Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birth Pains

Twenty-six years ago today, Mom and I finished a hard day's work together. I don't remember it, but she does. She did most of the work, of course, but I think I did some of it, too: not just in being born, but in learning how to breathe and nurse and cry and recognize people and understand the world.

Incredible changes happened in my circulation that day, thanks to an ingenious design. All of a sudden, my bloodstream switched from a gentle, low-pressure system with all its needs supplied by my mom to a pulsating, high-pressure stream of blood that had to be oxygenated by my very own lungs and fed by my tummy. In a matter of minutes, arteries and veins that had shunted blood to and from my umbilical cord suddenly constricted, soon to become ligaments. The pressure difference between the atria in my heart caused my foramen ovale to swish closed, separating the left and right atria so the blood could no longer course freely through, bypassing my little lungs. I didn't have to work at that. God had it all planned out ahead of time, and He made sure it worked for me.

Mom and Pa made all my decisions back then, and they chose the kind of birth that gave me the healthiest start in life, completely alert and unmedicated. It helped us bond closely in those first few hours, and it made my job of breathing and nursing and adjusting to the world much easier. Mom chose to work hard and feel the pain because she knew it would be best for us in the long run.

Today I make my own decisions, but I appreciate the choices Mom made back then. She got me off to a robust start. As a new year of life begins, I want to emulate those choices that benefited my first day of life. I want to choose daily to work hard for what's worthwhile. More than that, I want to choose to feel the pain that brings deep personal growth, and not try to dull it. After all, just as Mom's pain brought me into life, my own pain brings me back to the Author of Life.

And He works miracles in my heart that outdo even the transformation from fetal to neonatal circulation...every time I let Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment