Thursday, December 8, 2011

Because Mary gave birth in a manger

It has burned me up since Ethan was born that he had to be in the NICU and for no reason, as test results later proved. Aside from the enormous bill that racked up, the main reason I was so mad was because I didn't get to be with my baby as much as I wanted in his first few days. I didn't get my first night I'd always dreamed of, holding him and staring at him and having him look back at me and just reveling in the joy and bonding together. Instead he spent that first night all hooked up. Being cared for by random nurses who got to do his first diaper change and figure out that he liked being bounced and didn't like a pacifier. He had to lay on a table and be checked on now and again, instead of being constantly in my arms and knowing he was loved. It's really burned me up.

During testimony meeting on Sunday, a woman I know stood up and bore her testimony. She just had her third baby. She bore her testimony of great women that have come before us. She talked about Mary, and how labor is such a scary and intense experience as it is, but Mary had to ride a donkey in labor and give birth outside on the ground in the cold surrounded by animals. She said how frightening and hard that must have been. Tears filled my eyes. In that moment I decided to let go of my anger. I will probably always feel a little heartache over the first night, not getting to be with him, and I think I have every right to feel sad about it. But I'm not angry anymore. Mary certainly didn't have the ideal birth experience. The task before her was far greater than my own, and required so much more faith. I'm sure it wasn't her life's dream to bring her sweet baby into the world on a bed of hay and into a world where others would persecute and try to harm him. And because of Mary, I am letting go.