Giving Birth


“I am doing something new; it’s springing up – can’t you see it?” (Isaiah 43:19)

In September’s edition of Melach HaArets I read the commentary to the Parashat HaShavu’a (Torah portion of the week) of  September 12th. Reading the sentence: “ It seems as if the Eternal One, everytime when He gives the people (of Israel) a new chance, He makes them be born again,” the following thoughts came into my mind and I started writing them down.

Giving birth is often accompanied by vehement labour pains. To cope with these, it is very helpful to trust and relax. In my work as a maternity nurse I notice that when people become impatient and doubtful about whether they will be able to manage, it is harder for them to accept the process of giving birth. Complying with the pain and refraining from resisting, make you be able to cope. Giving birth takes a lot of pain and effort. Those who take that into account often go through it more easily.

You will need to co-operate strongly with the contractions. You need to persevere and carry on, for there is no turning back. When the pushing begins, you will need to co-operate at the very moment a contraction arrives. Otherwise you will loose too much power in doing it all in your own strength.

The switch from absorbing labour to pushing is quite difficult and this is made easier by practising. The birth channel needs space. The skin and muscles need to stretch and that takes time. Hurrying and wanting to go too fast, may lead to ruptures and more pain and ‘trouble’. Sometimes in the final stage you may have to sigh and stop pushing in order to diminish the pressure and giving the child some time to be born the right way.

The power that women have, is sometimes superhuman. A force coming from deep down inside, it takes a lot of strain. But then there is the intense joy when the baby is born.

Deep emotions are set free when the job has been done. But then it is not over yet: the afterbirth is yet to come. This is also a fairly unpleasant feeling, but it completes the process. Only after this it is time for congratulations!

In our lives it is often the same. Every stage has its growing-pains. Looking at my own life, I am now in the middle of the labour-pains of a new birth. When I doubt whether I can handle this, the pain is stronger and I experience that in physical pains in my body. In moments like these, I listen to sermons, or I read phrases that say that G’d gives the victory. This helps me to relax. This makes it easier for me to cope with the aches of life.

Perseverance is also one of those parts. I sometimes shout, just like the women: “Abba, I don’t want this anymore, I can’t do it anymore, I quit.” But one has to carry on and it is going to happen. And what beautiful promises there are in the Bible: “If we have died with him, we will also live with him. If we persevere, we will also rule with him.” ( 2 Timothy 2: 11b, 12a) What a magnificent outlook!

The time of stretching is a difficult and painful one. With some women it goes fast and with others slowly. G’d is standing above all things. He has a plan with the lives of everyone of us. And He knows exactly why these things need more time with one person than with another. Trust in this and do not hurry, so that the process may go on just the way it should.

Only push when there is a contraction: only take action when G’d is doing something and indicates: ‘It’s up to you now.’ That very co-operation is necessary and for that you have to be in a relationship with your Daddy in Heaven. It takes time to learn and listen to his voice.

Sometimes it just won’t work. But then there are resources, because that birth is going to take place, no matter what: the vacuum-pump or tongs and in the worst case, a caesarian section will be carried out. Yes, it is help from outside, and sometimes we may need that. But the wound in the belly takes more time to heal than a natural birth and the resources do give a higher risk to complications.

But if it is working, than there will be a moment when it is better to sigh. Well, I am doing that every now and then, during my process. Romans 8:22,23 says: ”We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth; and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons – that is, to have our bodies redeemed and set free.”

I intend to think with every sigh of impotence or helplessness: ‘But He is fighting for me and He is going to come up with a solution. He gives the salvation that we are all longing for.’

The power that women show during the phase of pushing is enormous: a ‘super force’. We also have a power given to us by Him: “..him who by his power working in us is able to do far beyond anything we can ask or imagine..” (Ephesians 3:20) Everyone can do it: together with Him. Not you, but He through you. “Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing.”(John 15:5)

The fruits of births like that give such enormous joy. Not just to you, but certainly to your Daddy in Heaven. He wants to see you grow. The pains you go through while giving birth, you will forget eventually, once you hold your child in your arms. It is a process through which – I believe –  we may understand something about our own developmental stages. It touched me and made me able to understand the process of being born again a little better by writing this. And I hope it will be the same for you.

Letting go, surrender, pain, sorrow, trust, compliance, endurance, perseverance and carrying on, are some words that go with this process and you could add many more.

I am grateful for the lessons of life that my Daddy in Heaven teaches me.