We decided that the time had come to have a baby- we’d been married a couple years and were both approaching the age of 30, my personal deadline for having children (Mother had her last at 40 and guess who became the live-in babysitter) Nature wasn’t being very cooperative, though; six months of trying with no results and I was getting a little worried. But God had things under control; on Easter Sunday, Chris accepted Jesus as Savior and five weeks later, I learned I was pregnant. I’ll always remember the day we told Chris’ Mom; we bought some balloons, tied them to a jelly-bean filled baby bottle, and set them on the kitchen counter when we arrived that afternoon. We sat in the living room, chatting with my MIL and biding time until she went to get her next Diet Pep*si. When she finally walked into the kitchen, we waited for the explosion of emotion, but nothing happened; when we couldn’t stand the silence any longer, we looked around the corner to see her sitting on the kitchen floor, the baby bottle cradled in her arms, with tears running down her cheeks.
I touched on the problems we struggled through here; I pretty much had to opt-out of most everything for months, leaving Chris to do the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and caring for Jessica. Being a new Christian, he naturally clung to God, learning to accept the help and friendship offered by members of our church. We both grew a lot through that time.
Finally, the day came; I had quit working six weeks earlier and had been allowed to stop the medication, so I was feeling much better. We overcame our fears, making love for the first time in weeks; I awoke after midnight with steady, but moderate contractions. In the dark, quiet hours, I walked, rocked, and labored alone, waking Chris at 4:30 to tell him it was time to get Jessica ready to go to his Mom’s house.
We arrived at the hospital a little past 5:00 and were settled into a labor room, since both birthing rooms were occupied. After about 20 minutes, I calmly told Chris to get a nurse, because I was feeling the urge to push; being a terrified first-timer, he scurried out on his mission, only to be told it was too soon, I was only dilated 4, there was plenty of time, someone would be there in a while, blah-blah-blah. He relayed the message to me and I, a little less calmly, asserted that he needed to insist on a nurse coming in now; when repeating his request to the attending, with a large sigh she asked how many times I had given birth- when he replied “This is the third”, there was suddenly a flurry of activity. Three nurses and the doctor on duty came flying in and within 10 minutes, Samuel Christopher made his entrance, protesting this early morning wakeup in his deep, loud cry.
The next hour was a little blurry; I remember seeing Chris gingerly holding a swaddled Sam while sitting on the toilet, the only place for him out of the way; the doctor asking me what this big boy’s name was and proclaiming Samuel “an excellent name” (guess what Dr Young’s first name is); listening to the discussion on tying flies while my stitches were being done and the incredulous look on the nurse’s face. I found myself settled in the recovery room, sipping a juice box, with my boy snuggled to my side; that’s when the tears came and my heart was filled with gratitude. I began to quietly sing to him; the only songs I remember were the Carpenters’ Close to You and the Doxology I learned at my grandmother’s church years before:
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
Here we are, eighteen years later, and aside from being completely flummoxed as to how we got old enough to have three adult children, the overcoming emotion is still one of gratitude and pride. Sam is definitely the son of both parents- his father’s looks, outgoing nature, desire to serve; his mother’s love of numbers and words, quirky sense of humor, and enthusiasm in learning new things. He has a zest for adventure, a heart for God, and the desire to see justice done; just look at his motto-
Fight for a just cause
Love your neighbor
Live a good life
A parent couldn’t ask for more.