(I wrote this a year ago, shortly after Mara was born. My sweet baby girl turns one today. And later this year my oldest will turn eighteen. The year has flown by. These years are so precious.)
As I lay in the bed, medication meant to speed my baby's entrance into the world pouring through the I.V., I was afraid. We had already had to stop and restart labor, as the force and frequency of contractions was too much for our little girl. As I listened to her heartbeat on the monitor, I could hear once again the slight deceleration with each contraction. I was scared. There were only two possibilities. One was that this labor, brought on by synthetic hormones, was truly too stressful for the baby and I would be faced with my first c-section after eight vaginal births. The other possibility was that we were actually getting close to delivery and very soon I would be holding her. I did not want to fear. It was all in God's hands. This whole pregnancy had been a grand lesson in trusting Him. Looking for peace and courage I turned to Our Lady and started whispering urgent Memorares. Please, I begged her, let me hold this little girl, safe and healthy, before this hour is up. Over and over, I whispered that prayer. The nurse came in shortly, checked my progress and announced what I now definitely suspected in my body, our baby was ready to be born.
And so, within that hour that tested my courage, my Mara was born.