A Lot Has Changed in Labor & Delivery, But Not Everything

A week ago our daughter, Katie, gave birth to Paisley. We still can’t wipe the smiles off our faces. We’re happy for Katie to have the pregnancy thing done, we’re happy they’re both healthy, and we’re happy that we get to be Paisley’s Grandpa & Nonna.

Our New Granddaughter

As I was hanging out at the hospital, I got to thinking about how much has changed in labor & delivery since Katie was born back in 1985.

  • Then… a mother did the labor ordeal in one room until she was rushed to a sterile delivery room at the last minute. Last week Katie did her Labor and Delivery in the same room.
  • Then… I as the dad was told to wash my hands with hot soapy water for a very long time and then put scrubs on complete with a cap, mask, and gloves before I could go in the delivery room. I looked like a doctor! Last week Brachen (Paisley’s daddy) and Bernice did the whole support team deal without scrubs, masks, or gloves.
  • Then… everyone went through Lamaze training. This time they watched a few online Lamaze videos, but for the most part didn’t really do the Lamaze thing. When I asked what was up with that, I was told Lamaze wasn’t necessary anymore. I wish I had known that back when we had our three kids. We paid good money for those “must have” Lamaze classes.
  • Then… your newborn baby could stay in your room during the day if you wanted her to, but during the night they took the baby back to the nursery so mom could get some sleep. Now your baby never leaves your sight because your baby never leaves your room. It’s you and her, baby, for the next 18 years or more, depending on if she decides to come back and live with you after college.

There were other changes too. Like no restrictions on visiting hours. People are free to come and go whenever they want.

Things change. But one thing will never change. The miracle of birth. Nine times now I’ve held a newborn son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter. And nine times I’ve stopped to think about God’s part in each of their births.

The Bible says children are a gift from the Lord. They don’t just happen. They are created, designed, and imprinted by God. His handiwork. Each is skillfully and wonderfully made.

King David got that, which is why he wrote:  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14

How anyone can attribute the conception and growth and birth of a baby to chance, is beyond me. We’re smart enough to know there is a maker behind that iPhone that we take with us everywhere we go. It didn’t just appear one day. It didn’t just drop into the Apple store out of nowhere.

Before Katie was born, the doctor and I talked theology between Bernice’s contractions. The doctor, an attender of the Southern California church I pastored, was a spiritual seeker. He was genuinely interested in knowing more about God – the God who made the babies he delivered. The God who loves us enough to give us life. And babies. Cute, precious, babies who make grandpas and grandmas smile. A lot.

by David Gudgel