Holy Moments

Today is Lucy’s due date and her three-week birthday. Plus today was her dad’s first day back at work, marking our first day home alone.

It’s so hard to believe that we have made it through the last three weeks. I am SO happy that I had her when I did. I couldn’t imagine still being pregnant. I felt like I was going to pop. Plus I felt like we have weathered a few storms and I would hate to even think about going through all of that again.

Earlier this week, we caught the second half of Juno on HBO. We saw this movie in the theater when it came out a while back. But this was the first birth scene I had seen since my own three weeks ago. I managed to make it through my entire pregnancy without feeling compelled to watch a birth on Discovery Health. In fact, I don’t know if you can really count the birth movies we watched in our four-hour birthing class. Henry and I covered our eyes in the really intense parts. So I was a tad bit taken aback when I SOBBED when Juno gave birth, just like I had when my baby was finally placed upon my belly.

I also sobbed when I read this account of our birth written by Amy, my pastor/doula. She recounted our labor and compared it to the moments of when you go from unholy to holy. What marks that transition? Good question. Certainly it is clear when you finally meet this person whom you have been talking to for nine months. Plus you have just worked together to complete an intense collaborative effort to enter this world. All of a sudden you meet for the first time after enduring the greatest physical challenge I personally hope to ever face. (Everyone promises the second child will be easier! Right?)

For me the moment came in the final minutes of my labor. Three tiny, beautiful, female doctors stood at my feet shaking their heads and whispering to one another. My baby was face up and stuck. With my team by my side (Henry, Amy, and my dedicated nurse, who they actually asked to leave, but she refused), I felt like we were hope facing skepticism. The doctors absolutely did not believe that she was making any progress. They said that we were going to try the forceps. After the attempt, they again shook their heads and said nope… nothing happened. Well, we take that back. She actually moved a little bit. Do you want to push some more? I said that I “might could,” at which point, one of the residents asked if I was from North Carolina, because she has only heard “might could” in North Carolina. Yes, I am, actually. Then I pushed a little longer. She moved a little more. More head shaking and shoulder shrugging. Do you want to try the forceps again? Okay… Again, I closed my eyes to the pessimistic faces of the doctors and pushed with all of my might. I looked up at Amy and asked for confirmation that I could do it. “Hayden (her first born) was face up, ten pounds, and a natural childbirth?” “Yep, you can do it.” More pushing… Then I felt the cold medicine fill my spine. More and more people were gathering around as they were prepping me for a Cesearean. I had the chance for one more push. This time I asked Amy to pray for me. Then I asked everyone in the delivery room to call her name. “Come on, Lucy!” And I told myself, “I can do it.” And like that she was out.

We made it. I think that everyone left with tears in their eyes. And there we faced certainly a holy moment, when faced with the challenge, I went above and beyond what I believed I could ever do.

When we actually drove Lucy home five days later, the colors all around seemed brighter and more vivid. Everything was crisp and beautiful. To me, when I experience this intensity of color, I know that it is in fact a holy moment. Here we were on our way home together with a new little person who will completely change our lives from that moment forward. Someone we don’t really know, but already love.

My friend Corey is also going through a similar journey with the adoption of a daughter from Russia. She is in Russia right now and for the last three days I have eagerly read about her meeting her daughter – a little girl she has been praying for for over a year and finally met this week for the first time. Be sure to read Corey’s journey to Russia, meeting her daughter, and the follow-up the next day. It’s amazing to read about their initial interactions and the connection they already have.

I was also amazed the first time they brought Lucy into my room and she started crying. I simply placed my hand on her body and told her “This is Mama” and she stopped crying instantly. I guess that is the miracle of motherhood.

Happy Birthday, Little Bear. You slept right through our singing the song.

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  1. EliseBlaha

    this is so beautiful. i read it outloud to paul. he is not quite as moved, but he should be.

    happy birthday little Lucy!

  2. leanngunterjohns

    i've been reading your blog for quite a while. I consistently read Pastor Amy and know of the ministries of Calvary through a good friend of mine, Eric Bebber. Amy's story about your birth experience, "Holy Moments" was beautiful but reading your version today, brought me to tears. Thanks for sharing this and introducing your daughter to us. She's beautiful. Happy Birthday Lucy!

  3. cam


    this is a really amazing story. I wonder if you'd be interested in coming to our site: ahamoment.com and telling it. the site was created by Mutual of Omaha and it's intended for people who've had inspiring experiences to come and tell their story and in doing so give others a chance to be inspired.

    if you're interested great.

    thanks for considering



  4. Caroline Armijo

    Thanks so much for all of your comments! I even forgot to include one of my favorite parts, which I guess will be another blog entry.

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