After you give birth, it’s really hard not compare birth stories, talking about the experience and reminiscing at the incomparable extremes of the worst pain you’ve ever felt, to the most joy and love you’ve ever felt. There is nothing in the world like it. Perhaps you thinking meeting your spouse and falling in love would be the most joy you’ve ever felt, or your wedding day. I’m not disagreeing with that or saying I didn’t feel a lot of joy. But let’s be honest. Falling in love was easy. You hung out, enjoyed each other, planned an exciting wedding then went on an amazing honeymoon. Having a baby literally is blood, sweat and tears.
You go through 9 months of sickness, pain and discomfort, then suddenly out of no where get hit with the most outrageous pains that we label “contractions” (I couldn’t even recognize them as “contractions” at first because I felt that word did not describe the feeling at all!) come upon you and the most intense hours or days of your life descend. There is nothing you can do to stop it, there is no turning back.
My point in this blog is not to recount the horrors of labour and delivery, and reiterate all my thoughts, feelings and emotions that came during that part alone, since, frankly, they’ve changed. Instead I want to show how absolutely amazing it as that we as women can go through such a traumatic and painful experience and can come out better people, better wives, better contributors to society, and better lovers of Jesus Christ.
Since I only gave birth 4 and a half months ago, I still daily look at my son Caleb and think to myself “I pushed you out of my body. Thankfully you weren’t as big as you are now, but wow. I did that.” Since the day he was born there have been so many challenges; sleepless nights, healing from delivery, colds, etc – and at times I have felt I would not make it through without calling someone in and going to bed for 24 hours straight. Each time I feel like this I remember the words of my incredible labour and delivery nurse, Katherine. “You can do it Monica. This is one night of your life. You’ll look back on this forever and be proud of yourself for getting through this. You’re strong, girl. You can do it!”
In the moment I looked at her and thought to myself, “you have NO idea what I’m going through! I need an epidural!!” but her encouragment pushed me on. And when I came to a breaking point and asked for one, I found out because of some complications with my blood I couldn’t get one. I felt absolutely trapped in my own body. It was a few moments of sheer panic. But my husband and the nurses were right there encouraging me and telling me that I could do it.
Finally, 12 hours after entering the hospital my little Caleb was born. I cannot even find the words to describe the absolute elation I felt as they placed his wet and slimy newborn body on mine. The emotions overwhelmed me. I could not believe I did it. I did it. Not on my own, no I prayed constantly for strength and perseverance, and I had an incredible team of encouragers.
Isn’t that so how life is though? If you pray hard and have people who encourage you, you can do anything. Each one of us have overcome some huge obstacle in our lives. Maybe you can’t relate to childbirth, but you overcame an illness, injury or a really difficult relationship. It may not just be one night of your life that you’re pushing through, but it’s temporary. You can do it. You can overcome. You can rise above the ashes of discouragement and taste joy and victory.
Deuteronomy 20:4 says:
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
I’m not calling labour my enemy, but it was something that I had to fight through, and the Lord was the one who came to me. After partnering with Him in that, I know there is absolutely nothing in this life that I cannot accomplish through Christ, who gives me strength. I know that there is no difficulty too great in my marriage, no parenting issue too large, or call to great from the Lord that I can not make it through.
May you have the courage to overcome your toughest situation. The Lord did not create us as woman to be weak and fragile people. He gave us the task of bearing children, partially, I believe, to empower us to know that we are anointed people, useful in the hands of God.