I don't know of a woman alive who has not experienced hearing multiple birth stories from family, friends, and even strangers. For some reason, we feel this strong need to share our story. I know that I have told my stories many times. I've even blogged about them. I have one child with a form of dwarfism. We found out about his condition when I was 4 months pregnant. I could tell you a doozie of a story about his pregnancy, birth, and his first year. Then there was my second. At nearly 5 months pregnant I lost a baby but within 3 weeks I was pregnant again with my second born child. His birth was bliss but the pregnancy and first year were unbelievable. Then there was my third. He was a dream all the way around. We won't talk about baby boy #4. It took years to get pregnant, was the worst pregnancy of all, and the delivery nearly killed us both, literally. We were hospitalized for almost 10 days after and I was on bed rest for almost three months to recover.
There. You see? I went into a passionate speech about my pregnancies, births, and the first year. And I feel exhilarated. I didn't even need to go into details. And yes, although some of them were rough and seemed like I would never get over them...I did. We did. And the mere act of recalling these memories makes me so thankful for my children. It makes some of the things we deal with today seem so small. They are here and we are doing life together. That makes it all worth while. And recalling those stories reinforces it all.
Reminds me of another birth story.
When I gave my life to Christ I had come from a place of sorrow and independence. My family life was dysfunctional to say the least. At 19 I met a man who made me feel like the only woman in the world. Then I got pregnant. We weren't married yet but we quickly set a date. Then, during an ultrasound we learned that my sons arms and legs were not growing properly. I learned he would be a little person. I was devastated. A part of me died. That is when He called me.
Alone at home, in my bathtub, I remember weeping and speaking to God saying “why God, why? What did I ever do that was so wrong? Why do I deserve this?” I was heartbroken. What was I going to do? How could I raise this child? Would he ever be healthy? I continued crying out saying (and I remember all of this clearly), “God I know you died for me. I know you took away my sins. I know that you love me! Please, I can’t do this! Help me!” Then, the child they said I may never feel move inside of me, or who may never even walk, kicked me! I thought I was imagining things. I looked down at my belly in disbelief. He kicked me again!
Instinctively I took a deep breath and I went down under the water and came back up. I wiped the water from my face, I began to weep, my head cleared and I then realized my whole attitude had changed instantly. He was still the same baby I knew and loved before. He had not changed, it was my dreams for him that had. But none of that mattered now. My current frame of mind was “God, what did I ever do that was so right that you would trust me to raise this child? Why me? I really don’t deserve him.”
My anger and hurt turned to joy and thanksgiving.
I didn’t know it at that time but God had saved me and baptized me without the help of any person. Nudged by the Holy Spirit, I began seeking a church. I finally found one. I began to learn and grow, to sow seeds into the lives of others. Then one day God gave me revelation about the day He saved me….
The bible tells us that John leaped inside his mother’s womb when he sensed the presence of Jesus (Luke 1:41, 44 NKJV). Well, so did my Carsten on that day in August of 1996. He leaped inside my womb because he sensed the presence of our Holy God. I know this now. I also know of all those who were petitioning God on our behalf during those days.
Our birth stories, physical or spiritual, are miraculous. They are living reminders of what could have happened but didn't and what we have to be grateful for today.
So what is your story?