redemption is still being sewn
Both of my babies have emotional themes to their labor process. In the hours before Selah came into the world, I felt so desperately alone. During Re’uth’s labor, I felt more loved than ever.
Since this week is the four year mark of Selah’s birth, I have been remembering how I felt seven hours before her birth. It was 3 am. The Wendy’s Eating Husband was snoozing on the uncomfortable hospital bench beside my bed. A beloved friend was sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag that lived in her trunk (she’s rugged like that). It was just me, lying in the hospital bed, awake.
I planned to have Selah naturally, out of hospital, at a local birth center. When there were no signs of labor sixteen days past Selah’s due date (yes, you read that right), my midwife transferred me to the hospital for an induction. The short story is that I ended up calling for Lonnie, the anesthesiologist, to numb the artificially induced labor pains. What his epidural could not numb? A fleshy, gnawing grief that plagued me on the moon’s watch with an overwhelming sense of lonely darkness.
I was about to birth a lifetime’s worth of joy, but I felt more alone than I could ever imagine. My mom had been visiting me in Seattle before Selah was born. The plan was for her to help with the new baby. Well meaning plans turned into a disaster. We stopped talking. I made an ultimatum.
“Get rid of the Coors Light Drinker and then you can be in my life again.”
A girl wants her mom when she’s about to give birth to her first baby. Tears streamed down my face as I heard Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes playing through the mini speakers that were plugged into our iPod. My mom chose the Coors Light Drinker instead of me.
God gave the Wendy’s Eating Husband and I an intentional meaning for Selah’s first name: to sew redemption (Selah is not her first name). We kept her entire name a secret until she was born, but during those mourning moonlit hours, her name was known in my heart. It nurtured hope for a life that was immersed in love and acceptance.
When the Wendy’s Eating Husband announced Selah’s full name out loud, for the first time ever, he declared new life over me, over us, over her. That it’s possible for life to be good. That beauty is possible when all I’ve known is ugly. That belly laughter is possible when I’ve lived a life without emotion. But most of all, that healing can come in the form of a little breathing ball of love.
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