouldn't push. I couldn't believe it. But I desperately tried to keep from pushing, afraid that I would hurt the baby.

Sure enough, the doctor decided a Cesarean was needed and sent my weary husband out of the room. The last thing I remember was the anesthetist saying, “I think you've had enough.”

I woke up hours later, alone in a private room. I had survived. But what about the baby? Eventually, a nurse came in with something for me to eat. She didn't mention the baby and I was too afraid to ask.

Half an hour later, another nurse came in. “Would you like to see your baby?” she asked.

I nodded, afraid to speak.

She brought me an adorable little bright-eyed boy with a bump on the back of his head where he had been trying to get through that opening that wasn't quite big enough.

Thirty-one years later, he is himself a proud husband and father.

And every Easter, I celebrate not only the birth of my first son, but also the continuation of my trust that the God who held our lives in his hands that Easter, who gave his Son for us on another, long-ago Easter, still holds us in his hands.


Marci said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! You have an Easter story. I have a Christmas story. How blessed we are to have Him!

N. J. Lindquist said...

Actually, I have a Christmas story, too. :) Son number 2 was due Dec. 25 - born Dec. 20. They let me go out for a bit on Christmas Day. People who'd had C-sections actually stayed in the hospital for a few days back then.

N. J.

Deborah said...

Greetings and Happy Easter Nancy and everyone. Wonderful story. I'm posting a link on my blog now.

We're in sunny Arizona with our first grandchild.

He is Risen!


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