Nearly two weeks overdue, I was exhausted and so very ready to be done with pregnancy, but I did not want to be induced.
I knelt down, and with absolute abandon, begged God for the mercy of a short labor, and that my labor would begin naturally. Three hours, I told Him, I can handle three hours, but nothing more. I'm not sure why I was so specific about the three hours. I suppose sometimes we pray for certain things without knowing exactly why. We just pray. And hope. And wait.
I was due to be induced at 6:00 a.m. the next morning, and at 5:00 a.m. set out to walk the dark halls of the hospital with my rosary and a lot of determination. After about thirty minutes of shuffling, the contractions began.
Exactly three hours later Henry was born. When the nurse announced the time of birth, I burst into tears. I was already emotional at the sight of my sweet miracle, but when I realized it had all happened in exactly three hours, I began to sob.
I hadn't told a single soul about my prayers, even Steve didn't know. After I explained everything to him, we were both overwhelmed with emotion.
It was such a joyful time. I will never, ever forget the way in which I experienced God's mercy and love that day!
Henry's happy entrance into the world was just a preview of what was to come. He brings so much life and enthusiasm to our family. Every day he hugs me several times, and often throughout the day, we will hear him laughing out loud at something or someone he thinks is terribly funny. His laugh is incredibly contagious!
Even better than the gifts the boys give each other are the pranks they come up with. I really love this aspect of mothering boys. They have taught me a lot about the way boys relate to each other and how important their crazy ways of interacting are for building relationships.
Being ornery and teasing is one way that boys bond, and I love watching them grow closer with every hilarious stunt!
The boys darted out from under the deck and the battle was on! For three minutes everyone went absolutely wild, and then the string ran out. But, oh, what a grand three minutes it was!
They are already starting to scheme an even better plan for Andrew's birthday, which is coming up soon.
It's so easy, in the day-to-day happenings of ordinary life, to forget about the ways God answers our prayers, whether they be big or small. But as long as I live, Henry will forever be my mercy baby, a flesh and blood reminder of God's gift to me eight years ago.