Last week, my sister-in-law, Maggie Smith Shumaker, wrote about her experience with my marriage to a “worldly person.” This week, Maggie writes about the birth of her first child, just four months after my jailbreak.
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November 27th came, and I woke up needing my mom. We drove over to my mom and dad's house, expecting my labor to pick up and birth this baby that was making me feel like a bus had parked itself in my lap. The day dragged on and on, the house filled with my grandmothers, aunts, sisters, his brother's wife, and the labor completely stopped. No pain, no cramps, so instead of going home, we just went to bed that night, in my mom and dad's room. Settling down around 10:35pm, Oh boy! "MOM" I yelled, he went and got her. I needed to deliver this baby! Oh the pain! Oh make it stop!
His mom had just pulled into her driveway, got into bed, and the phone rang...she was being summoned to the birth of her grandbaby. I hoped she wouldn't call Suzanne, I didn't want her around. She just caused problems for me and my own sisters. The midwives were called back, and I got to push for eleven and a half hours. Finally, at 11:35 am, this large, "boy" appeared in my husband's arms.
His head was pointy. I'd never witnessed a birth. I had no idea what was next, what was expected of me, other than the books that I checked out from the library the day I had the positive test in my hand. What To Expect When You’re Expecting did not prepare me for eleven and a half hours of pushing, and nor did it say my eyelashes and fingernails would hurt. But, our family had been born. All 9 lbs. 15 oz, & 22 1/2 inches of him. There is still debate on my husband's part that the scale actually said 10 lbs. It could have said 15 lbs for all I knew...it didn't matter.
For days I fretted as the conversations and whispers from his mom and him talked about Suzanne coming to see the baby. On a Friday night, while the rest of the church was at a wedding, or maybe it was a Thursday night, during church service, we snuck Suzanne in to hold her nephew. I had to convince my parents that the house wouldn't burn down to hell, or that none of them would suffer from her visit...(not literally, but almost) so, they allowed it. The fact that I had to even talk to them about it, sickened me. From then on, my thoughts toward Suzanne were different. I had utter sympathy for her that she would never walk the aisle I did; she'd never be accepted as she was...if she were ever accepted.
We weren't around her much, but there were times we were. Guess what? Our children loved her. She was the best birthday present giver. She got our kids giant teddy bears. Not being a mother herself, she just thought of the child, not the parent. She thought of the child's face when they opened her gift. She had everything a nephew or niece cold want in an aunt. Too bad we had to be so sneaky about her being their aunt.
I mentioned children. Prior to the birth of our second son, our relationship with Suzanne had developed more frequently, as she'd came back to sit on the hard benches and sing. She wasn't "worldly" anymore. However, there was no way my oldest sister would be at the birth of my second child. She said her husband told her she couldn't go if Suzanne were there. Although her and her husband associated with couples in "church" that were living unbiblical principles. Suzanne was not. She was married. That was apparently her sin.
So, he got on the phone, and called my sister's husband. He denied telling my sister that she couldn't go to the birth is Suzanne was going to be there. Nonetheless, Suzanne was not allowed at my parent's home during the birth of our second child. His brother's wife, however, was late to the birth, as she had been picking up her kids from her sister's house (who was also "worldly" by marrying outside of the church). It was said that she was afraid that someone would ask about her kids and she didn't want to lie about where they were, as they'd been spending the night at her "worldly" sister's house. Oh the double standards going on, oh the charades we play, just to keep the peace.