“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)
Our second son was born a little more than three weeks ago. As many moms have experienced, I was really disappointed that I ended up with a C-section and wasn’t able to have the natural delivery I wanted – not because of any philosophical preference, but just because I was looking forward to an easier delivery this time.
So I tried to make my peace with it, thinking of all the advantages of a scheduled C-section, and then I went into labor two weeks early. We labored at home for a while (one might say I was laboring under delusion or denial) and finally went to the hospital at 11 PM, meaning I delivered in the middle of the night after all, with dozens of items still on my to-do list and the on-call doctor instead of my obstetrician.
I’m a terrible patient, so recovery from any kind of birth would have been tough, but especially when I compared the mythical easy delivery I didn’t have to the recovery I was going through, I really resented having a C-section.
But when I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful that having a C-section is so easy nowadays; compared to going into labor without knowing that the baby was breech ahead of time, it was much lower risk. Also, because I went into labor early, my friend who was visiting during home leave from the UK was able to see the baby before she left – it probably would have been more than a year afterward otherwise. Since I was so limited in what I could lift and I had to sit and stay put a lot more after the C-section than I did for a natural birth, I had to accept a lot more help. That meant I had a lot of time just to hold my son, and I was able to appreciate the newborn stage more than I could have the first time. I also felt like I bonded with my son sooner – maybe because I was more relaxed with a second kid, but maybe because of all the extra time just to sit and appreciate. I also got to enjoy having my mom around for a few weeks, and my older son got to have Granny around all the time!
Of course there are still things I complain about. (Ask anyone who knows me.) But I try to realize that each day is a gift from God. We rejoice in the day we have, not the day we wished for, and each day has something to rejoice in.