Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Labor of Love

John 16:21
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
Exodus 17:1-16
1 Peter 4:7-19
John 16:16-33 


  1. Whenever I ask my patients which pain they've experienced is unforgettable, they have a unanimous answer, "giving birth". I couldn't imagine it although I've seen and assisted in deliveries.

    The Scripture's right, when the baby comes, the mother forgets her anguish.

    I so loved how you described it in your post.

    I guess that's just how I feel after overcoming storms~it's something that is superficial...but deep down I feel peace because I know that God is here.

    I pray with you that God may give us the courage to face these pains knowing that in the end God carries us through :)

    Thank you so much Martha :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Melissa!
      Ironically, I DO remember the labor pains, but that didn't deter me from getting pregnant a second time with the lovely Sarah. God so graciously helps us through all the pains of life, no matter how difficult.
      I love, as always, that you share in the prayer, my friend!
      Blessings always!

  2. Wow..what an amazing story!! I can't imagine what it's like being with your child while she's in labor...It's so hard to watch our children in pain! I can only imagine how God feels sometimes...

    Btw...I think that's the cutest after-birth picture I've ever seen of a baby!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica!
      Yes, it is the hardest thing to watch your own child in pain and not being able to help. I had to let go and trust that God would see Sarah through, and He did!
      Oh, and I have to agree about the picture - Virginia arrived amazingly "perfect" - we were all amazed.
      Blessings to you!

  3. This is so beautiful Martha. Congratulation! You have a beautiful grand daughter. She is adorable

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Rimly, and for your kind words.
      Yes, she is my love; it's hard to believe she will be two in July!
      Blessings to you!

  4. A wonderful moment. Much joy and happiness to you now and in the future.

    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Larry!
      Yes, it was, indeed, a joyous moment for us all. I can't believe little Virginia is almost two!
      Blessings to you!

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by, Punam!
    Yes, it is so hard to watch someone you love in pain, but, as you point out, it lessens pain when we are there to reassure the person going through it.
    Yes, Virginia is my little angel who will be two this July. Hard to believe how time flies!
    Blessings to you!

  6. I'm able to endure an extreme amount of pain if I think it's moving me toward something I want. For example, I went through labor with both my sons without any pain killers.

    Recently a massage therapist commented that, although she was certain the deep tissue massage she was inflicting on my shoulder must be very painful, she couldn't see any sign of that in my facial expression. She explained that she'd been taught to 'read' a quiet client's face for signs of anguish but she couldn't get a reading from me. I looked "very peaceful". I told her it's because I'm desperate to 'cure' this chronic pain, and that kind of pain I'm not good at enduring AT ALL!

    I think this is at the foundation of my life philosophy which I often verbalize as: You can do it the hard way now, or the harder way later ;-)

    1. Wow, Linda, you have been through the veritable wringer, my friend.
      Chronic pain is something I saw my dad's mom go through with her arthritis. It is not pretty, but she was always so brave in the face of it. Right around the time you began posting about your haunting, unrelenting pain, I, too, began to have some inexplicable ones in my back. Thankfully, they stopped, but the days they were there were anything but pleasant. Know I'm praying that your pain will completely go away. It sounds like you have a high tolerance to pain overall, so that makes tending to this one all the more important.
      Blessings to you!

  7. Congrats...she is a doll. I have experienced pain during both my deliveries, the second was real bad. Recently, I broke the bone in my leg and endured the pain for 3 days, until all the tests were done and the surgery too place.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Janaki!
      Oh, I know you've been through the wringer when it comes to physical pain! You are one brave and determined woman, though, and it shows, my friend.
      Blessings to you!

  8. I'm presently not in pain, Martha but have been and when the storms have come, I'm so glad that the Great Comforter saw me through.
    As for little Virginia she seems to just grow sweeter and sweeter doesn't she? Truly worth the pain....

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Corinne!
      I believe Sarah would say that Virginia is worth every moment of those labor pains. :)
      Glad to know the blessed Holy Spirit has given you strength and comfort during those painful storms of life, my friend.
      Blessings to you!


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