On Being a Parent: A Special Calling
Life is an interesting place to be, right? You just never know what might happen next.
I, along with three siblings grew up in southern Mississippi. My youngest sister, Wanda, and I married brothers and life changed for us dramatically. She moved to Colorado with her army husband. My life took many turns, leading to three years in Michigan.
In time Wanda and family moved to Greenwood, where her husband was assigned the position of army recruiter for the area. I can’t describe my pleasure when my husband came from work one cold Michigan evening and said we were being transferred back to Mississippi, to Greenwood!
To live in the same neighborhood with my sister was more than I could have ever hoped for once we left our little hometown.
Our third and last son, Erick, made his way into our life during our time in Greenwood. My sister gave birth to a son the year prior to our arrival and recommended her obstetrician as an excellent doctor to welcome our little one into the world.
I was a cesarean-section patient, and my doctor was excited to inform me he would be using a new type of suture that was proving to be the best yet. I felt fortunate that Wanda recommended the right facility to me.
Things don’t always go as planned, and that was my case. Fortunately, the healthy baby boy part played out delightfully. But for the next six months, I was a continuous weekly patient, occasionally getting to skip a week. My doctor always met me with an apologetic smile and encouraging words that all would end well.
I will never forget his kindness during that hard time of life. My last post-pregnancy appointment didn’t happen until Erick turned six months old; it was definitely not the “average” experience. I don’t remember all the details, but it was concluded that I was allergic to the new product my doctor had been excited about. In the end, we had our healthy baby boy, with no more doctor visits. As a young mother, I remembered what my doctor told me with my first delivery: “Don’t ever think you can’t love another child. A mother’s heart is big!” He was right. They outgrow your lap, but they never outgrow your heart.
My sister and I look back on our Greenwood years and we are amazed at how we both ended up in the same Mississippi town for a season. Miracles happen. We will always look fondly on the time we made memories and for the kind Greenwood doctor that helped me through a hard time. Birthing has happened since the beginning of man; there’s nothing new about it. But I’ve wondered if doctors ever think about the important role they play in bringing humans into our world.
Yes, it was done by midwives in times past, but to spend a lifetime aiding in the delivery of humans is quite a calling! Some physicians have delivered presidents. One delivered Elvis. Someone else delivered Einstein.
Though it takes a midwife or doctor to help little humans get here, parents direct the path of the child and that is the most important task we will ever attempt to do.
Days can get long caring for the kids or trying to control your teen, but handle with care; their destiny awaits. Time is not on your side, but just as with the physician … you have a calling.
“Strive to have a home that makes you feel like a valued ‘customer,’ a safe place where you can make mistakes.” — Robert Wolgemuth, author
Antje Hill spends time between Mississippi and Michigan and loves writing and speaking at various events.