Neither of us was prepared for the birth of our first child. I think it takes a long time to fit into the title of parent and usually through years of challenges and exciting adventures. Who would’ve known the woman this man had married only two years prior, would now be swelling to twice her size? How could he predict she’d be feeling nauseated from early morning until late afternoon? Who would understand cracker crumbs in bed?
The woman goes through all these unusual changes to body, emotion and rationality and the husband gets very little attention during these nine months of gestation. Still he managed to put up with crazy cravings, my snoring and taking over his side of the bed. Never once did he complain. Well, maybe once.
Time passed and the active life within me grew at rapid speed. Since this baby would be born in August, I had to contend with the heat, humidity and losing complete sight of my ankles, which had by this time exploded to ten times their original size. My discomfort was secondary to the stress Paul endured. How would he support three, rather than two? His desire to have me be a stay at home mom, was daunting in one respect. My measly little salary would need to be replaced and then some. As he worked that out in his mind, I continued to grow to the size of an elephant. It seemed like forever for this firstborn to make her debut.
Since this was before the use of ultra sound to determine the sex of a baby. So we could only rely on what the doctor presumed, by the way I carried this child. He was confident that it was boy.
Finally the day arrived. I was walking home from the grocery store when my water broke. I immediately called Paul and he arrived in what seemed seconds. We rushed to the hospital and waited for quite a while for the baby to arrive.
I was fully anesthesized at the birth. Our bouncing baby girl was born into the waiting arms of my sister in law, who happened to be taking her nurses training at that hospital. As I drowsily began to wake up, all I could see was the dangling umbilical cord still attached to my baby. I assumed the doctor’s prediction was correct and that I was the mom of a baby boy. I must admit, it took quite a while to convince me that she was definitely a girl.
This little one would pave the way for two more children. With each experience we grew more and more confident in our parenting, but to tell the truth, we couldn’t have done it without the presence of God in our home. He is the foundation that glued us together as we said our marriage vows and continues to guide our footsteps now as we face the closing years of this journey.