Note: I originally posted this on Ricochet.com. I post here as well rather than write a new blog because I am this lazy.
When casting Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God had a helping of parting gifts for the lovely couple, including warning Eve she will bear children in pain. Growing up, I was always informed that this implied labor pains that are now infamous. The only remotely tangential experience I’ve seen of them is after taking a couple to the hospital when they were about to deliver their second. As she laid in bed, he held her hand in comfort. At some point I saw a serene expression of anticipation and comfort turn to a grimace of silent, unexpressed pain as she quietly squeezed his hand in response to her own labor. I imagine I’ll go through the same, and if I can do so with the silence and humor he did, we’ll be fine.
However, I’m coming to the conclusion that we Baptists were underselling this “bear children in pain” thing by limiting it. Indeed, the entire process of a pregnancy seems to put women through a veritable wringer in all aspects: physically, emotionally, and mentally. From aches and pains of the joints that fluctuate on a daily basis to the sheer exhaustion, to the swings of emotion back and forth. Men don’t have to experience all this first hand. This, in a way, is a good thing as this means there’s one party in the couple who has the energy and health to devote his attention to his wife. I hope I’m using what I have for good of my wife and our daughter.
Being our first child, I find that all the things I know about pregnancy and childbirth and abstract are terribly lacking in the concrete. When something changes in how my lovely wife senses things going on with the baby, is that good or bad? If she senses nothing, is that good or bad? How can I comfort and reassure when I have no empirical data with which to build upon? And does she want Vulcan Dad Logic-Comfort? My guess is no. Humans, so irrational …
But time is flying by. Just yesterday we went to the clinic for her second ultrasound. There the technician poked, prodded, shook, and tried to get the best pictures of our little gal who was proving to be quite determined as to give the tech as little data as possible. Partway through this process, my wife began to cheer our girl on, entirely sympathizing with our girl’s desire to get away from all the pokes and prods. Thus, when the doctor returns and informs us the ultrasound gave sub-optimal results in certain categories because our girl was a bit too squirrelly for the tech to get a hold of, my wife gave a little inward cheer. Mother-Daughter Team: 1, Ultrasound Tech: 0 (since apparently we’re not counting the successful data).
Of course, we had a boy’s name picked out within months of marriage, so of course the Lord would choose a girl for us. Finding a girl’s name we agree on has been trouble and then some. We’ve been narrowing it down with a few aids. The least of these aids has been my book of baby names I got ages ago to help me make names for characters when I write. It has everything, and we’ve found more names we could cross off the list. For example, we’re positive we’ll never name our girl “Dickla.”
Worse, at one point we had a favorite name. Out of curiosity my wife did a search for this lovely name with possible Celtic or Gaelic origins only to find a page full of google images that are entirely nigh-pornographic, manga-style images from a character in some sort of game. No, I’m not telling you what this name is. Suffice it to say the Google-search has ruined this name for us for life.
In the end, however, every day we like to give thanks to God for our blessings. We have troubles, but I can remind myself that five years ago, I was convinced I would never have these troubles at all. I fully believed that the pattern of rejection would continue until I died old and alone. Certain that God had not given me permission to quit, I soldiered on and found that He had blessings for me all along. And for that, all the pain and trouble is worth it and more.