I thought nothing could top the birth of my own children, but nothing surpasses the joy of the first grandchild. Virginia Rose entered this world on July 21st at 9:29 a.m. not ten minutes after I let go of my daughter's hand while she endured labor, not called that for nothing! Just being there with her and for her with her husband for two hours before delivery gave me a whole new perspective on birth as both of mine were C-sections, the first, with labor, the second, without. My heart ached for my daughter as she endured the pain that even the epidural could not quell completely. I hid my tears until Danny and I were in the hallway, headed for the waiting room. How could I not be strong for my daughter? How could I not be fearful for her well-being?
We found comfortable chairs in the waiting room, not glad to be planted in front of Regis and Kelly as our minds and hearts were elsewhere and this distraction seemed unreal in the drama of the moment. We talked very little, watching the doors to the labor and delivery ward like eager hawks, anxious for the emergence of John and any news of the new arrival. Danny had only moments before suggested that I might wend my way back to the room when, gloriously, John burst through the doors, waving his camera ecstatically. As we ran to meet him, he shouted, "We have a girl!" As I saw her first on a digital screen, my eyes filled. When, only moments later, I was standing in her presence, I knew I was also in the miraculous presence of God.
I never claimed to have the most beautiful babies in the world; Daniel was overcooked and his head was misshapen, which did correct itself in a short time. Sarah, c-section and no labor, was perfectly formed. Yesterday, I gazed upon a baby who had gone through full delivery and maintained a perfectly round head and was opening her eyes before she was an hour old. I was immediately beside myself at her beauty: her tiny hands and feet with all ten digits in place, her well-developed lungs and vocal chords that wailed in protest at her first bath (we never saw this in the 80s!), her silky skin and blonde fluff of hair, her whiffling breath as she rested, to give Mom a break, in my arms.
As I gazed upon her, I recalled how much I had prayed for this new life and for the well-being of the parents who would be guiding her through the treacheries of this world, and I was overcome with a thankfulness that surpasses words. Virginia came into this world, in the words of Blake, trailing clouds of glory. She has touched all of our hearts and souls with the miracle that she is and recalled to us the miracle each of us is in the sight of God. She is, at this moment, as dependent upon the love and nourishment her parents provide as we should, if we are not already, dependent upon God's love, forgiveness, and grace given freely to us and that sustain our lives.
For, we "are all fearfully and wonderfully made". May we rejoice in the gift of new life and rededicate our lives to the One who makes all things new.