Born Again... and Birthing

I have a ridiculous fear of being pregnant, and even more so of the birthing process (consider it evidence that I am not yet ready to have a baby). I regularly and only semi-jokingly tell Bryan we’re adopting our children.

So story: a few weeks ago Bryan and I were on our way to church when we spotted family after family with little children dressed in their “Sunday Best”—no doubt on their way to church—board the same subway car we were on. Little suits and slickly parted hair, frilly dresses and bouncy ringlets full of hairspray…so adorable. There were also the dads with their scriptures, and the mothers with babies strapped to their tums, or backs, or wherever. And then of course the many prego mamas. I have to say they looked a bit…frazzled if you will. They looked tired and stressed and…well they really made being pregnant look like a terrible burden. Let’s be honest: they have a freaking watermelon hangin from their gut! That’s gotta hurt. Not to mention the fact that the watermelon they’re carrying somehow has to squeeze out… down... Yeah... that is quite the feat! I’m sweatin and cringing just thinking about it. Bry and I shared a few laughs at discussing these pregnant women, I told him we’re adopting, and then we went into church.

With time, my fears and heart softened a bit and I felt a little more open to the idea of carrying a little human within my womb (in many many years). In fact, come Sunday School I had nearly forgotten my anxiety. Then just as the class began, another woman entered—staggering carrying a baby on her front. It was strapped in the most peculiar contraption too. I again got fearful. Then the teacher stood: totally prego. She seemed so out of breath; she seemed so exhausted. No way, I whispered to Bryan. He chuckled knowing exactly what I was talking about.

The Sunday School lesson topic: Born Again. It was lovely really to talk about the principle of how we can be born again. Then this woman—I’d estimate she has five or so children (ok I have no idea)—raised her hand to share her “beautiful” insight:

"If you think about it, being born again can beautifully be compared with the birthing process. It’s not easy. In fact, it is the hardest and most painful experience a woman will ever physically and emotionally go through. Not only do you carry the baby for nine months causing you to have overwhelming emotional and physical side effects, but then you have to actually go through labor—meaning you have to work—in order to have the baby. And it’s hard work; it’s some of the most agonizing work you’ll ever have to do. And while you’re exerting yourself through the horrific pain and you get to that point where you’d almost rather be dead due to the nearly unbearable hurting, what is it that get’s you through it? Hope. The hope of what is to come. In labor the hope is the baby. Knowing that through this excruciating work something beautiful will come; a beautiful baby. The same goes for being born again. It is hard and sometimes painful work. It is a huge sacrifice. But we do it, and are able to do it because of the beautiful treasure that we will get in being born again."

At this point all of the mothers in the room were tearing up touched by this “beautiful” insight. I’m sure some day the analogy will touch me and elicit heartfelt tears; sitting in my seat, however, I was horror struck. She had just confirmed my earlier thoughts and fears. Bryan, on the other hand, was crying he was laughing so hard. Obviously he was not laughing directly at the woman’s genuine feelings, but at the fact that just earlier we had been discussing how terrified I am exactly for THAT. Only, so often women tell you “Oh, it’s not that bad.” I always told myself, They’re lying. How could that NOT be painful? You have to squeeze a mini human out of you!!! Right then and there, however, I was grateful for the lies of all other women. Let’s be honest, they’re probably not even lying. They’ve probably psyched themselves into thinking it’s not that bad so 1-they can forget the pain, and 2-so they’ll be able to have more children! Still, it was so perfectly timed that I too couldn’t help but crack up. Bryan and I were dying of laughter. I think people thought we were two! So memorable!

ps: I really do love babies. And I totally admire and respect mothers! That’s all.

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