Every pregnancy is exciting; all new life is to be celebrated. But our Elijah James, well, I’m just so darn excited.
His labour sucked. Sorry if that sounds crude, but it was super intense and pretty fast and I was so afraid and just couldn’t get my head in the game. But while the contractions left something to be desired, I pushed him out in under a minute. May not be material for a resumé, but I am proud nonetheless. I went from out-of-control pain and agony to the most complete and utter elation and joy in one life-changing moment.
He was born on Dec. 1, and I still catch my breath when I look in his eyes. He is my rainbow baby. He was born after the one we lost. After your baby dies, no matter how small, your happy cloud is popped. You know that life can change, life is fleeting, and that pain exists in this world.
And oh, how that was so evident in his nine months in my tummy.
A friend I love to pieces also lost her baby. She found out while she was carrying him that he had Trisomy 18; he had many challenges that she couldn’t change, or fix, or take away for him. And that’s when I saw the hypocrisy of our medical system and society: if you were in a car accident and there was only a 25% chance of being saved, doctors would tirelessly and heroically work to save you. However, if you haven’t been born yet, they call it a “an incompatibility to life.” Which, if you think life begins at conception, is ridiculous. You’re either alive, or you’re not. This precious baby, Eli, was alive. He was growing, moving and living inside her body. Pro-life took on a whole new meaning as I watched her and her hubby live out their beliefs. They had to fight the doctors and the system to make sure that their baby, after he was born, would have the same access to health care as someone 5, 10 or 15 years old. Watching it all unfold, we were so challenged by their faith.
After gearing up for a fight and finding people all over North America to support them, their precious baby Eli was born, and then went to be with Jesus soon after. It was a relatively short life, but he touched so many people, including our family. We have named our baby Elijah to honour Eli, and what he’s taught us about life.
Soon after baby Eli went home, my precious Oma left us. It was such a shock to me. I didn’t see her when she was sick, so it was easy to believe everything was exaggerated and we would all laugh about it later. I was always close to her- she used to babysit me when I was little and my mom worked, and then she would stay here in our home before we had kids for a few days each visit. With every new baby, and every funny story she was the first person I would call. I can still hear her voice, feel her hugs, and smell her Listerine. I miss her so badly.
And not long after we got home from Oma’s funeral, we lost three little girls that meant the world to our family. It was horribly and tragically unexpected. Our children have dreams about them and ask questions that I can’t answer. Their parents and brother are on my heart and mind every hour. It’s a pain that hasn’t dimmed.
So what do we take from this? How do we go on and live in such a painful world? I haven’t even taken into account societal issues- modern day slavery, refugees, governmental tyranny. How do we bring hope to this world?
It’s easy- hope was brought. Hope was given. And it didn’t come in an answer everyone expected; it wasn’t a huge symbol of God’s mighty hand and His strength.
It was a baby.
It changed everything.
And now 2,000 years later, a very normal, completely unDivine human baby has changed my little life. He probably won’t change the world, and that’s absolutely fine.
He changed mine.