My final addition to my little series on redemption is about the birth of our daughter Cora and her first year of life. You may think this is a strange thing. I mean, pregnancy and birth is so common, why would this be something needing redeeming? For some reason, this time in my life, this experience, affected me deeply and greatly, and really made me scared to have future children. I didn’t realize the magnitude of it until I was in counseling.
My pregnancy with Cora was rough. I was horribly sick the first 17-20 weeks and then during and after that things were ending at the church. The stress of everything we were going through with the church scared us. We prayed the stress would not negatively affect Cora. I was in a car accident during the pregnancy; David resigned from the church and he and his mom packed up our house (while I was at work) in less then a week, and we moved to another house, which was a vacant parsonage of another church. We then lived in that house for a year and a half. We thought we would only be there 6 months tops so we had only unpacked our clothes and basic kitchen things. The rest of our belongings were in boxes in the upstair rooms of the house (getting eaten by a family of mice we later discovered…). I didn’t do any nesting to get ready for Cora’s arrival. We did just basic things because we honestly didn’t think we would be there that long. I didn’t see any sense in putting the crib together only to have to move in a short time. As the days, weeks, months and year went by we realized our plans are not God’s.
Cora’s birth was very traumatic. I won’t go over it again. For the full story, you can read that here. When I look back to her birth I see pain (both physical and emotional), hours of hard work, darkness and lots of chaos. I felt totally out of control of the situation and was scared the entire time. If it weren’t for my husband and sister I would not have made it. They were used by God to bring me comfort and help where I couldn’t find it for myself. I was so scared. And, after Cora was born and learned that we could have very easily lost her, I was even more terrified. It was horrible. I wanted more children, but I did not, in any way, want to go through what I did with Cora ever again.
Our time in our “temporary” house were good in the sense that God was beginning the healing process for us. It was also very hard. David was forced to be the stay-at-home parent, and I was forced to be the bread-winner. Not the roles we chose for ourselves, but the positions we found ourselves in. I missed a lot of what happened in Cora’s first year of life. There were many days I would run to the bathroom at work to cry, or cry on my way to work, because I was so sad to not be at home with my little girl. I was so angry and so mad that we were in this situation. I just couldn’t understand how we could be there. We had done what the Lord had asked, and yet life was still pretty terrible and not at all peaceful. Sure, we had our moments of happiness, and to be honest, they all centered around Cora. She kept us going. She kept us from spiraling totally out of control. She kept us from completely falling into a bottomless pit. God used our little girl even then.
We moved to our new town and into our new house and very quickly found out we were to have another little one join us. I was immediately excited…and then scared. It took my entire pregnancy with Ben to work through my fears. I had a lot of baggage left from Cora’s birth. I talked a lot with my counselor about this. I wanted this baby, but was terrified to have him, to birth him. I spent a lot of time in prayer. My husband prayed, my mom and sister prayed, and I know many others did too.
I am so thankful to God for redeeming my first birth story. Ben’s birth was 100% different. Yes, there was pain, but to be honest the pain didn’t overtake. I wasn’t overcome with fear, and I don’t look back to that room as being in darkness. Because I was giving birth there were still hours (though only 1/2 as many) of hard work, but it was so much different. I did have some low moments, but I do believe that’s normal. During the actual delivery of Ben rather than chaos was relaxation and calm. I felt in control and felt like I was allowed to do what my body was designed to do. Ben was born without any issue.
God gave me peace. God gave me excellent medical care. God has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom and is allowing me to watch both of my children grow on a daily basis. I am so thankful for the Lord’s redeeming work in this situation. He is our redeemer. No matter the situation, God has the power to redeem. He redeemed us from our sinful lives and does not let us go through hard times just for kicks. I believe we go through hard times so that we can witness his redeeming power and grace in our lives and have even more reasons to praise his Holy name.