Intentional Mothering

Birthing Babies: Grace In A Fallen World

June 10, 2016

“Children are a heritage from the LORD.” Psalm 127:3

I am a mother by the grace of God. As part of His plan for my life, and my husband’s, He has given us two children. And as I have said in my page about me, it looks like our two little ones are it {at least, biologically}.
My youngest turns two in a few weeks and I was thinking yesterday that it’s been so long since I have been pregnant. It still feels as strong a relief as it did the moment she came out. But, I long for another one. I would like to have another baby.
Yet, I shouldn’t have another baby.
As Christians, we love rules. We love adhering to a standard and making our stand on it: “Yes. This is God’s way. We all must be this way.” No, I am not saying there is no absolute truth, of course there is. Morally. But on many life issues, the Bible offers principles. And on child-rearing? Children are a blessing, plain and simple. That is why those who love the Lord ought to pro-life. God loves children and His hand is on the origins of every human being. They are not tissue or just a fetus.
But, I digress.
Children are a blessing. It is good to have children. It is part of our mandate as we rule over creation {Genesis 1:28} and it is a beautiful part of married life, and being one flesh {Genesis 2:13-25. And yet – it is not always as simple as we would like it to be.
Before Josiah, we had two miscarriages. I wondered if I could ever carry. Then, blessedly, Josiah was born. My body did okay with pregnancy, though I developed one blood clot in the later stages, and birth left some stitches. Then, I had a really rough bout of anxiety/postpartum depression that was really, really hard on this first time mother. But, once I got some help and pushed on through, life looked brighter.
Rosalie was born sixteen months after Josiah. Her pregnancy was hard. My blood turned to sludge and I developed nine blood clots during my third trimester, with strong prelabour from thirty-two weeks which involved two hospital admissions. I was on daily blood thinners and her birth worsened what was damaged from my first. When she came out, I cried, “It’s over!” And I wasn’t meaning birth. 
Pregnancy for me has the real possibility of being dangerous. It would be a significant risk for me to get pregnant again. I find that really hard, and I have wrestled over the chasm between my will for another child and the reality of what it means to have another child.
Birthing babies has taught me more and more that everything on this earth is tainted and destroyed by sin. Nothing is like it was before the Fall. It reminded me that we have it easy today with hospitals and medicine and life-saving operations. A close friend, if she had been around one hundred years ago, would have died with her first baby. She literally has no room to push a baby out so she must have c-sections. 
We are blessed and we are cursed.
Some Christians forget this dichotomy. I know why they do for, a part from loving rules we also love God’s ways and it is God’s way to have children {as opposed to our children are a burden/are despensible culture}. The only trouble is when well-meaning Christians make mandates about how many babies we ought to be having they forget that we are made for perfect, but perfect isn’t here yet. It is coming. But until then, we’re just waiting in a world that is groaning like in the pains of childbirth {Romans 8:18-23}.
Some women can have many children and, though it is hard, can do it by God’s grace. Some women can’t, or have a few, and do it by God’s grace. God, above and overall, is in control and all births and deaths are in His hands {Psalm 139}. And really, we ought to mind our own business and live a quiet life {1 Thessalonians 4:10-12}.
If I were to discover tomorrow that I were pregnant, I would be over the moon. Children are a blessing. I haven’t always felt that way, but I have always thought that way. My struggle would be entrusting my body to the Lord, knowing the great risks, but accepting His hand on my life. Life or death, I am His. But, we are not looking to get pregnant, in grace.
So if babies or pregnancies are a difficult issue for you; if you are frightened to have another one; if you want to but can’t; if birthing babies breaks your already broken body more – – drink in grace. God doesn’t condemn you for a broken body. He broke His own so that one day you will be perfect. But right now, we’re having to do this all in bodies, in minds, in places, in a world that is decaying.

As Charles Spurgeon said,

“It is grace, and nothing but grace, from first to last.”

  1. I can only imagine this was a hard post for you to write as it is a sensitive topic. I understand fear when it comes to having more children. I understand having a broke body. In the end, what takes place in a couples bedroom is between them and God. Each man is responsible for how he leads his family. I just want to offer you some encouragement. I can tell this is not an issue you have taken lightly. Be of courage my friend! God is good.

  2. I totally agree with you that it is between the couple; we are all covered by grace in the decisions we make. I envy in many ways big families, especially if pregnancies are not too hard on the mother. Thank you for your encouragement, bless you!

  3. Sarah, I was so heartened by this post–so full of grace. I also had two difficult deliveries and don't know exactly what the Lord holds for me in the future in terms of another child–for now, I believe it is Wait. There is so much love that the Lord is able to pour out through His Spirit, through our lives–I have been feeling lately that He wants me to concentrate not on having or not having another child, but on being fully engaged with the little souls that He has given me for a season. He will take care of the rest–of all–and yes, I would like to have another child, but more than that, He is teaching me to want His will-which is better. Thank you for being such an encouragement. Grace in Christ to you. 🙂

    Visiting from Women with Intention

  4. Oh bless you, Rebekah. I am so thankful you were heartened by this post. It is a tricky thing to write about, but my heart is for women like yourself who birthing babies just doesn't come easily, for whatever reason. Because, that is me and my own experience. Thank you for sharing part of your story x

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this! One thing I have learned over the past couple years is that the Christian walk can look very different from person to person, yet we all have JESUS in common.

    From stay-at-home moms to working moms, large families to small families, homeschooling to public schooling, gluten free to not… The list goes on! Despite all of our personal uniqueness, Jesus joins us together into one body. It's totally amazing! And, yes, how we all need to drink in His grace!

  6. I needed to read this. After 5 pregnancies, 4 of them dangerous, and 2 sons, I struggle with wanting another child and knowing it is dangerous. It is just good to hear I am not alone here. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Jesus in common – Amen. He is the Lord of our lives and nothing happens outside of His control. We all need that heart reminder when we think on our own families or other families.

  8. Oh friend, I wish I could give you a hug. You are not alone. Birthing babies in this fallen world is no easy feat for many, many women. I believe we forget this sometimes with our modern medicine. I am sure many women wouldn't be alive if they were bearing babies with our fore-mothers.

    Also, you're in His care and grace. HE knows, and that is all that matters. Like Rebekah's comment above {which challenged and encouraged me}, focus on the children we have now. They need all of us now.

    Hugs x

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