The last stage of pregnancy is a strange time when one finds oneself hoping earnestly to be in huge amounts of pain as soon as possible. Two days after the day the baby was supposed to have ‘marched forth’, the word Overdue was hanging over me like a cloud, but I was clinging to the three words a friend had prayed over me the week before: ‘let the birth be simple, gentle and joyful’.
I was having another God-dream when the first contraction woke me up at about four in the morning. In the dream, I was looking at a t-shirt with a tag on it, and the tag said ‘Be not afeard‘. I woke up thinking, ‘Is that the King James Version? Or a quote from somewhere else? Oowwwhallelujah I think that’s another contraction.’ My heart felt completely peaceful, like a boat bobbing gently as the waves of pain swelled and ebbed. I awoke my slumbering husband, ‘Zzzhmmwhat? Oh! All right, let’s have this baby!’ He called the hospital while I calmly collected a few things that came to mind, a hat for the baby, a drink for myself, getting down on all fours every few minutes to breathe through another contraction. We drove through the deserted streets of Liverpool, the traffic lights reflecting green off the streets freshly washed by rain. We must have seemed in unusually good spirits when we got to the hospital, because I was directed to a maternity triage (assessment) room rather than a delivery room. Unperturbed by the size of the bed, I promptly gave birth to our baby boy an hour later. The midwife’s comment was, ‘That’s the way to have a baby! No faffing around!’
All through the labour, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Simple, joyful, gentle… no, was it joyful, gentle, simple? Ahh, it doesn’t matter.’ Though gas and air is also known as laughing gas, I think it was the presence and grace of the Lord that rendered the whole experience so transcendentally joyful as to be almost hilarious. My mum-in-law and Anu welcomed us home for lunch, and Isaac returned from school to find a new baby brother waiting. All in a day’s work… for our God.
Peter had joked early last year that we should call our next son Paul Benjamin Peter Prescott, because ‘Ben’ means ‘son of’ in Hebrew – ‘Paul, son of Peter Prescott’. God, however, has a habit of taking our jokes seriously. So, without further ado, we are absolutely delighted to introduce Paul Benjamin Peter Prescott, born on the 6th of March at 6:28 a.m. at 9 lb 6 oz (4.24 kg).
With so much gratitude and rejoicing,
Peter, Taryn, Isaac, Anu and Paul.