Labor of Love

The day my youngest son was born is very memorable.

I was at the police station as a detective took my statement about what happened when I accidentally backed into a “No Parking” sign while trying to get to the appointment I had with my obstetrician earlier that month.

After knocking down half the sign, I decided that my Volvo station wagon didn’t fit in that parking spot so I quickly found another figuring I would take care of the problem later. I hate being late for appointments.

Immediately after I got home I called the City of Seattle and explained the situation to the gentleman. I offered to pay for the sign. He told me “Don’t worry about it Ma’am.” I felt happy that I didn’t need to pay for my negligence. Taking down his name and phone number I thanked him profusely.

Unfortunately, someone else had called the police and reported the accident. So, on September 24th, I sat at a desk while a detective interviewed me. I gave him the city employees name and phone number (the one who told me it would be “no problem).” With my belly sticking out I pled my case but I was still given a ticket and told that there would be a court date because I was appealing it.

My labor contractions started soon after I started answering the questions posed by the detective. Finally I felt I couldn’t hide my discomfort. Looking calmly at the detective I said “Officer, I am starting to have contractions, is it possible we finish this another time?”

With a surprised look on his face, the detective hurriedly said “Yes, of course, do you need me to take you to the hospital? Should I call an ambulance or someone else to pick you up?”

“No,” I told him. “I am going to pick my husband up as his work site is not very far from here.”

I exited the building and drove to my husband’s place of employment. From the lobby, I called him and told him that “it’s time.” He came down immediately and rushed me to the hospital.

During the Christmas season, people (including me) re-read the Biblical story of Mary and the birth of Jesus. I’m amazed when it tells of how she rode on a donkey while 9 months pregnant and then gave birth to Jesus in a dirty stable.

My experience on the final day of my pregnancy pales in comparison to Mary’s.

Volvo or donkey?
Hospital or ???
Doctor or midwife?
No showers

Once at the hospital the usual tests were given and my husband and I were told to go for a walk as my cervix was not fully dilated. Once, twice, thrice around the hospital we walked. Each time I told my husband “it’s time” he patiently told me that we could walk around “one more time.”

When we finally went back inside to the hospital room, they gave me another physical test but the baby was still not ready to come out. This time they asked me to take a shower and have the warm water hit my back which is where I was having the most pain.

Hmmm … I wonder if Mary had been told about breathing correctly while in labor?

When I finally got back to the bed, the pain in my back was intense. My husband kept rubbing my back but it was not helping. Finally I told the nurse “I want a shot!” What I really meant was that I wanted an epidural to numb the pain.

The doctor came in and gave me the bad news: “I’m sorry, it’s too late.” Too late?!!! What was she talking about? I didn’t realize there was such a thing as too late. “I’m really sorry,” she told me “but you are too far along and it would pose a danger to the baby.”

I was sorry too. I heard a woman in the next room who was ready to give birth yelling and she seemed to have all the attention. Me? I was trying not to embarrass myself. But if I had to let it all out to get some attention then that’s what I was going to do. I yelled and the nurse came. She checked me again. I told her I felt I was ready.

And this time I was.

Thinking about Mary again I’m sure she didn’t have the option of an epidural like I did. And let’s not sanitize the stable either because If she yelled, every animal around would have heard her screams but no nurse or doctor would have come running. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it would have been to be in labor sitting on hay.

All the niceties for me — no niceties for the King of the Universe. We’re not told of any complaints from Mary or Joseph.

The video below helps me visualize the “walk” that Joseph and Mary took while on their way to Bethlehem. To read the story of the birth of Jesus, click here.

Labor of Love


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