There are moments in life that change you forever. These moments are usually messy, emotional, and more than you can ever imagine while they are occurring. These moments are sometimes tear filled, heavy with prayer, and maybe even bloody, but when they arrive, you know that with everything in your being that you will never be the same.
I’ve had quite a few of these moments in my life.
About two weeks ago, I had one of “those out of the box experiences”, as my friend China would call it. In fact, I called her for help with this moment that has changed me forever. One of our helpers who was due to give birth in May went into labor early and the baby was born in our home. YES, you read that correctly. She gave birth in my home with help only from me. (Until China brought in the cavalry!) I can look back on the whole event and share the story in a pretty comical way, but to assist another woman in a birth was probably the most moving thing I could ever do besides giving birth, myself.
Without getting into too much detail, without sharing more than is appropriate at this time, I can say that I witnessed one of the most beautiful and scary events in a woman’s life from the other side. I witnessed the birth of HER baby, not mine. It was unplanned, totally took me by surprise, and after it was all over I found myself shaking with excitement, gratitude, and fear. In fact, I told my friend China who is an obstetrician that I don’t know how she does her job without crying after every single birth, because I cried like the newborn that I just helped deliver.
I have given birth four times in my life. And after each beautiful gift from God, I was changed. I was transformed. I had expanded and made more room for the love in my heart that each of my children would need. You just don’t know how much you are capable of giving or loving until you have a child. I learned so much from each childbirth, and I continue to learn from each of my children in the different ways that they teach me as they grow up.
However, more than two weeks ago, I learned of God’s Goodness by witnessing it from the other side. I didn’t push, rather-I talked her through what I could, mostly panicked, ran around the room like a chicken without a head, and kept screaming for towels. (Isn’t that what they do when you see unexpected home births on television?) When Mom and baby were safe and being looked after by professionals, I could not help but get down on my knees and say a few quiet prayers of thanksgiving. I thanked the Lord that the baby girl was safe, that her momma was ok, and that I wasn’t any worse for the wear by witnessing and actually assisting in the moment when baby took her first breath. Who knew I would take a crash course in midwifery?
Other moments that have changed me forever: Founding a sorority in college and instantly having 89 sorority sisters, traveling to Manila in the summer of 1996, saying “I do,” to my husband Nino, and landing in Manila in 2006 with the intention of making it my home. Come to think of it, Manila has changed me an awful lot…
What is one moment that has changed you forever?