Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: Joy Comes in the Morning
By Margaret Villanueva
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As my pregnancy continued, I tried to get the thought of its culmination out of my mind. I became very good at focusing on the pregnancy and the baby and keeping all thought of the delivery far away. We went to Lamaze and I was very good at the exercises, but whenever we practiced them in sequence to get us ready for labor, the Lamaze coach kept coming back to us—Daddy, can’t you get Mommy to calm down? Look how tense she is! Well, of course, Coachie! You’ve taken me out of my private denial chamber and thrust me right back into the coming future delivery nightmare! That can tend to stress a person out!
The months ticked by, each one coming faster than the one before. We did all the parent things-picked a name, went baby clothes shopping, passed through the requisite gauntlets of baby showers and “been there” stories (I discovered that if you did long division in your head you could totally disregard these), and soon enough I was nesting. Nesting. Actually, I was trying desperately to figure a way out. Cesarean? No, that would involve stitches, and I doubt if I could have talked my husband into losing his time at bat. He already had a special place reserved in his wallet for the little snippet of umbilical cord that he’d been told he could keep—did I mention EWW? I became a master at self-delusion. In fact, about a week before the baby was due I decided that I wasn’t actually pregnant at all. I was just fat and gassy (that explained the baby kicking). Unfortunately the baby didn’t agree.
Inevitably the day arrived. Baby refused to stay inside a moment longer. Off to the hospital we went. I did the Lamaze exercises to perfection, and the pain, though unbearable, was still somehow endurable. Of course, I did try to convince the doctor that this was all a mistake and I’d decided that I’d rather adopt some puppies. He reminded me that it was a little late to decide that now. So on we went, hubby and I, and I only cursed at him a little. Mostly I was amazed at how much this experience was blessing him.
My husband saw this experience not as gross but as a heavenly delight. He saw my tummy as his baby’s special throne room, and he saw our baby as God’s precious gift. As we labored together, he held my hand through each mounting pain, and the concern in his voice wasn’t matched by the triumphant gleam in his eye. Each pain brought us closer to his child’s birth day.
All too soon I heard the dreaded words: push! Push again! I wanted to and hated to at the same time. I’d never felt such pain…and then such joy as the glorious thready cry signaled my daughter’s arrival. I lifted my head from the bed to see her-my husband’s hand gripped mine even more firmly as we looked on in amazement. My daughter. Ahhhh. Now I understand. Pain may come for a night, but Joy comes in the morning. My daughter Joy, born at 5:35 am. Happy birthday, little one!
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