Precariously Perfect


“When I was a young man, I didn’t think about having a family. My wife and I were too poor to have babies. Then all of a sudden, one came along and scared the hell out of us because we had no money. Once the baby arrives, you make do somehow. You fall in love with the baby and life adjusts itself. You find you don’t need as much money as you thought. When that happens, you can ask the questions that should have come before the baby. ” ~Ray Bradbury 

by Gary

The whole process scares me, which might surprise some of you if you know my general easy-going, care-free nature. But it does. It scares me; so many things could go wrong. However, this was our third time so the fears were a little less, but not much less.

5611_126249331792_510361792_2706863_84352_nThe guessing is tough. Knowing when it’s time to go. Should we stay home longer? Is this really it? Is this a false alarm? If we wait too long, it’ll happen here at home. Not good.

The labor is almost surreal. It’s hard work but it’s hard work that I just watch. I feel no pain physically except that if I let Michelle hold my left hand, she squeezes hard enough to make bruises around the edges of my wedding ring. I probably shouldn’t complain about that. My only real pain is mental. Some for Michelle, as I watch her. Some for me, as I wonder how long it’ll go on forcing me to watch.

The pushing is pure elation. After laboring for hours, to push is a relief: a relief to Michelle because it’s the culmination of her hard work and relief to me because it’s nearly over; the scary-ness, I mean.

Then the crowning moment; literally, the head crowns through and you can see the hair, then shoulders and then he’s out. Crying almost immediately; a good sound. All the scary thoughts of what could be right or wrong with him are nearly over as he appears to be healthy.

Now Michelle to worry about; will she fare well here after the birth? She appears fine but there are lots of internal things that I can’t see  going on. A little time passes and she’s fine; pale and tired but fine.jude

Judah is being weighed and checked and poked and wiped. He cries, which is wonderful music. Now I have to take him and Michelle and Collin and Elsa home to keep them all healthy and happy and loved.

It all seems so precarious. The perfection of it all is fragile in my eyes. With the health of bodies and souls in my care, I’m aware that every decision, every action, every question, every word matters more than I can predict. Sometimes I wonder if I’m coming up with the correct answers because I’m not sure if I’m yet asking the correct questions of myself. But I have good parents, good in-laws, and good friends so their presence stiffens my resolve to do well at fatherhood. And I have a creator God who loves all of us and who puts purpose into our steps.

The whole process scares me but I intend to walk well. Thanks to all of you who are walking with me.

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2 Comments

Filed under New Thoughts

2 responses to “Precariously Perfect

  1. Deborah Craton

    People ask me if I miss delivering babies and I usually just say I don’t miss the 2am calls. But what I really don’t miss is having two lives in my hands for nine months! Multiple that by all the pregnant people I took care of! It was always wonderful when everything turned out well and new life was brought into the world. It was such a miracle, but when it went wrong….
    So yes I miss bringing new life into the world and sharing that with new parents, but I don’t miss the worry!

  2. Debbie Craton, md!
    I can’t imagine the ever-increasing amounts of stress that being a doctor must be! Thanks for braving the stress to serve all of us!

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