The births of my children
Reading the other contributions to this magazine about pregnancy and birth, stirred me to write something down about three births I went through very consciously: those of my three children, now 9, 7 and 5 years old.
I think a woman when she goes into labour, is at her strongest and at her weakest at the same time. She is at her strongest, because she is going to bring a new life into this world together with the Eternal One. Also during this process tremendous forces are set free, that stay beneath the surface most of the time, exept maybe in situations of extreme distress, like the mother that pushed aside a truck that was about to run over her little boy. She is at her weakest, because this is a matter of life and death and mother and child are so utterly vulnerable during the birth process. I also think that in giving birth a certain lonelyness is involved, which may be comparable to dying. No matter how many people may be around you, and how much they care, this is still something you have to go through all by yourself. But the thing I would like to convey to you, is the way in which the Eternal One was involved in my births, what made them become some of the most precious moments of my life.
Giving birth to every one of my children it was necessary to surrender completely to Adonai, otherwise I would not have had the courage.
When it’s your first child, you have no idea of what to expect, even after having read a lot of books and done courses about having a baby. It is good to be informed, but no two human bodies are the same, and no two births are the same. With my first one I was a little nervous about it. At a pregnancy of 37 weeks, when the baby may be born at home, I expressed myself to Adonai: “Whatever happens, whether I like it or not, if only I am in your hands, it will be all right. I trust me and my baby to your care.” About half an hour after this prayer the lump of mucous that seals the womb, came loose: the birth process had begun. I was astonished and overjoyed about the way this happened. However, it turned out not to be magic, for Joshua was born after a long 23 hours of labour.
Being pregnant with my doughter, she appeared to be in the reverse position, which would make a normal delivery very difficult or even impossible. The people of the congregation prayer for her and she turned exactly at the right moment! After this there came another moment when I had to trust myself to the Eternal One and, yes, the labour started about half an hour after that. I felt good about it, for it was the second time and the first time everything had been all right, so I tended to think I knew all about it. My husband went for a walk with our boy and I was making some tea. But before the tea was ready, the labour pains were so vehement I had to go and stand in the hot shower for comfort. At that time I was very scared, fearing I had to go through it all alone, for there was no-one there. Then a song came to mind, which a person from our home group had given to me a few weeks before.
It was Psalm139:
Lord, You are always with me.
You lay your hands upon me.
And You are before me
And beside me
And all around me
At the very moment I felt I was not alone at all, and did not have to do it all by myself, but Adonai was there with me. While I was in the shower, I felt the baby enter the birth channel and was able to feel her exact location and how she went down and turned in the birth channel. I also felt very secure and convinced that everything would be all right. My husband came home and did not believe me when I told him the baby was due to arrive. Then he had to do a lot of things: take Joshua to bed, call the babysitter and the midwife, opening the door and then running upstairs to be there just in time to catch his new-born daughter.
Adonai also guides babies. Soon we were all in bed. The men were sleeping and the girls still awake. I tried to put my little daughter to the breast, but without success. It was as if she did not know what to do. Then I prayed: “Father, her name is Abia (which means: My Father is Adonai) and she came from you only one hour ago. Please teach her what to do.” At the very moment she got hold and started sucking.
Giving birth to our youngest was the scariest of all. I woke up in the middle of the night, knowing she was due to arrive, but I was not prepared. We went to the hospital. But I just could not surrender to Adonai and the birth process stopped. My husband went home to our two children. I stayed in a room alone (with Adonai) where I was wrestling my fears until at about 6.30 am I was able to trust myself to Adonai. About 2 hours later we had a little daughter Jedidja.
Well I am just an ordinary person and I do have my questions, fears and doubts. I am afraid I cannot tell you how to surrender to Adonai. It is something that you want to do, but at the same time it can only be given to you. In my life I have experienced that the Eternal One – incredible as it sounds – wants to be very close and very much involved in our little lives – as far as we let him. And that He loves us very much. Feeling this in you heart, may not be easy. Some things may be in the way, preventing us from feeling his love. He can free you from those. He has counted every hair on our heads and not one of them falls to the ground without the will of our Father in Heaven. He has got everything in his hand and nothing will happen to us without his permission. There is no guarantee that everything will be just as we want it to be. However, whether good or bad, He will make something good out of it and He will hold you tight. If you can trust him, it is a wonderful feeling.
It feels like flying. And it makes you brave.