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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

TITLE: Joy Comes in the Morning
By Margaret Villanueva


I was never what you’d call cause-and-effect oriented. I did first and thought it through later. That said, it should surprise no one that the first time I thought about the ultimate effect of my pregnancy-the experience of birthing-would come well after I was pregnant myself. I still remember being in the long restroom line during the intermission of a play and noticing a woman who seemed about 10 months along. I saw her beautiful big belly and imagined mine being the same in the near future. And then it hit me. That big belly contained a big baby. And that baby had to come out. And where would it come out? Ewww! And OUCH! A sudden vision of blood and pain overwhelmed me and made the second act of a comedy into my own personal tragedy.

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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Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp03/04/10
What a great story for first time mothers to be, who will undoubtedly share your exact same apprehensions. Also a good relatable story for those who actually did walk right along side of you in this story, having gone through it themselves. I appreciated the humor throughout, made me lol!
Dana McReynolds03/04/10
Great story, wish I had known about the "long division" during my pregnancy. Ha!
Genia Gilbert03/04/10
Hilarious, well written, and with a great message.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/04/10
There's nothing like having a baby to bring out the eeks and eews of the best of them. You recounted it beautifully and made me remember how much I loved my job when I was an OB nurse.
Brenda Shipman 03/07/10
I can't help but think this story would be such a comfort and blessing to many pregnant women. You did such a good job of honestly communicating your fears, denial, thoughts, and then the final joy that made it all worthwhile. You might try submitting this to a crisis pregnancy center to include in their newsletter. Great job.