Sara: Recently, we had our first birthing class. Unfortunately, it gave me nightmares! I very much like to have a plan for any situation in life. I’m the person who still carries around a paper planner everywhere because I’ve seen too many electronic devices die or lose data.
I like to think I typically rise to any occasion when I’m placed in it – whether it’s a flat tire, a long cross country run in high school, or a tragedy in the family. However, I usually handle these things best if I don’t know all the details or even realize that these things are coming.
With that in mind, I’ve worked really hard throughout pregnancy not to read too many pregnancy books or learn too much about the birthing process. For me, it’s typically best to take it one day at a time. Plus, I’m typically squeamish when it comes to bodily functions!
Our doctor encouraged us to take the hospital’s birthing classes, so we signed up. Justin (with his background in exercise science) has actually done a better job reading the two books we picked out than I have, and is a bit more knowledgeable about how the body works in general.
The birthing class was fine until they began talking about all the things that could go wrong within delivery and the expected intervention by the doctors. I kept thinking, “Please don’t let that happen to me!” Personally, I think knowing to go to the hospital when my contractions are five minutes apart would have been enough information for me. It was also really hard because they spoke of birth simply as a body function – not as a great miracle of life. The video they showed was also especially graphic, and I felt some of that information would have been best left as a surprise!
While the purpose of birth is obviously to get Baby Kraft out of my stomach and into the world, I do think it’s important to remember that each child, and each birth, is a miracle. Of all of the possibilities in the world, God chose to create our child. I’ve heard many women talk about the positive experience of birth, and beginning a family. I hope God blesses me with the ability to forget the pain of childbirth once our baby is placed in our arms, just like I’ve all but forgotten the discomforts of morning sickness during my first trimester.
Justin: I think one thing that made watching the video difficult is that it provided no emotional attachment to the families or the babies. Therefore, the video just showed the discomfort of birth, but one was really unable to experience the joy.
Hardship without purpose is very difficult to endure. However, hardship connected to purpose brings the power of redemption. This is a great lesson of the cross, that suffering connected to love redeems us and gives us great power to endure.
While I know Sara will experience a great deal that I can only imagine, I think the detail that is most important to understand is that her suffering will also lead to a great miracle, the introduction of Baby Kraft to the world. If we focus on this, our suffering will reap great reward.