Friday, 22 July 2011

Little moments

My baby turned 7 months old yesterday. She is so cute and brings so much joy into my life. Everyday I thank God for the blessing that she has been to me and THE MAN.
So why is it that whenever I think about the day she was born, I feel like it was the most traumatic day of my life? Why, when I see a woman on TV give birth, do I nearly cry? And fight back tears whenever I drive past the maternity unit where I stayed? When I see pictures of friends and their newborns on facebook, why does my breath catch in my throat?
To understand, we need to go back to the beginning of the story. Years before getting married, my doctors told me that there was a very slim chance of me ever being able to have children. So when we found out we were pregnant, THE MAN and I were over the moon. What a miracle God had given us!
Unfortunately, the pregnancy was not as smooth as we had hoped. I was plagued with illness, and a blood disorder in which my platelets (the part of the blood that causes the blood to clot) was very low. I was constantly exhausted and weak.  But,  by the grace of God, my pregnancy went to full term, and the baby was perfectly well despite my constant illness. Being unwell was made bearable through prayer, lots of sleep and a photograph on the last page of my pregnancy book. The photograph was of a Mum, Dad and their newborn baby, moments after birth. The little family looked simultaneously happy and peaceful and together. I knew when I looked at that picture that no matter how bad the pregnancy was, I was going to have that moment. My husband and I would have the happy-peaceful-together moment- and it would be wonderful.
When the day arrived, I was ready. I knew what I had to do, and was so excited to feel the first contractions. But, just like my pregnancy, a smooth birth was not to be. My platelets were dangerously low-my blood would not clot. I was not allowed any pain relief for fear that the medication would make my platelets worse. An epidural was out of the question as it would cause excessive bleeding on my spine and cause permanent damage. The doctors told me an c-section was not an option as the bleeding would be too bad.  For two days I was in labour, exhausted and in terrible pain... and still my baby would not come. In the end, the doctors decided that the only way my baby was going to be born was by caesarean after all. But I would have to be put completely to sleep. And my husband was not allowed to be in the operating room, he had to wait in the maternity ward. Two hours and several blood transfusions later, I met my little girl for the first time.  She was beautiful and wonderful, but my heart was heavy. When my husband went home that night, I cried my eyes out. Not because of the bad pregnancy. Not because of the pain or exhaustion. But because I had missed my moment- MY moment. My happy-peaceful-together moment with my husband and my new born. Neither one of us saw her be born. Neither one of us was the first one to hold her. I cried out to God ‘Why would you do this to me? Why would you take away MY moment!’
And thats why I cant watch people on TV have babies, or listen to friends tell me how the birth of their babies went. When I see a picture of a newborn and his or her parents, I think ‘there it is, MY moment- thats what I missed.
I got thinking about this today, and I realised something. I have had so so so  many special moments with my little girl since she was born. I have had a million happy-peaceful-together moments with my baby and my husband. I am filled with joy when she smiles and learns new things. I love to watch her Dad read her stories and see the look of awe in her eyes when she looks at him.

And you know what- I SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAD EVEN ONE OF THESE MOMENTS. The doctors told me I should not have been able to get pregnant.  I should be, and am so grateful for every moment that I have with my child, because every moment never should have been.  And yet, my mind wanders back to the one moment I missed?
Its weird, right? But here’s the thing- no good thing that any of us have or experience should have happened either. The bible says that anyone who sins deserves swift and direct punishment, by death. Sin is breaking Gods law- the ten commandments. Noone whoever lived has managed to complete their life without breaking any of the ten commandments. We have all lied, stolen, disobeyed our parents and put our own desires before God. So what we all deserve is swift and direct punishment. We should all be in hell. And yet God gave us what we didn’t deserve- a way out. He sent his own son Jesus, who has never disobeyed God, and punished Him instead of us, through death of the most painful kind- being nailed to a cross.
So in the same way that every moment I have with my daughter is a moment I shouldn’t have had (according to my doctors), every good thing here on earth- every good moment is a moment that we shouldn’t have had. Moments that we don’t deserve. But by the grace of God- because God chose to show great kindness and mercy to by giving all our punishment to Jesus, we have these wonderful moments.
So we shouldn’t be looking then at the things we don’t have and lamenting as to why God withheld them from us. We shouldn’t be upset that God didn’t bring us into a perfect family, or give us a perfect body, or monetary riches. I shouldn’t be upset that he didn’t give me my perfect happy-peaceful-together moment. We should be overcome with gratitude that he has given us anything good at all. That we are alive and breathing with the hope of spending eternity in heaven! Instead of grieving over the loss of my moment, I should be grateful that I have a child at all.
Now if you are sitting in your chair like me, thinking ‘Im twice as bad now because I realise I should be grateful and yet Im still sometimes sad about the things I don’t have’. Dont worry, your not alone. And the good news is, Jesus died for that too.

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