Nobody ever tells a pregnant woman, “Oh, you’re going to just love childbirth!” You’re more likely to hear, “Weeeeeell… it will be worth it.” But you know what? I loved it.
The day Charlie was born, Lyle and I got up early, grabbed our bags, kissed our visiting family goodbye and beat the morning traffic into the city. I was scheduled to be induced that day, a full week after our due date, and (aside from being severely late to the hospital) it was actually a pretty stress-free morning.
By 9am the doctor had broken my water. The nurse threaded my arm with an IV that dripped pitocin in order to get some contractions going. Oh boy.
I get it now – that birth episode in every sitcom depicting a woman playing the “I hate you; no, I love you” game with her man. I always thought that was just silliness that television writers concocted to add comedy to their show. Maybe those scenes are a bit spectacular, but I have to say: touché, Hollywood. Well played.
When Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the grave, and when I made Him lord of my life, He redeemed me from the curse of pain (Isaiah 53:5). Knowing this throughout my pregnancy, I had asked God for a quick and easy, pain-free delivery. I know, you think I’m loony, but I expected to enjoy childbirth.
After laboring a few hours with some anxiety, I had an epiphany: God granted the miracle of the epidural for such a time as this. Hallelujah! Thirty minutes and one gigantic needle later, the nurse inquired, “How did that contraction feel?” to which I honestly replied, “I had a contraction?!” (I searched for the anesthetist later to bestow a well-earned hug, but I never found her. I bet that happens a lot. 🙂 ) And just like that, I was fully dilated.
Now, everyone knows the protocol when you’re fully dilated: FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT!
I don’t know whose idea this was, but I know those sweet nurses have seen it all. Will we take your picture? Sure! Get out the tri-pod, and just DON’T PUSH! We probably have 10+ variations of this photograph, with me reclining in a hospital bed and peeking awkwardly over my belly.
When the doctor joined us, I was super eager. I was totally present in the moment, and the moment was supernatural. A blissful combination of anticipation and adrenaline filled me so full that I laughed (hard!) between pushes. It went something like this:
Nurse: PUSH!!!!! – Me: Hahaha!!
Nurse: PUUUUUUUSSSSSH!!!!!! – Me: Haahahaaahahaaaa!!!!!!
At 5:03pm, after only 8 hours of labor, our baby boy arrived. Even the doctor was giddy.
Did this experience play out precisely as I imagined when I placed my “delivery order” with God? No.
It was even better.
I never thought my labor would begin artificially, or that my prayer would be answered anesthetically. I thought it would all happen… well… like I thought it would. God rarely accomplishes anything the way I chart out; in fact, I’m pretty sure He has a different map. But I can’t deny that a short labor with five minutes of pushing fits into the “quick and easy” category. And those post-epidural ghost contractions were above and beyond my request. The joy I experienced as I delivered our son was uncontainable. Who would have ever believed childbirth could be so satisfying?
The Scriptures declare that God is able to do “superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams” (Ephesians 3:20).
True, you probably didn’t experience a delivery like mine. And there may be other painful things going on in your life that you’re just praying will be “worth it.” But if you trust God to lead the way, after it’s all over, you may find yourself smack in the center of a supernatural moment…