Posts Tagged ‘giving birth’

A Birth Story


It’s three boys and …

Last evening I sat down to catch up on social media, when I noticed that a local animal protection agency was airing a live stream of a cat giving birth.

I clicked.

Two hours disappeared quickly (for me, not the Momma cat).

I went to my daughter, to share in the exciting event … “Ew” was all I got from her.

I went to my son, who was eating a ‘snack’ (just half an hour after finishing dinner), to see if he would like to view the miracle of birth … “Mom, I can’t watch this while I am eating, I’ll be sick” was his response.

So, I cozied up in my chair and watched solo, while the Momma cat (Sugarplum) delivered number four.

I then heard movements in the kitchen (with three teens in the house, there is always movement in the kitchen) so I took my device to share the view with our International ‘son’ from China. But, his water was boiling for tea, and he needed to return to his studies.

I climbed the stairs, while staring at my device, knowing that hubby would LOVE to watch additional felines enter into the world … he did look, but the call of the hockey commentator had his full attention.

So it was just me about two thousand others left to watch the final two arrive.

Pretty soon, Sugarplum was panting and growling … number five soon followed. Now two gingers and three dark.

After quite a ‘break’ number six, another dark one emerged.

This cat knew exactly how to breath, what to do and what position to get in, without a how to manual in sight. As each kitten was born she gave them a thorough tongue bath. She cleared fur away from her underside so the newby’s could find their source of nourishment. She endured their dog-piles as she was struggling to push the next ones out.

Watching this furry mom, I was also hearing the commentary of the process, complete with human directions for this feline momma. I had to laugh, as this cat has more instincts in this area than we on two feet will ever have.

The miracle of birth is amazing. The manner by which life duplicates life …the efforts of the female to push this new life out from her body, the waiting for and then the anticipated moment when that first breath is taken.

That first breath …

The sign of life, unattached to any other … the final act before entering into eternity …

Holy ground, as we attend both the first and final breaths.

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If, like me, you are a Canadian, this is the weekend to eat too much turkey and stuffing, gather with family and friends, and give thanks.

Giving thanks is all about taking note of the blessings we have, rather than wishing for something new. It is about recognizing the abundance in life. It is about being giving thanks in all things, in every circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:18) … but you can read more about that tomorrow (Sunday) at http://www.itsawonderfilledlife.net .

This week, it was, by far, Giving Birth, that was the most viewed post. A post that I wrote about my son … but I think it was most viewed because the experience of giving birth as a life-long experience is shared by most moms (and maybe even a dad or two).

Also this week, I published:

… And You Became Mine
(the promise of all promises)

Why Are You Downcast Oh My Soul
(a little longing from Psalm 42)

No Guarantees
(getting what we deserve?)

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
(pondering the need for adult recess)

Blessings to you this day,

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Ten minutes after ten in the morning,

On the tenth day of the tenth month of 1999,

… into this world I pushed, with great excitement and hesitancy, our final child, a son.

I couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms, smother him in kisses, and drink in his baby scent.

But, I dreaded his leaving my body, along with his kicks, his heartbeat …

I dreaded … the loss of his constant presence within me.

Fourteen years ago … and I still feel I am giving birth … with excitement and hesitancy.

The other night, my son came home with his new football pictures, and so I rushed to put it in ‘the frame’ holding the one from last year. I studied the two visions of the same son …

– his teeth have grown into his mouth, providing a grown-up smile

– his face is not so round, more angular, more grown-up

– his shoulders more broad, more like those of a man

Sigh …

The pains of giving birth, of laboring, tore at my momma heart, once again. The visual reminders that my boy is becoming man, that the end of his time in the safety of the womb that is our home is just a handful of football pictures away.

Giving birth really is a tearing, a separating. Without it, there is not life. But, it is not an easy, or pain-free process … it is labor.

As we celebrate our son’s fourteenth birthday today, we celebrate his life, the fruit of our laboring.

He is now in the final trimester of his school years, having been birthed from elementary and middle school years, to this new phase called high school.

He is now a Bantam in football. His five foot nine, 180lb body often facing peers of six feet tall and 250lbs. … a reality that gives me labor pains for a solid two hours every Sunday.

Each and every stage of the life, of this son of mine, is a birthing, complete with labor pains … conceived within my dread of the loss of his constant presence with me. But, it is this giving birth, this giving of life, that allows him to take that first breath of each new day, and live his life.

“We’ve been waiting for you
We’re so glad you came
We’ve been looking forward
To showing you the place
There’s so much in store and
We’ve been waiting for you”
Carolyn Arends
We’ve Been Waiting for You Lyrics/MetroLyrics

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As I watched the new parents walk from the hospital in London, my eyes were fixed, not to the baby, not to Prince William, but to Kate.

Kate had just been through the most physically and emotionally stressful event of her life, since her own birth.

It is such an emotional, such an overwhelming thing to have just delivered your first baby. The physical, emotional and psychological changes that occur surrounding a birth can leave a new mom with a bit of an out-of-body feeling.

Since Kate first appeared on the public scene the word that most accurately describes her public persona would be confident. She has smiled when she was supposed to, stood tall with her head held high, spoken with confidence and grace, looked on to her Prince when she needed to appear supportive.

As I watched her, watching the crowds of hundreds (and probably millions around the world), all looking at the bundle in her arms, I saw something that every new mother feels at some point, fear.

I wondered as she looked at the crowds, was she realizing that she did not just have her first son, but a future king of England, who would be claimed as ‘theirs’ by millions of people. I wondered if she realized that this was the first time of many, that he would not be only hers.

This tiny baby, held lovingly, securely by his mom and dad, will inherit so much … wealth, position in society, the throne of England. He will also inherit the highest expectations, a lofty role, an aggressive press, and even death threats. I wonder if all that her beautiful baby boy will inherit flashed before Kate’s eyes yesterday, along with the flashes from the many cameras. I wonder if the mother her within her wished she could hug her baby and run away to a place of obscurity.

May Kate have the loving support of husband, family and friends. May she have the wisdom to shield her son as much and for as long as she possible can. May she create within the private walls of her own house, the closest thing to a ‘normal’ upbringing for her boy. And may she know that sharing does not have to mean giving away.

May she seek the guidance of her own Creator and Provider for the wisdom to raise her son in the shadow of the Most High.

“He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples built by hands. He is not served by human hands. He doesn’t need anything. He himself gives life and breath to all people. He also gives them everything else they have. From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live. God did this so that people would seek him. Then perhaps they would reach out for him and find him. They would find him even though he is not far from any of us.” Acts 17:24-27

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