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Unselfed love and childbirth

From the December 1999 issue of The Christian Science Journal

My husband and I had been married many years, but we had had no children. While I took great joy in spending time with my nieces, the goal of having children of our own seemed unreachable.

When a friend innocently commented that she felt only a mother could truly appreciate the depth of Mary Baker Eddy's poem "Mother's Evening Prayer" (see Poems, pp. 4—5), I felt deprived. Along with this feeling of limitation, the belief that my "biological clock" was "winding down" had to be cast out.

Before our marriage, I had had Christian Science class instruction, and this enabled me to take the uplifted spiritual stand that would bless our marriage. In the following years, I gratefully studied the weekly Bible Lessons, reading from the Bible and from Science and Health the citations outlined in the Christian Science Quarterly. I also gained a deeper appreciation for Mary Baker Eddy's other writings. The wrong concept of myself as limited gave place to the truer sense of being God's child, having the rich inheritance of His infinite goodness. My husband, having embraced Christian Science as his own, held a gentle and calm, constant view that we could never be deprived of the good and right unfoldment of a fuller sense of family.

Then one summer, my older sister and her husband surprised us with the joyful news that they were expecting their first child. This had been the sincere desire of my sister. The happiness I felt for them overflowed, with no taint of envy. A couple of weeks later, at our Christian Science Students Association meeting, I saw the tender truths of Mrs. Eddy's poem "Mother's Evening Prayer" in a completely new way. The poem begins:

O gentle presence, peace and joy
and power;
O Life divine, that owns each
waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling's
faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward
wing tonight.

I saw I could regard this beautiful poem as a prayer for Church, and that I could pray with it that same way. With this realization, all feeling of deprivation vanished. I began to cherish this poem in the larger sense of the unselfed, mothering love that Mrs. Eddy so fully demonstrated in her care for her Church. I realized that this unselfed love was the clear reflection of the love of the Most High, of the infinite Love that creates, sustains, and protects all; and that it was my inherent right as God's image and likeness to comprehend and express this Love, to know that this Love is governing Church and all.

About two months later, with quiet gratitude, I joyfully shared with my husband the news that we were to be parents. A Christian Science nurse and a midwife were contacted so that we could have the baby at home. I prayed throughout the pregnancy with the truths of man's completeness as God's idea; the harmony of all of His ideas, one with another; and the certainty that the unfolding of a new spiritual idea doesn't bring with it any suffering, but rather comfort and joy. A Christian Science practitioner prayed with me throughout this time, and her strong and loving spiritual support was clearly felt, particularly on the day of delivery. With my husband needing to be at work, I spent much of that day alone, and remained peacefully free of fear with the Bible verse that had come to me that day: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee" (Ps. 73:25).

It was my inherent right to express divine Love.

The Christian Science nurse arrived at our home in the late afternoon and lovingly read hymns to me, which reinforced the assurance of God's "gentle presence." The midwife arrived about ten minutes before the baby did, and was surprised by the quickness and ease of delivery. My husband rejoiced with me at the arrival of a beautiful little girl, and she continues to bless our lives and our home.

For this example of God's mothering care, which unfolds our oneness with Love, I am most grateful.

I am writing to verify my wife's testimony in regard to the birth of our daughter. I never doubted that we would have a child. We did wait twelve years for her, but Deanna was certainly worth waiting for. Now it seems that she's always been with us.

When I got home from work the day Deanna arrived, Debbie was ready for delivery. One little detail had yet to happen, and that was the arrival of the midwife. She hadn't expected the birth to occur until the next morning. I remember never feeling any fear or panic. Debbie also was at peace. I remember thinking that we were all in the "atmosphere of Love," as a hymn (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 144) puts it. The midwife arrived about ten minutes before Deanna did, and everything proceeded quickly, painlessly, and smoothly.

Afterward, I was talking to the midwife, and she said she has delivered literally hundreds of babies, but she never fails to be humbled by those who arrive where Christian Science is an influence. She didn't think it was possible for anyone's first baby to arrive so quickly and painlessly.

Debbie brought me into Christian Science, and she has consistently lived the truths that Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy provided for us.

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