Pregnancy and the Power of Prayer
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It was after midnight last Wednesday, and her contractions had been occurring off and on for hours. My wife and I looked at each other, exchanging glances which were equal parts joy, equal parts anxiety.
If our newest child was ready to make her entrance into the world, then of course we were glad to welcome her. But did it have to be right now?
My mother-in-law was on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic at that moment. The plan was for her to arrive a little over a week prior to our baby’s due date so that she could help out when the big day arrived. Of course, that wouldn’t work out so well if she happened to be stuck in the airport or still in-flight at kick off.
I asked my wife what our plan should be if that occurred. I had to ask, because I didn’t have any ideas. After some discussion, we came to the consensus that the unfortunate scenario outlined above simply couldn’t happen –indeed, wasn’t allowed to happen– due to it making matters too complicated. We hoped and prayed that God would agree.
The night passed without incident (albeit with many more contractions). After waking, I checked with my wife to make sure everything was okay. So far, so good. Maybe it was just false labor?
I went to work relieved. I actually joked about the matter with a co-worker — can you imagine the predicament I’d be in if my mother-in-law got stuck at the airport while I took my wife to the hospital? Or if I was at the airport when my wife needed to be taken to the hospital?
Not a pleasant thought at all, actually. I didn’t joke about it too much.
After a couple of hours at work, I went to the airport. Mother-in-law arrived safe and sound with baggage completely un-lost. Drove home, unloaded mother-in-law, handed keys to my wife so she could make her OB appointment. Headed to the door, prepared to take my alternate vehicle back to work. Mother-in-law stopped me:
“She’s in no condition to drive herself to this appointment.”
Ah. So much for false labor!
Luckily for us, the OB appointment that day was in an office that was in the same building as the hospital. And, after getting her OB’s expert opinion (which didn’t take too long, considering the contractions had come back with a vengeance), it was just a short walk to the birthing center.
Several hours later, after grueling work and pain the likes of which I will never know, two miracles came to fruition. The first was the birth of our youngest daughter, our fourth child (may our dear miscarried Isabella pray for us).
iConfiteor: I practically missed the birth of our third child. Why? I got hungry, and it looked like my wife had plenty of time left before delivery, so I left the hospital and went to McDonald’s. If not for a very patient doctor, a very, veeery patient and understanding wife, and a working cell phone, I’d have been munching on fast food instead of watching my son be born.
The second was the manner in which her birth came about. As I looked at my darling wife and newborn daughter, I had a chance to reflect upon how all this came to be. This pregnancy was not without its share of complications. For months we’d prayed that the pregnancy and birth would be as natural and safe as possible for both mother and child. We’d asked Isabella, St. Gerard and other saints for their intercession, and we’d benefited from the prayers of family members and friends in our community and around the world. The result? Absolutely everything we’d prayed for and more. (I mean, could the timing of that flight have been any better?)
Thank you Lord for the gift of prayer. And thank you for the gift of my daughter.