Saturday, April 3, 2010

L&D and the Garden of Gethsemane

I'm convinced, after my second pregnancy and childbirth, that there are few experiences that make us more Christ-like than delivering a new life into this world. Choosing to carry and give birth to a child requires complete sacrifice of self -- and involves a level of courage, blood and agony that a man who has sweated blood can relate to.

Jesus knew what he was facing as he prayed in the Garden, and begged to be released from what had to be done. How many mothers-to-be have uttered similar (if not quite so eloquent...or coherent) prayers as they entered the last stages of labor? For myself, I know the end is near when I start asking if there's any way to opt out of the pregnancy after all. But then I start reminding myself -- the only way out is through, and the end is worth the effort.

I think the blurred weeks that follow childbirth also bring us closer to understanding Christ's loneliness in Gethsemane. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Yes, I think Jesus understands the lonely, sleep-deprived hours a mother endures out of love for her new child. There are certainly radiant moments of joy in gazing down upon the face of an infant lying comfortably at the breast, even after getting only an hour of (interrupted) sleep. But there is also a sense that the rest of world, as it keeps on turning, has forgotten you completely.

Finally, did you know that "Gethsemane" literally means "olive press"? That sounds like an apt description of labor. And I'm sure my newest little 10 and half pounder would agree, given the bruises on his poor head!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this! Welcome back to blogging! Love, Dad

  2. Good grief, what a chunk!!! :) He's adorable. Great job on that one mom! Whew!

  3. This post was amazing. I was thinking "whoaaaaaa" the entire time.