Not that I had been asked, but yesterday I was thinking about which was my best Christmas ever. … Without a doubt, bringing our son home from the hospital was the best!
The first time we brought him home, as a newborn, it was just a few days before Christmas. I thought my heart would burst of gratitude and joy on Christmas morning; I never felt closer to Our Blessed Mother or her Infant Son as I did that Christmas when I shared the miracle of the birth of a baby boy. Mine, unlike hers, was not a Divine Person with a human nature. No; he was totally a human person, but with the life of the Creator within him, giving him breath.
My gratitude and joy were especially heightened since one year previously, when I was “sure” (without benefit of EPT’s) that baby number two was on the way, I discovered in the midst of a house full of Christmas Day guests that I wasn’t. ..One year later, and a baby boy was gracing our home. After a couple of years of praying, waiting, and being disappointed so many times for a new baby’s arrival, he seemed to me to be a total mercy Christmas present from the Savior to us on His Birthday.
Seventeen years later on Christmas Eve, with a decorated Christmas tree in the trunk of our car, ready to grace our son’s hospital room the next day, we got a surprise gift. The doctor discharged him early–in time for him to be home for Christmas. (There’s much more to the story, but that’s for another post another time.) The blouse my son gave me that year is literally irreparably falling apart, but I refuse to discard it since it reminds me of the Christmas miracle that year.
Financially, it was tough having six family members (husband, son, father, two in-laws, and niece) with birthdays in the last two weeks of December. (As the Christmas shopper, more than the expense, the greater challenge I felt was finding two wonderful presents simultaneously.) My husband who, as a youngster, felt “cheated” out of a birthday celebration (combined present for Christmas and birthday) made sure our son’s birthday had its own celebration. As far as I know, our son never felt “cheated.”
I’m glad, because I felt nothing but jubilant over our son’s “Christmas” birthday. The year he was born, I packed Christmas cards into my hospital delivery bag. (I had held off writing Christmas cards that year until we could include the baby’s name.) Pre-prenatal-sonograms, we didn’t know the baby’s gender, and actually–boy or girl–we hadn’t finalized the baby’s name.
Writing cards turned out to be a good thing; one drawback to having a “Christmas” baby was that the maternity wing was short-staffed. My roommate and I had a lot of “down time” to pass, not only from the lack of nursing “visitors,” but because there had been a terrible ice storm, which kept away any other visitors.
Despite any drawbacks, I am eternally grateful for the timing of our son’s birth. Having a “Christmas baby” was–and continues to be–a great blessing! In fact, I feel more than doubly blessed.
For all the expectant, and desiring to be expectant, mothers, may the Christ Child bring them the children their hearts’ desire.