After a quick, intense and stalled labor, Lydia was delivered by emergency C-section.
Once the decision was made and the consent forms signed, I made a strange transition from an active role to passive one: where before I had been the one doing the work of getting this child born, I found myself suddenly being worked upon. I was point A, and the doctor and nurses were working swiftly to get Lydia out into the open air: point B.
This was not how I’d envisioned giving birth.
In the first week after Lydia was born, I cried a lot. I cried because I was happy and overwhelmed just looking at this new little creature who came from nothing. I cried because I was exhausted and hormonal, but I also cried because I’d lost something in the process of gaining her: there was that one swift glimpse of her face in the operating room, and then I didn’t see her again until some time later, when she was bathed and bundled up and she was brought to me to hold. It felt like I was merely borrowing her from the nurse, like I would have to give her back.
But she was whole. That’s what I am reminded of again and again, when I get to feeling too acutely sorry for myself: she is beautiful and healthy and safe, and I am borrowing her. One day I will have to give her back. That is a hard fact of marriage, of family and also, I’m finding, of parenthood. We cannot posses these people that we love, and neither should we desire to: God gives them to us for a while to love, and then he calls them back.
For the fact that he’s given us Lydia, I am grateful, and I am learning to be grateful that he’s given her to us in his way. Truthfully, that is the only way I would hope for.