Pain in Childbearing

Giving birth is daunting.

“To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.'” {Genesis 3:16}

It was physically the most exhausting work I have ever endured. It was the most emotionally draining. It was the least pleasurable experience of my life. It was by far the most painful.

Yet here she is. “In pain you shall bring forth children.” In pain you shall bring forth Raychel Joye. For all intents and purposes, God told me well ahead of time that the daughter I so desired would not come to be without suffering.

I suffered. She is worth it.

Every moment of her existence – even the moments in which she is trying my patience – are precious and sacred. I feel grateful. I get worn out sometimes and I was down right depressed when I first entered this paradigm, but not one moment of that child’s life has passed without the blinding reality shining in my face that she is a gift. Somehow I could feel no emotional connection to her whatsoever, yet still know, despite myself, that she deserved nothing less than all I had for her. Even if it wasn’t very much. She deserved the pain I’d endured to bring her here and my sacrifice of love every day following.

Childbirth is scary, but even the hope of a child on the other end of the suffering is just too much to turn away from. Children are a gift. I may not always believe that as fully as I do now. I have heard from some that having multiple children is vastly different than having one and that I may not always want more children, but whether I believe it or not, it’s true. God says it. It’s true. Children are a gift. The precise instant I first saw her justified everything. Even a moment with her is a gift.

I have no idea when God will allow us to get pregnant again – or if he ever will. But I do know that whatever pain I am to endure, whatever hardship or struggle, the child I get to hold because of it will be, like RJ, worth it. Just like we were worth the immense pain God had to suffer. If I can be nearer to my Father’s heart by withstanding childbirth or legalities or whatever “pain” set before me, I will be able to love my children better for it. I’m not convinced that bringing forth children was pain free even in Eden, but now there is a divine purpose. I don’t think it is merely a punishment. I think we, as women, have the incredible honor of being able to relate to God in a specific and special way. We get to bring forth life and we get to suffer greatly to do so. In his wisdom, God made our curse useful to our now sinful selves. I believe I appreciate this child more because of how hard I worked to get her here (as we appreciate food much more when we have to work for it, a fact I am learning with my gardening man!).

We want another child very much. Nursing is making conception impossible for the time being, but we are already – and have been – excited for the next one. But I won’t lie, the thought of labor frightens me. I remember how difficult it was to endure… But I also remember the miracle that happened when I saw her. How despite the intensity of what had just happened, despite the pain I should have been feeling all over, all I felt was love. Not just as a feeling, as a presence. I was submerged in love. There was absolutely no pain whatsoever. No exhaustion even. No fear. No questions. No doubt. Love. I was full of joy and peace. It was what I imagine Heaven will be like (only, I trust, just a shadow). All of my senses were heightened and focused acutely on my family – Gabe and Raychel. Nothing else was even in the peripheral.

So yeah. In pain I shall bring forth my children. But I’ll take it. If it means I get to relate to God better, appreciate those blessings more, and experience a complete and miraculous renewal I will not only take it, I’ll thank God for it. I’ll embrace the suffering and rejoice in the honor.

One thought on “Pain in Childbearing

  1. Pingback: Preparing for Labor | The Halfhearted Hippie

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