Giving Birth and Why the Context Matters

I saw this photo in my files. This was the night I gave birth to Catalina in St. Luke’s Medical Center in BGC. It reminds me of the pain I went through and the joy that came after.

I appreciated that my doctor let me walk around, stretch, even jog a little on the floor where I gave birth so that I could “help” Catalina descend. This was actually my longest labor but God sustained me and I was still able to give birth Lamaze.

It’s so important that you find a doctor who understands your birth preferences but who will also tell you when science must intervene. My doctor, Dr. Regina Capistrano, has always respected my desire to give birth without anesthesia, and she’s allowed me flexibility when I am in labor, but she’s managed my expectations, too. When needed, she applied her expertise as a doctor and prescribed procedures to ensure that my babies and I were healthy.

I praise God that I gave birth Lamaze to all five kids but this isn’t to my credit. I prayed hard when the pain made me feel like I was going to die! God rescued me each time! But I was also thankful that my doctor was present to go through the experience with me and see it through to the end.

Of course, Edric provided emotional and spiritual support which I badly needed. He played music for me, attended to me, and stayed right by my side. And many times, my mom would show up to be there for me and family members and friends would visit shortly after to offer congratulations.

As I reflect back on my pregnancies and births, I have come to realize all the more that birth was meant to be experienced in the context of relationships — a husband and wife, family, people whom you trust. It doesn’t make it any easier to have a baby, but it certainly magnifies the joy!

People often quote the passage that says, “Children are a gift from the Lord,” and I agree with this. At the same time, I also believe that we need to consider the gift we will give to the children born to us. They need a mother, a father, a family, and a community who will love them and raise them up to understand their worth and value…how loved they are by God…that He has a wonderful plan for their lives.

If you come from a broken home and can’t provide this, do not lose heart. God says He is father to the fatherless. You can also find mentors who will come along side your child to meet his or her different needs.

But my appeal is to the single, yet to be married person out there. Seek God’s plan and design for family, for children, which He intended for our joy and our good.

Recently I struggled in my heart with a revelation that someone I know intentionally got pregnant outside of marriage. My heart ached for the realities that she and this child will be up against.

Pregnancy and post pregnancy bring with it a hailstorm of emotions because of hormones. The struggle to parent a child feels much more uphill when you are alone, without a spouse. A boyfriend who acts the part of biological parent does not provide the same security of a father figure. And the truth is, many children born out of wedlock experience abandonment by their biological father and grow up with father wounds.

There are no short cuts to true happiness. Sin is not the route to joy. Maybe there’s the appeal of temporal pleasure and euphoria, but not real joy. Real joy comes when we pursue God’s will, even if it’s hard to wait on His timing for unfulfilled longings and desires. It comes when we obey Him and abide in His love, preferring His statues and His presence in our lives to our own wants and substitutes for Him.

As I write this, I may sound impassioned and my tone may sound like rebuke. But my intention is not to point a finger at the guilty to penalize them with shame. I believe in God’s redemptive grace to all who repent and seek Him. And I have seen God repair people’s mistakes. However, the journey often robs us of peace and the casualties along the way are many.

My real intent is to encourage all of us to renew our thinking. I appreciate how the New Living Testament of the Bible says it so overtly, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans‬ ‭12:2

The Apostle Paul specified this because he knows our vulnerability. We all prefer the route of self-gratification and following our own will, especially when we are immersed in cultures where it seems so corny and irrelevant to practice righteousness. Yet, God’s will is good and pleasing and perfect. Children aren’t supposed to be born to unwed women. (Sadly, it’s a growing statistic all around the world.)

Until we stop rationalizing and basing our convictions on the moral trends of the world, we will not prefer God’s will. And the fact remains that God’s will is best for us. It’s true for our children, too. So let’s not do them a disservice by allowing their conception to happen outside the bounds of God’s will, which sets them up for future heartache. They may not have a choice in the matter, but we do. Our choice to practice purity and the pursuit of God’s will is our precious gift to them. 

Comments

  1. Amen!

  2. That last sentence! Amen!

  3. Cendy Marie Toorefranca Banaga says:

    It’s true that when you go unto your own temporal desires and emotions, disobeying God and not waiting for God’s perfect timing will cause you pain and suffering. The road is bumpy and full of struggles. We too, experience the pains because of our disobedience to God. It caused us a lot of drama and unnecessary pain and struggles yet, God’s love is abundant. By the help of great and Godly friends we survived those chapter in our lives, pure repentance and being humble towards God helped us heal the wounds.

    And we say Amen, that our youth should be guided and to that preserving themselves and remaining pure. It is our prayer that every parents will know and accept Christ and able to teach their kids God’s commands, as it is always for our own protection and for our own good 🙂

  4. Anne Aguilar says:

    I am a single lady and longing to have kids of my own. I always get suggestions of having my own child out of marriage since I can afford to support the child financially. But what most people misses out its not all about the money but the emotional and spiritual support a child will be needing while growing up. I would like to raise my child in a complete and traditional family set up where he will spend time with his mother and father.

  5. Nile Alegato says:

    Thanks for this article, Ms Joy. I am single but had been reading a number of your blogs. I am at a point of having my eggs frozen as I intended to have children in three years, with or without a husband. But you’re article made me re-think my position. Indeed, it would be great to have a father for the kid, and a spouse to help you in the rearing. It is not all about the money.

  6. Hi Ms Joy, was there a time when you were given an episiotomy? I hope you could also share a couple of tips on how you prevented tearing during natural birth. Thank you!

  7. Sheila marie Framo says:

    Hi Teacher/Ms. Joy, Your blog is an inspiration to us who earnestly seek God in our lives. Reading through your life’s stories bring us relief that Jesus promises are true.

  8. Debbie Mateo says:

    Hi Ms. Joy! I’ve been reading your blog and I’m always inspired. My husband and I are praying hard to have a family of our own, and now I am 7 weeks pregnant! God is great! Thank you for sharing God’s love and wonderful blessings! Please include us in your prayers. God bless you more! 🙂

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Giving Birth and Why the Context Matters