On May 31st I had the opportunity to attend the birth of sweet little Emily.
It had been just an ordinary day hanging out with friends on Memorial Day and we had just settled in to bed. I awoke to Caleb's buzzing phone around 11pm. He had received a text from Jay saying they would need us to come get their daughter Jocelynne. I quickly called Jay and told him I'd be on my way. When I got to their home Jocelynne was still asleep and Maria said I didn't have to go right away and then in the middle of a contraction she begged me to stay.
As Jay nervously gathered items to take to the hospital I began rubbing Maria's back and trying to get a good read on about where she was in labor. It did not take long for me to figure out the baby was coming quickly. Water from the shower seemed to calm Maria down and quite a bit and become a little too soothing and I decided she was too close to holding this little baby for her to still be at home. I advised her that it was time to go. We got Maria into their car and then Jocelynne into mine. I followed them out of the neighborhood and continued on back home.
Joceylnne woke up with the biggest smile when I got her out of the car. It was as if she knew that if she was being tucked in at our house her little baby brother or sister would be here soon. I said prayers with her and kissed her goodnight. I texted Jay to make sure they had made it safely. He quickly texted me back-Maria was at 8cm already. I knew that Maria was disappointed that her sister had would not be able to be there as the baby was coming a few days sooner than expected and I offered to come to the hospital. Yes! Maria wants you to be here, Jay texted back. It was 3:00am and everyone was asleep, the baby was coming fast, I woke Caleb to let him know I would be back before he left for work. I left the house at 3:06. I was in Maria's room after checking in at 3:18. Baby Emily was born at 3:29.
Now at this point you’re probably thinking, weird, Sharon’s been talking about how having a miscarriage has affected her and the grieving process she has gone through and only two weeks after losing her own child she attended a birth! Trust me it’s not one of the first things I thought I’d be doing so soon either, but it was an amazing experience I would never give up. In all honesty there have been a few weird things through out this whole thing which had it been scripted in a movie or something you would never do. First off you wouldn’t send a pregnant woman to console someone just minutes after a miscarriage had been confirmed. Yet that’s who Caleb called and who was at my house within minutes of the phone call from our midwife and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone but Maria to be there. Of course I was just as worried about her as she was about me. After all she is my best friend and as close as a sister to me.
So when it came time for little Emily to be born I couldn’t think of anything else. Once I knew the baby was coming I was so excited for them, for all of us, and so thrilled and honored that she wanted me to be there. One of the things that became such a blessing to me was the realization that the circumstances surrounding us and the sorrow I had experienced did not change who I was and the gifts God has given me. Caleb and I believe God has given us the gift of being able to encourage others and the night Emily was born would firmly establish my confidence in that.
After an unpleasant experience with an epidural, Maria was determined to deliver without pain medication this time around. Having delivered our three boys naturally myself I knew she could do it and wanted her to have a successful birthing experience. She resisted going to the hospital until I urged her to go because she was afraid they would pressure her into having pain medication. I encouraged her as much as I could and assured her that if she was firm about her decision the nursing staff would accommodate her and honor her requests. When I helped her into the car and Jay went back in the house to get Jocelynne she closed her eyes and said “I can’t do this.” But I knew she could and told her “your body is already doing this and when I see you again you’ll be holding your little baby.” Maria softly whimpered through another contraction “Okay.”
Good thing Maria felt enough encouragement because little Emily seemed to be in a hurry to arrive. If she had wanted an epidural I don’t think there would have been time. I had thought it would be hard to see someone in so much pain but we all knew the baby was coming and Maria could do it-all that was left to do was to cheer her on and we did. I’ve never felt so joyful or been so proud of someone. Maria did amazing, and the best part was that she felt so successful in delivering sweet Emily without medication. Later Maria told me that, she could hardly concentrate and she had been listening for my voice through it all, that it had been my encouraging words that had literally helped her push through the pain. What a gift, I felt to have given her something she had wanted, the encouragement she needed to see it through and welcome a little girl into her family.
Yet the most rewarding blessing was to realize that the sorrows in my own life had not interrupted any of this joy. I hadn’t thought about any of our circumstances for even a second. I truly realized the power of the Holy Spirit in my life giving the ability to set aside my own sorrows and completely immerse myself in the joy of Emily’s birth. It was a new day, I drove home in a daze, so excited to be alive and part of this new little life coming into the world. I uploaded the photos I had taken at the hospital as soon as I got home and began processing them, still filled with too much energy and excitement to sleep. Jocelynne woke up and stood at the office door and I invited her to sit on my lap and see the photos I’d taken of her new baby sister. Even those moments before anyone else in the house was awake were so precious-sharing the news of life as Jocelynne oohed and awed at tiny little toes and fingers. I told her “It’s not a surprise anymore, you have a new little sister” and she smiled.
Hi, I'm Sharon
...and these are my adventures as a mom, as a musician, and as a writer using my creative abilities to navigate this life. It is my hope that in some way my life is an encouragement to you. Come join me as I strive to embrace contentment and gratitude amidst this busy, exhausting and wonderful life.