That day the earth stood still. Ceased to spin on it’s axis. There was no time. There was nothing, but great holy work.
When my work ended I had finally, after 15 hours, pushed a baby out of myself and into the world. One becoming two.
When my work ended his began. There was no crying that sprang forth and filled the room upon delivery, the way you see in the movies. The cry that signals all is well, I’m ready to join the world. It was confusingly silent. And my brain addled by pain and lack of sleep refused to understand why they rushed him away so quickly from me, his mother, the very person who labored to give him life, and would continue in that task for as long as I live. The very person who vowed to keep him safe, and sound, and secure, and happy. We had spent the last 9 months cohabitating, and now the sweet baby boy that I had carried for so long within me, was gone far away, down a hall to an elevator and two floors beneath me.
Then there was time. How much remains a mystery, but I swam in and out of conscious thought, trying to recuperate my mind and my body, while my husband, so steadfast in his support of me for hours and hours, transferred all of that support to our son. The most natural transaction on the planet.
And my new support became my aunt and sister who stayed by my bed while I slept groggily. My mother-in-law who had every prayer warrior she knew on their knees begging God for intersession. These are who held me up in that time.
When the fog lifted, my body though broken through and through, became a a magnetic force desperate to unite with it’s pole. I rode a wheel chair down the hall, to an elevator and two floors down to see my baby. He was in the NICU, and his head was carefully placed beneath a tiny box that was pumping oxygen rich air into his face, so the tiny breaths he were able to draw were oxygenated enough to sustain his life.
Though hesitant to leave his side, I could sense that I was a disturbance in the limited space of the NICU. The nurses and doctors sidestepping my wheel chair, so I reluctantly left to my room to wait. And there waiting with me were the people who love me. My mom and dad. My mother and father-in-law. My sisters. My aunts. Everyone joining me in my anguish.
Waiting is the worst. It’s quiet, this waiting. There is an expanse of space that takes over and give us time to think all the thoughts we try so hard not to. I don’t know how long I waited. Time was standing still, remember? Non-existent. Inconsequential.
Eventually they made the choice to transport my child a whole state away, out of the doors of the hospital where I was required to stay, over a river, and to another hospital that specializes in healing children from their illnesses. And of course… of course I wanted him to goto get well, but letting him go was an act of my will that contradicted my instinct to be a mother. This carnal evolutionary thing within me that had been there since the beginning of time, to fight and kill and violate and maim for the sake of the child I bore.
Then they wheeled my baby into my room in an incubator. I’ve seen wires and tubes and masks covering a person before but they were all adult sized to fit an adult human. The things he was covered in were grotesquely miniature able to fit only infants. They shouldn’t exist, but do in this broken world. And from under his mask he was squalling his displeasure about circumstances. I sat in my wheel chair at his perfect eye level, and snaked my hand through the hole in the side of the incubator. I rubbed his tiny perfect hand, and introduced my self to him.
“Silas, I’m your momma.”
His crying ceased and he looked over and we met. For the first time realizing who I was. For the first time seeing who he was.
This moment among 29 years of moments stands out as completely unique. No words can explain….
Our souls danced.
The parts of ourselves that were the same recognized itself in the other.
The parts of God within us did the same.
The whole damned world stood at attention, paused their harried labor, and paid homage to us. A mother being born. A child starting life. An unquenchable love fully and finally realized.
And we stayed that was for what seemed both and eternity and an actual half a second. Not nearly long enough, but long enough to communicate a love that fills the expanse of time and space. I softly spoke the words he’d need to get well. I told him all about my love, and his father’s love, and his Father’s love. And promised I’d see him soon.
Then they rolled him away.
And after 15 hours of grueling painful natural labor, I finally discovered what real pain was. Being separated from the two people I love more than anything in the world, my husband and my newborn son, hurt worse than the scope of physical pain, something of which I was keenly aware.
But my dad was there, standing right beside me like a mountain, that had grown from the ground for this very occasion. I laid my head on his side, and he held me up. He patted my head with his massive hand, and loved a piece of the fear right out of me.
Then my vision broadened and my mom was there. Worrying so perfectly over every little part of all this. Taking special care to think about stuff that I couldn’t even grasp. And she held me up. And she loved some of the fear away too.
Then my mother-in-law led us in prayer. Ushering us to the throne room, begging God to do what he promised. Overcome the evil one, remain faithful, produce miracles, in this day and age. And she held me up. And the fear was losing it’s grip.
And then I approached the throne room on my own in my heart. Wondering to God what this was all about. Understanding new things about being alive and being in pain for the people you love. Remembering Jesus on His cross, and thanking Him with new fervor. And God in His abundant mercy took the little bit of fear that was left, defeated it, wrapped me in His arms, and gave me that peace you read about in the Bible. Perfect, inexplicable peace.
That night, my husband got to hold our baby for the first time. All of the problems that he originally had began correcting themselves almost immediately.
Three days later, we went home.
Today Silas turned 2.
I was praying this morning, thanking God for two years of healthy, joy filled life for my sweet child. And God reminded me of this battle we fought and won at the hospital two years ago.
He impressed upon my heart that that day in labor and delivery, Satan showed up to stop us both. And that my precious little baby, who had an Apgar score of 1, had just as much chance of dying as he did of living.
The darkness came to stop me from what it is I am doing here on this earth. To stop me from l from writing, and from making disciples, and from loving as fully as I do right now.
To stop Silas, who is equal parts fire and enthusiasm. Who’s will is so strong that my own will bows down in submission from time to time. Who will move and shake, for the love of his Savior one day. Who is already teaching spirit lessons of joy and peace and patience right from his little two year old body.
But that day, we won.
The gates of hell did not prevail against us.
God answered our prayers.
God beat back darkness.
And three days later, we emerged from the battleground, mother, father, child, covered with God’s Holy Spirit, Victorious.