It is very warm for a day in February, even for South Alabama standards. I have been married for about two and a half years and today is the due date of our first child. My hands have become too swollen to wear my rings, and I’ve been trying to ignore Braxton Hicks for two days, but today they are coming closer together.
When I became pregnant my weight was one hundred ten pounds. Now there are one hundred thirty-eight pounds hanging on my body, with a pinball rolling around hitting every bone.
A couple of months ago we took a Lamaze class so my husband Doug could stay with me during the birth. Lamaze, sometimes called Natural Childbirth is a prepared childbirth technique developed in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth.
The goal of Lamaze is to increase a mother’s confidence in her ability to give birth; classes help them understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort, including focused breathing, movement and massage (^ Childbirth education: Get ready for labor and delivery, Mayo Clinic, July 25, 2009, accessed July 10, 2011.)
Our Lamaze instructor told us a couple of funny quotes from various people to get us ready mentally and prepared to handle the labor pains:
“Carol Burnett said one time that child birth was like taking your bottom lip and pulling it over your head.”
“Bill Cosby told about when the child dropped into the birth canal and his wife grabbed him by his face and told him, ‘You did this to me!’”
We laughed at the stories, not believing that any of the stories were really true. But just incase I vowed ahead of time that I would be a kind Christian woman I had always been. No ugly language, no screaming or saying mean things to my husband.
It is noon and we are on our way to the hospital. Of coarse, as soon as we arrive at the hospital the labour pains stop. But when doctor examines me he determines that the baby is full term and they will move forward and induce to get the labor started again.
This is where the fun begins.
Eight hours into full labor I decide my idea of “Natural Childbirth” is the dumbest idea ever, and announce to everyone that I have changed my mind and wanted drugs. Now! Doug tried to comfort me by telling me that I should try to ignore the pain.
I am not real sure how it happened, but I suddenly realize that I have Doug by the front of his shirt and have him pulled close to my face!
“I want a baseball bat”, I growl between clinched teeth.
“Why?” my husband whispered timidly.
“Because, every time I feel a pain I’m going to hit you as hard as I can with the bat and I want to watch you ignore the pain!” Doug tries to pull away, but another pain hits and I am holding on tightly.
He stares at me like I have just turned green and grown horns.
So much pain over the next few hours, in addition to, the Demerol that made me sick, and an Epidural that did not work, were not helping my attitude.
“Push”, Doug suggested.
“Don’t tell me what to do!” or at least that is what they told me that I said.
Before not long I am holding a beautiful an eight pound little boy in my arms. His thick dark hair and fat rolls are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life .
“Oh”, I whisper, “you are so worth the pain it took to get you here!”
Later that evening, everyone has gone home, and I am alone in the room holding my new baby. Already, instinctly, I know that I will give up or do anything necessary, to give my new baby Jacob a good life.
This little one who has never yet said, “I love you”, never helped around the house, never done anything to earn my love;
yet I love him so completely.
This little one stirs such emotion in me that I know that I am willing to lay down my life for him without thinking.
I am caught off guard by this powerful love. Love greater than I have for my parents, greater than I have for my husband or siblings. I love them, but not like this. This is different.
“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NAS
Loving this precious miracle is as easy as breathing. No memory of pain, just an overwhelming love. This must be how God loves me.
Totally, completely, and unmerited love.
Then the thought hits me hard. He gave his Son, his only Son to be tortured and killed so that my son, husband, family and I can live.
Pulling the small bundle closer, a cleansing flood flows from my face onto his. In the middle of the night, this young mother dedicates her first born to the Lord
and begins to tell baby Jacob the story of Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Happy Birthday, Jacob. I love you!