catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 17 :: 2008.09.26 — 2008.10.10


Giving birth

The lot is cast into the lap, but every decision is from the Lord. (Proverbs 16:33)

“What would be the one thing you would like to see happen in your birthing experience?” asked our Lamaze instructor.  Implied in this question is what would make a “perfect” birthing experience.  My response was “left occiput anterior,” meaning the baby’s head would be placed perfectly to exit the birth canal.

The Lord answered this prayer, but only after much Pitocin and patience on the doctor’s part to manually correct the baby’s position.  Another answered prayer that I often reflect back on: “Lord don’t make the next contraction like the last one.”  Miraculously, they were all different: portents of the changing challenges of child-rearing.

My first birthing experience was prepared for with a daily devotional specifically crafted for the last month of pregnancy.  This book was communally shared, passed from one young mother-to-be to another.  The Lamaze method included visual focal points for breathing exercises.  A set was lovingly created by a believing artist from the community to mirror the Scriptures I was meditating upon.  Many of those pictures for visual attention got passed on as well.

My second birthing experience involved movement and music as well as labor.  Because I had no anesthesia, I was free to move around.  Irregular contractions and lack of mastery of breath control apart from music led to the repetitive rounding of an L-shaped corridor.  My husband and I sang every chorus we knew from the book of Isaiah.  I asked for only those with fast tempo, hoping to speed things along.  Every circumscription of the hallways led us past an orthodox Jewish father-to-be praying at the door post for his wife laboring within.  The rules of modesty dictated his behavior.  My husband’s reflection on the pain of childbirth allowed him to exclaim, “This is how much God hates sin.”  His observation attempted to be compassionate, as well as truthful.

Birthing experience three proved that death is also present at the entrance to life.  My cardiologist husband was rendered helpless with the baby’s heart rate dropping and the nurse exiting to the hall, calling for reinforcements.  The skill provided by my O.B. released the blessing of our third child into the world.

Discovering the Lord’s plans for us as families through our corporate birthing experiences hallows our earthly relationships.  It proves the sovereignty of God and the dependency of human beings.

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