Back when I was expecting my first born, our son, who at this moment has completed his mission in Iraq, I caught a bad cold. He was three weeks and two days overdue and I was extremely uncomfortable. On that Friday morning in September I went to the doctor and he promised me that if I didn’t have the baby that weekend, he would induce.
My doctor gave me a prescription for some cold medicine and I went to the local pharmacy to pick it up. The pharmacy had a nice line of makeup and cosmetics and on that day they had a makeup artist on the premises, doing facials and makeup.
The makeup artist was a pretty bizarre looking guy with an accent from somewhere else. While I was waiting for my medicine he asked me if I wanted a facial.
I just wanted to have the baby.
Back in the ancient days we didn’t know the sex of babies before they were born. We just guessed. I had no idea of my baby’s sex and naturally, just hoped my child would be healthy. But I did ask my wise mother. She seemed to know everything but she wouldn’t commit. That is, she hadn’t made a prediction until that morning. After going with me to the doctor’s office, when we were stopped at an intersection, a little red headed boy dashed across the road in front of us. Mother laughed and said, “You’re going to have a little red headed boy.”
So there I was at the pharmacy, waiting on some relief and this hippy dippy guy was talking to me. “How far along are you?” he asked. I really didn’t want to engage him in conversation but being polite, I answered, “Nine months.”
“I’m a warlock,” the overly gregarious guy announced, “and I can predict the sex of your baby. You are going to have a girl.” I must have given him a skeptical look because he said, “But if you want a boy, I can change the order.”
A weird experience but soon my prescription was ready and I went on about my business. That night I went into labor and the next afternoon, a Saturday in late September, our strawberry blond, perfect baby boy was born.
I’d never known such joy before and began to realize what my mother meant when she had told me that she and my Dad hadn’t known what real love was until they had had their children.
Everything began to be touched by gold and all my memories of that time are still captured in a special place in my heart. Postpartum depression? You’ve got to be kidding. There were tears shed but they were tears of joy, thankfulness and awe.
When I had my daughters, that maternal love, which can move mountains, grew even deeper and it’s never left me.
The birth of my grandson, my son’s son, was another moment of pure joy. This little guy has been waiting for a year to see his Dad and he and his Mom have kept the home fires burning, blessed now in this day and time, by the internet and frequent phone calls.
My oldest daughter is expecting a child and she and her husband are over the moon about it. My three and a half year old grandson was very excited and told my daughter that she was going to have a “grill” and she should name her “Herman”. So we have been calling the baby “Herman” ever since. Most of the family predicted Kate would have a girl and so in our family poll about the baby’s sex I also voted for a girl. But I wasn’t at all sure, just hoping that the baby would be healthy.
At work the other day, my daughter was in an elevator and a native American man stepped in. He was very tall and had a long black braid. After an uncomfortable silence the man looked at my daughter and said, “You are expecting.” She smiled and said, “Yes.” He said, “You are six months along.” “Give or take a few days,” my daughter responded.
“There will be much pain,” the man said and as Kate stepped out of the elevator he said, “It will be a girl.”
When I heard that story, I knew it would be a boy. I remembered the Warlock and his false story and became sure that the native American man was also wrong.
A few days later I was able to attend the ultrasound which would reveal the baby’s sex. Medical Technology is a wonderful thing but as I was sitting in the dark room, watching the medical technician reveal the heart, kidneys and spine of the child I felt like I was intruding on something very sacred. The baby kept turning and moving and leaping around in my daughter’s womb and I recalled the leap of John the Baptist when his mother, Elizabeth was in the presence of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
The medical technician waited until she had made all of her measurements and then asked Kate and Mike if they wanted to know the sex of the child. Their answer of course, was yes.
“It’s a boy.”