I have been married three times; I am on my third. Not a bragging point but just something to preface the following discussion. I had two children from my first marriage, one of which was not mine (I was in the Army) and the other one does not want to claim me as his Father. My current and third marriage came along late enough in life that we would not consider children. So that leaves my second marriage.
I had two children with my second wife; a daughter and a son. Today they are 33 and 29 years of age respectively. I love them both with all of my heart. I love them with an emotion that the English language has not been able to describe in words yet. If you are a parent, you know what I mean.
My second marriage was heaven sent. We were ecstatically in love. Ours was the marriage every one wanted to mentor. Of course, things happen and here I am, on marriage number three. However, my second wife and I were deeply in love at the time we had our children.
Our first child was our daughter; we named her after one of my wife’s aunts. We walked out of the Doctor’s office and my wife looked worried. She hadn’t told me yet. I thought this was just a routine doctor visit. About halfway down the walk she turned to me and told me she had to tell me something. I stopped and tried to interpret her mood but couldn’t. She took my hands and looked me straight in the eyes and said “We are going to have a baby.”
I didn’t stop to think, I didn’t question, I didn’t doubt, I just took her words for truth and almost took a knee at the same time. The most wonderful thing that could ever happen to us is really going to happen. My wife continued “Your happy? You don’t mind?” I could scarcely mouth the words I was so excited. She had thought I might be upset. I could not have been happier.
I was going to school, we had no money, and I had no job, now she wanted to throw a kid into this mess? I said Yes, Yes, Yes! I was delirious with joy. There is no good time to have a child but there is also no bad time to have one either. Just have your babies, love them and enjoy your life with them.
We took exacting care of my wife. Everything had to be perfect for this our first baby. Even with all of our precautions my wife still ended up in the hospital about a month too early. She had some disorder that caused her to retain body fluids. I forget the actual name but she was basically incapacitated for the last month of her pregnancy. At least she would be getting the best of care.
I would visit every day, sometimes twice a day. Things were always the same, no changes yet. One day I came in and things were different. She was being put into a wheelchair. They were taking her to delivery. The Doctor didn’t think it wise to wait any longer so he initiated the labor with some medication.
Now, I don’t know how deliveries go, but I know this one was a little different. We got in the delivery room and right away the doctor told me to lie across my wife’s belly. I looked at him with a puzzled expression. He repeated my instructions so I did so. My wife was having such a hard time delivering this baby that the Doctor was hoping extra pressure from my weight would help the process.
Finally, with an exasperated moan from my wife and an “It’s a girl” from the doctor, he had a handful of baby. He quickly handed the baby off to a nurse who hung onto both of the baby’s legs with one hand and flung her up on a stainless steel tray with a baby blanket on it.
I looked in disbelief because I just knew this blue lump of idle flesh could not possibly be my baby. Our daughter was lying, lifeless and almost flat, on her side. There was no movement and no sign of life of any kind. My heart was sinking with every split second of looking at her. Could it really be possible that we do not get to keep our lovely child after all? Then I saw the most beautiful transformation I have ever been privileged to be a part of. It was something so amazing it could only have come from a loving God.
That little blue lump of silent clay gradually came to life. In a few seconds this little girl swelled up, her arms flung out to her sides and her mouth opened wide with a shout of freedom. That was my little girl screaming for attention. “Here I am Damn it. Somebody better pay attention.” Within seconds she was a bright creamy pink and her arms and legs looked like little balloons being inflated. Her legs were kicking, her arms were flailing and her mouth, wow, did she ever have a set of lungs!
I have been present at several other births in my life but this one, my first child and all the conditions surrounding it, is the one that left a lasting impression in my heart and mind. There is simply no way anyone who witnesses anything similar to what I hat the distinct privilege to see that day, can ever deny there is a God. I watched as God’s holy breath entered my little girl’s lungs that day. I looked on as this lifeless lump of flesh and bone took on her own individual personality. I watched our Lord and Master give my little girl the life she enjoys today; and I thank him! I thank him daily. I know he is there because I have my child.