Going the Full Forty
We have come to the end of “Forty Weeks”, the blog I began back on the first day of Spring, March 21/21.
That first blog spoke about the “Fullness of Time”. We are now at it, just in time for Christmas!
Coincidentally, I was just with a mom who went the “Full 40” and had a beautiful baby boy. She wanted to wait until the fullness of time, and she did…even though because of her age and stage she was a candidate for early induction. She bided her time with her OB carefully watching, and had her baby at the moment he was meant to come.
Often mamas ‘go overdue’, but remember, due dates are fluid, and imprecise at best. Many moms keep a keen eye on the calendar and keep their fingers and legs crossed until that magic date. But did you know that only 4% of babies are actually born on their due dates?
(see https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31046144) for a good article on this topic)
A mom whose birth I attended a few years ago was sure she would have her baby on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. She felt it was her ‘lucky day’. But St. Paddy must have been snoozing because the day came and went. Mom was now ‘overdue’. Every 3 days she was going to the hospital and getting a biophysical test: a profile of baby’s well-being in the womb, monitoring the fetal heart rate, taking an ultrasound, making sure baby is moving and checking amniotic fluid levels, among other markers.
As it was, baby came on another auspicious day, the first day of spring! Mom started to contract in the morning, went to her midwife appointment as usual and then went for a long walk. By dinnertime she was getting intermittent contractions, but they were in full force by mid-evening. When I arrived mom was on all 4’s, in the ‘zone’, breathing through each rush and blowing them away. Shortly after, while the midwife was still setting up, mom went to the bathroom and we heard the change in her vocal sounds – she was getting ‘pushy’. Baby came to full bloom half an hour later, right on her own time!
Remember, a due date is not an expiration date! Many, many women go beyond that date, while God puts the ‘finishing touches’ on their babies. His own son, Jesus, was born at just the right time in history, and so is your baby going to be. Your baby will be right on time, in the cosmic sense of it. We don’t know why we are/were born in a certain century, during various joys and woes in our world. But God does. He knows just when you, and your baby, were, and are to be born. Rest in that thought. The Maker of the Universe has Time in his hands. Your time. Baby’s time.
Let’s recall that verse from Galatians 4:4 that we began this series with:
…when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights as children of God.
Another passage I love is from the book of wisdom called Ecclesiastes. In chapter 3, verse 2, is written:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die…
When the time was right and the preparations complete, God sent his Son, Jesus, born in a humble manger to bring us into full relationship with himself through redemption by Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.
The wood of the manger morphed into the wood of the cross. What once held Jesus as a baby was lifted up to hold him as he died. What a picture of salvation!
I want to end this blog with an encouragement. You will remember your baby’s birth. Each birth, if you have more than one. They are the kind of memories that will be indelibly written on the chalkboard of your brain, and the chambers of your heart. There may be some memories that are hard and painful. Work through them, on paper and by talking with someone who understands. And the ones that are beautiful…. Think on them. Treasure them as Mary treasured her pregnancy and birth with Jesus (Luke 2:19). I still remember the lovely Irish nurse that helped me with breastfeeding my first baby almost 40 years ago. I remember the nurse that got impatient with me when I was almost at the pushing stage with my daughter, shouting at me to wait til the doctor arrived. And I remember the IV hurting on my hand more than the contractions did with my third-born! All in all, I remember holding my babies after birth, cradling them in my arms and being thankful, so thankful.
I still am.