Nothing prepares you for the love that you feel at the sight of your first born child. And no amount of preparation can allow you to accurately foresee the changes that child will have on your heart, your mind, and your soul.
The day my water broke had begun how many days of my pregnancy had begun, with a sense of helplessness and a longing to finally be done. The last few weeks of my third trimester had not only been tainted by these thoughts, but were also riddled with the contractions of early labor. I had, essentially, been in labor for nearly two weeks and I was exhausted. My desperation to be at the finish line resulted in trying every single way to induce labor I had heard of, which not only added to the exhaustion but also the sense of helplessness. I know now that Satan used my longings in ways that only added to my sense of defeat. I wish, beyond the ability of words to describe, that I had trusted God more fully, that I had taken rest in His promises and the knowledge that His timing is perfect. Looking back, a huge part of my heart is so sad that I was not able to embrace the challenges of pregnancy gracefully and that I had not taken more joy in waiting for my son to finally arrive.
Waiting in the hospital for contractions to begin felt like an eternity. I remember just laying in bed in the middle of the night watching the clock slowly tick by. I knew that if contractions didn’t start on their own by morning that I would have to be medically induced for the baby’s safety. This not only invoked fear, but a deep sadness. For so long I had been picturing the birth of my child and was proud of the choices and decisions I had made that I thought would result in an all natural birthing experience. I had stayed away from all forms of medication, used essential oils as natural remedies, had read all the books I could get my hands on regarding natural birthing strategies and ultimately, none of that would matter because God’s plan was not for my birthing experience to be natural. Being induced was one of the hardest hurdles my heart has ever had to jump. I lay in bed waiting for the pain to start just praying to God that He would grant me with patience, joy, confidence and strength.
As my contractions worsened and my disposition did too, it quickly became apparent that natural labor and synthetic labor were not the same. I labored under pitocin for nearly 4 hours and by the time I finally asked for the epidural I was screaming, grasping for the railings of my bed, crying tears that seemed to never end. The epidural was a mercy in that I finally could breath and be able to look at my husband and feel joy about the impending birth of our first born. Though in my birth plan I had never seriously considered the epidural and though my idea of giving birth was severely rerouted, it was yet again another example of how God’s plan for us is so much better than our own.
Having to be induced and eventually receive the epidural did several things for my heart that I needed more than I knew. First, it humbled me at the foot of the cross. For many weeks I had labored (figuratively and literally) under the idea that I could somehow plan to have the baby sooner and it would be because I worked to make it happen. This was against God and I needed a serious reality check that I was not in control, He was. Second, it reminded me once more that God’s plan is better, that the worry and anxiety we can feel is really only a manifestation of our inability to trust God in all circumstances. I believe that one of my most persistent sins against God is my lack of belief that anyone’s plan, including His, could be better than my own. Third, and most surprisingly, was that I needed to be in a place where I could enjoy the birth of my child. I truly believe that it was a mercy from God that my water broke, I received the pitocin, and later the epidural. This drastic change of plans allowed for a nearly painless delivery which was a blessing after weeks of contractions. I was able to not only rest, but also enjoy time with my husband and feel excitement about the arrival of our baby.
I am left with only a sense of amazement at the workmanship of God. And beyond that, a deeper love and understanding of our Creator. The love I feel for Atlas is unbound and requires nothing in return. Imagine how much more he is loved by God? Imagine how much you are loved by God…
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
This first week with our son has been the most magical time of my life and I’m trying hard to not take a single second for granted. Every cuddle, every poopy diaper, every cry, every time he looks up at me… each moment is the best moment of my life.
He is the beginning of Jared and I’s new life together…he is the start of a grand adventure…