A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
From the moment I find out that my daughter, Sarah, is expecting, I pray.
For the health of the child. For Sarah's health during her pregnancy. For a safe labor and delivery.
Because, I remember the excruciating pain of my own first labor. Contractions so wildly intense I literally pass out between them. The relief of an epidural and an emergency C-section arrive just in the nick of time.
I pray Sarah is not like me. That she can experience a far less troubled labor and natural delivery.
Without. Too. Much. Pain.
The due date is closing in . . .
John, Sarah's husband, calls us at eleven at night. Wakes us up.
"We're at the hospital. Come in the morning. Doctor says it will be awhile."
I can hardly sleep after that.
When our alarm sounds at five, my husband, Danny, and I spring into action.
And, reach the hospital in record time.
Oh, it is so not like the old days!
We are allowed into the room with Sarah and John. Up until the last moments before delivery.
Sarah has been given an epidural, but the pangs of labor still contort her face. Her body writhes as each washes over her.
We hold her hands, watching the monitor which reacts with each mounting contraction.
I hold back tears. Don't want to cry in front of my baby. It would give her a worry she doesn't need. But, it is so hard to see her suffer . . .
An enormous contraction!
"It's time!" The midwife announces.
Danny and I scramble out the door, leaving John to comfort Sarah.
We wait in great anticipation. And, miraculously, not for long.
"We have a girl!" John shouts as he bursts through the waiting room door.
Without a moment's delay, he ushers us back to Sarah's room.
And, there she sits, propped up, holding a sweet and swaddled Virginia Rose.
A smile of sheer joy on her face.
Are you experiencing "labor pains" in your life today?
Will you join me in prayer?
We know, Father, that this life can be fraught with pain, troubles, and sorrows. Be with us, remain with us, through the storms we endure. Help us to always hold Your hand, trusting that You will see us through. Reassure us of the joy You have promised. Amen.
Psalms 20, 21:1-7 (8-14) or 110:1-5 (6-7), 116, 117
1 Peter 4:7-19