John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail, hath sorrow, because her hour hath come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.(KJV)
Ooooh! Aaaah! I didn’t want to scream but the horrific sounds escaped anyway as I was being frantically wheeled down the corridor on the gurney! “The baby’s already coming!” the nurse had said. I could feel my pelvic bones pushing apart and I was still wearing my pretty, long pink gown!.
She had left a watch with me, telling me to "time" the back pains. When she had returned, I said, “One minute.” She examined me then pushed the “nurse” button. “I need some help in here, the baby’s coming!” The baby wasn’t due for nearly ten weeks. I had hemorrhaged that morning so I had been lying in a hospital bed all day with my feet elevated. I had sent my husband and family members home earlier thinking I was alright. Between the bouts of unwanted screaming, I silently prayed, “Please let my baby live, God. I promise that if you let it live, I will bring it up in church.”
Dr. Miller arrived in the delivery room pronto. “I can’t give you much anesthesia. It might kill the baby”, he warned. “Oh me, I thought, “I’m still going to feel everything!”(1963, my first and only pregnancy). But that was the last I remembered until I awoke. Drowsily I asked, “ What are you doing, Dr. Miller?” “Putting in one long stitch”. “Is my baby alive? “Yes, you have a little boy!” “Don’t lie to me, Dr. Miller!” “Your baby’s alive. He has a fifty-fifty chance.”
Later, Dr. Miller was sitting in my room with me when my husband and family returned after being summoned by the nurse. “The baby weighs three pounds, twelve ounces. His lungs seem to be developed so he has a good chance of making it.” he said. “Last year I lost a premie twin. I’m not going to lose this baby!.”
I still had not seen my baby by the following morning. I held onto the side rails in the hall and found my way to the nursery. And there he was! So tiny, but oh so beautiful! Now I had a promise to keep. A nurse spotted me and said harshly, “What are you doing up?” “I just wanted to see my baby!” Well, you get back in that bed!” I did, but how I yearned to hold my baby! I did for the first and only time at the hospital, when he was nine days old.
When he was two weeks old he measured 16 inches long, but had lost down to two pounds, twelve ounces. I was assured that it was normal for newborns to lose weight at first. I had been released from the hospital on the third day . So each afternoon my husband carried me to visit when he got home from work. I’d stand and peer lovingly at him through the glass window.
Finally, he began gaining weight. He was placed in a normal nursery crib at the age of four weeks. I could see him better then. He had been born on September 19th. On October 25th when I made my visit, a kind, older, grey-haired nurse came out to talk to me. “You can take him home tonight, his weight is five pounds, two ounces. Dr. Miller thinks you can take care of him now. He is stable but you must feed him every two hours.” She cried as she placed him in my arms. “I just got attached to him.” So I held my son for the second time, and we were going home!
I had made a promise to God. When my son was able to be taken out publicly, I carried him to church.
We named the baby “Paul”. Later, I discovered Paul means “little”. Today, he stands six feet, three, yet some friends still call him “Little Paul.”
When he was ten I wrote the following short poem. To me, it says it all.
If I had to leave the earth this night
And leave behind all that is mine
I would want my son to know
That God is Love Sublime
I have only one son just as God did
And God loves my son just as I love His...
Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington