The right time to think about babies
by Chelsea Boes
Posted on Thursday, December 25, 2014, at 9:05 am
In the weeks before Christmas, Sarah Cavicchi learned a lesson that Mary, mother of Jesus, learned long ago: When it comes to pregnancy, people love to judge.
Sarah spent her months of pregnancy juggling legion opinions about which was the right way to have a baby. She outlines her story in a provocative blog post called “Why I love my C-section scar”:
“Home birth or hospital? ‘Natural’ or medicated? Vaccines or no vaccines? Midwife or doctor or doula? Breastfeeding or bottle? This stuff comes from family, friends, random people in the grocery store, and the internet. … [R]eading mommy blogs and baby forums often left me feeling like there was a ‘standard’ to achieve, but I never quite knew what it was.”
Sarah finally chose the plan that felt right for her—not the hip, clean, birth-at-home plan, but a mixed plan that included a midwife, a hospital, and an epidural.
But things did not go as planned. Sarah’s daughter Catie was born six weeks early after Sarah was rushed to the hospital with pre-eclampsia and a rupturing placenta. She had already ordered the Christmas cards that said the baby would join the family soon—but by Christmas, the baby would already have come. And as she was wheeled into the operating room, Sarah didn’t know whether she or the baby would even be alive today.
Sarah roomed in my dorm during college. She’s two years younger than I am—but not too young to face Eve’s curse square in the face and come out triumphant with a baby in her arms. Not only that—she has a C-section scar she’s proud of.
And why not? For Sarah, the scar is not a wound to vanity or a scarlet letter signifying motherhood gone wrong. It means life over death, a proud first-time father over a widower, and an occupied cradle over an empty one. No amount of judgment from a mommy blogger could make her regret that.
Christmas is the right time to think about babies. You can study a baby and realize that God, who made earth with His hands and slung stars into space with a word, came to our embarrassed planet and inhabited a tiny, vulnerable body. He had heavy, baby-sized eyelids fringed with lashes, and 10 fingers that could barely wrap around one of your own.
If you have ever read the Bible or heard the Bible exposited, you know how close—humanly speaking—Jesus came to never being born or surviving infancy. Again and again He or His line escaped destruction—from Joseph’s Genesis famine to Herod’s infant massacre. The odds were stacked against a successful Bethlehem birth: A young, probably stressed-out girl made a long journey to a booked hotel, used a cow trough for a cradle, had no doctor on call, no Lamaze, no disinfected sheets, no IV’s, no provision for emergency surgery, and not even a mommy blog to read.
Ask any midwife, doctor, or doula: Mary did the mommy thing the wrong way. But ask God. He will tell you in His Book that she did things the right way, just as He had planned. And some day, we might put our fingers into His glorified scars and comprehend the true miracle of Christmas.