Our First Dance

A week ago, you lay within my womb, undisturbed.  You heard the moans of my pain and felt the rhythmic clenching of my body urging you to begin a journey that would leave us both blissfully breathless.  With every perfectly timed spasm, I begged for a new mercy; I plead for you to help me, to allow your body to respond to my uncontrollable promptings.  But you lay, enjoying your last moments of complete, earthly peace. I breathed your breath; I provided your sustenance; I swayed you to and fro.

Hours later, when the pain gagged me, clubbing my back and abdomen, I hurled over onto the ground. I negotiated with you, asking for a measure of relief, just to make it to the car. And even in that moment, I loved you. I loved you deeply. But it was not my love that got me to get off of the cold, grimy pavement. Instead, it was my desire to birth you. It was the innate, uncontrollable urging of my groin that lifted me from the ground, groaning all the way.

I’ve always wanted you. Far before I was capable of stewarding your creation, I wanted you. A week ago, I could not believe that I would finally have you. Our body danced the oldest pax de deux in history;  A slow, painful act that stretched every tendon beyond their original limit.; An agonizing, unpredictable moment that is not bound by time to those who dance.

We danced for twenty-eight hours, baby.  You and me, dancing to the mournful lullaby that would put ‘waiting’ to sleep and would bring forth life.

When it was time to coax you out of me, a feeling greater than my pain swallowed me. I was covered in fear. I felt you, finally obliging to my earlier pleas. You bulged within me, stripped of your earlier comfort. With tears in my eyes, I remember looking at your nurse, telling her that I did not know how to push. As daddy held my hand, your nurse took command of my gaze and spoke the truth that we needed to take our final bow: “ YES you do.”

Your name is Malachi Edward. It will be  several months before you will know this. Your name, Malachi, means messenger of God. I spent many months dreaming and praying of the ways that I would see your life honoring your name,yet  my limited scope did not think that it would start so soon.  As I began to bear down, I took part in another dance simultaneously, this one with nature. I joined every broken part of the earth, every broken part of creation, with its deep longing to give birth to something brand new and beautiful. I groaned and grunted, and chanted “Please give me strength, please help me.” I was unaware of the nurses and their promptings to rest. I pushed, and I labored, and with every stretch of my body, with the increased pressure of your anticipation, knowing that something beautiful and untainted was to come forth taught me how to push.  I joined in creation’s eager expectation for you to be revealed. To see a piece of glory, a foreshadowing of what is to come.

After forty-five minutes of dancing, baby, you broke free from me, and began what will become the most enchanting of solos to me. I took hold of you immediately and instinctively.  I don’t know what happened to the pain of our dance, or the agony in my lullaby,  for they were both replaced by a rapid thumping in my heart, racing tears down my cheeks, and a love so deep, so deep and unforeseen.

My Malachi, you taught me to dance. To really dance with abandon. Because of you, I know how strong I really am. I know that I can push beyond the limits of my brokenness to get to something beautiful and perfect. We will never get to dance that way again, but I would do it a thousand more times if I had to, just to hold you.

A week ago, you lay undisturbed in my womb. Today, I get to hold you in my arms.

-Romans 8:18-25

11 Responses to “Our First Dance”

  1. Jessica

    I love it, love it, love it!!! Thank you for sharing. I hope your joy multiplies with your little one as mine has, everyday is better.

  2. Chris Stauffer

    Beautifully written. Tereva, you are a special person. Malachi Edward and Matthew Edward are blessed by having you be part of them.

  3. Terry(Mom)

    I am so very proud of you and i could not have said that any better. Its an amazing journey that you and chi are begining and love will always take away all the pain when you look into that little face. It remind me of your birth a fisrt dance you will never forget but it wont be your last. with much love mom PS see you soon

  4. Eula Ward

    Tereva, the joy I heard in your voice as I read “Our First Dance” brought memories of the first dance I sharedwith my daughter. It is a beautiful tribute to motherhood. As I read I was filled with pride knowing that you were a part of my life. That brief year as your teacher will forever burn brightly in my mind and heart. I pray God continue to smile on you and your family always. Love, your teacher, Ms. Ward.


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