Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Arrival of a Belated Christmas Present

After a little break I am finally ready to share with you this little post. I thought I would manage before now, but one doesn't realise how much giving birth affects you not only physically but also mentally and when, after a couple of days, I picked up the computer to put down a few words... I was just not able to. After spending sometime in this kind of a limbo, where your body recovers faster than your mind I am finally ready slowly slowly to come back to earth.

About a year ago our children decided the family was ready to welcome another brother or sister (preferably a brother). They were very insistent and would not accept 'not yet' for an answer. After a time of prayer and discernment we eventually agreed with what they had been warmly desiring.

I am not going to bore you with all the gory details of the birth, which considering past experiences went very well, bar the fact that Maria was back to back which apparently makes for more painful contractions and definitely a more interesting last push.

I really feel Maria Bernadette was not just the fruit of our marital love, but also the fruit of the love that is shared within the family. 

It was at Christmas that opening one of their presents the children found a soft toy lamb, a pair of booties and a card announcing the arrival of a new baby. The joy that little announcement brought to their hearts was unbelievable.

Today that announcement has become tangible! At Christmas (for them... not so much for me as I was already 12 weeks pregnant) Maria Bernadette was just an idea, a promise, the hope of a new life... today she is here, before our very eyes and what a beautiful sight she is for us all.

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come...
Yes! I was worried and in pain... but for the first time the older children were big enough to look after the younger ones. At 3am we quickly went upstairs to kiss them, tell them we were off to have the baby and to ask for their prayers. They obviously woke up and full of excitement later told us they didn't manage to get to sleep till early morning.
The boys ran the house in the morning amazingly well and by 7.30 am everyone was up and ready for school. I must confess you... we are usually not even awake by 7.30! 
It was beautiful to see the children involved both physically and emotionally in the whole process. Yes! This time it felt different from the other times, not because it was more painful due to Maria's unusual position, but because it was a journey that we were all sharing together from the very beginning.

but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world.

That was true for me as well as for the entire family. Another Christian was born into the world, another victory of Christ over our selfishness and comfort. Less space in the house, less time, less money, more love to give, more experiences to share, more life to gain.

To the people we came across in the past ten days we were an alien encounter. Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitors could not believe what they were witnessing... A married 'youngish' couple with a bunch of decently behaved children, and a couple of teenagers that talked to adults. A happily married couple that to the 'So are you going to have more?'  question was not afraid to answer with  a smile. 
"Are we going to have more?" ..."Six is the perfect number for the moment and when and if we will be ready, God willing we will have more. No, we don't have a set number! Love is certainly generous and God is Love".

As a family we lived through the beauty of an announcement that became flesh. As Christians we have all received THE ULTIMATE announcement, that God Himself became flesh and we have received the truth of this incarnation into our lives. He brings us life, sometimes spiritually, sometimes metaphorically and sometimes...  

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