The greatest honor of my life was being in the delivery room with my daughter and son-in-law when their precious child was born. I was both excited and humbled to be a part of such a miracle!
I’d been there three times myself, so it shouldn’t be so hard to do, right? Surely childbirth couldn’t have changed that much in the 23 years since I’d done it last!!
Always the planner, I set out to prepare myself. I read up on current childbirth techniques and even watched some birthing videos — not for the weak-stomached! I was prepared to give foot massages and back rubs, get ice chips, encourage, pray, and of course take pictures. All that was left to do was wait for the call to hit the road to Lynchburg.
When the time came, things were going well while we waited for her contractions to get stronger. This was a marathon, not a sprint, and there was a long night ahead of us.
Ahhh but there was one thing I didn’t think about, one thing I hadn’t planned for, one thing I hadn’t prepared to face . . .
All those women giving birth in those videos weren’t MY DAUGHTER.
I wasn’t just watching my grandchild being born — I was watching my daughter be in the most intense pain she’d ever experienced.
Let me be clear — Kaitlyn was handling it wonderfully. She went through labor with the most strength and grace any woman could. She was amazing! Nate was amazing! He was the most fantastic birth coach any woman could ever ask for!
I was the one faltering. I hadn’t bargained for how it would feel to see her in pain. All I could do was beg God not to let me fall apart in front of them. I was careful not to let Kaitlyn see me cry. I needed to be strong for her.
When it came time to push, Nate held her shoulders and breathed with her. I stood at her feet and told her how great she was doing. It wasn’t hard to say because it was true.
I talk to myself — and I’m not ashamed — and this is the conversation I had in my head:
Pretend like you’re not watching your child feel like her bones are coming apart!! Just distract yourself. Remember your own Lamaze class! Get a focal point!! You can’t take away her pain. You can’t go through this for her so GET A GRIP, WOMAN!!
I looked around for something I could focus on. I needed to pay attention to Kaitlyn, so I decided to look at her knee. That was safe, right? I stared at it and tried to gain my composure. Then I realized what I was looking at . . . . .
Not just any knee. This was Kaitlyn’s knee. My baby girl’s knee. There were scars on that knee, and I knew where each one of them had come from . . .
It was a surreal moment. I checked out of that delivery room and went back in time. Kaitlyn was always very active and she loved to be outside, riding her bike or her scooter, playing with the neighborhood kids. She loved sports, especially softball and running track.
One of the scars was from a bike wreck when she was in elementary school. In my mind’s eye, I saw her limp in the back door, tears streaming down her face and blood running down her shin. She tried not to cry as I cleaned the dirt and gravel out of it, covered it up with Neosprorin and put the biggest bandage we had on it. After a kiss to make it all better, she went right back out to play. She was strong . . . just like she’s strong right now.
Another scar was from softball. I was standing at the fence as she rounded 2nd at her coach’s direction to slide into 3rd base. She trusted Ricky’s signals and she never slowed down. She was safe, but not without injury. Again there was blood running down her shin, but she kept her game face. She got right back up to bat. She was strong . . . . just like she’s strong right now.
My heart ached intensely. How could time have gone by so quickly? Wasn’t it yesterday that she got these scars? Wasn’t it just a few minutes ago that I stood at that fence at every ballgame she’d ever played, watching her get sweaty and dirty, doing what she loved? How could it be that my baby was having a baby?
Through wet lashes, I focused again on my surroundings and snapped back into the present. Although it was such an emotional moment, remembering Kaitlyn so vividly as a child, I was also so comforted, so peaceful, and so encouraged.
Those scars were God reminding me that she was strong . . . . just like she’s strong right now. She was strong enough to get back on her bike, strong enough to get back up to bat, and she was strong enough to do this too — for a much greater prize! Her own child!
I thanked God for showing me her scars and reminding me of who I was dealing with here — my Kaitlyn was a strong woman.
Not too much later, Kinley Raine Bodkin made her grand entrance into our world, changing it in an instant. And just like that, all the pain was forgotten — just as it has been with every woman who’s given birth since the beginning of time. Never had Kaitlyn and Nate known such love — but I did. I’d known it when I’d had my own children, so I knew the intensity of what they were feeling. Ain’t no power on earth as strong as this love.
This bundle of joy is the light of our lives!! Being with Kinley takes away all the worries of the world, and I look forward to every moment with her. If you’re not a grandparent, I highly recommend it!!!
God used Kaitlyn’s scars that day to remind me of the power of love, strength and healing. They were the evidence of grace and mercy to give me hope in the faithfulness of God.
Psalm 147:3 reminds us
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Since we all have scars, may the Lord show you in your weakest moment that He will bind up your wounds. May your scars be the evidence and reminder of your healing, of grace, mercy and hope in the faithfulness of God. And may He show it to you when you need it most. Whatever you’re facing, you’re gonna make it. You got the scars to prove it.
johnny slayton said:
Dee, that was so beautiful. As a man I have never felt that pain of childbirth, but I have witnessed it. I can understand seeing a child in pain and know that only God can carry one through that. Keep up your writing.. it brings healing.
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Southern Fried Encouragement said:
Thank you for always encouraging me, Johnny! You’re such a blessing to everyone who knows you!
Donna Amick said:
This is beautiful! I also was privileged to be in with my daughter and son-in-law when my granddaughter was born. My baby having a baby. They named her Kendra Rayne.