On the weekend we began preparations for our new babe, the baby is due in only three weeks so it was indeed time. We’ve set up the cradle, nappies are on the line and neutral clothing is piling up in the laundry. (We’ll wash either boy’s or girl’s clothing after the birth.)
I have been struggling in deciding which to prepare for first, the baby’s birth or Advent/Christmas and consequently had begun no preparations towards either. Upon reflection I realised that expecting a baby at Christmas (due on the 18th) provided me with a wonderful opportunity to fully embrace the Birth of Our Lord. I too am travelling on a journey towards the birth of our child just as Our Blessed Mother traveled towards the Birth of her Son.
Due to give imminent birth, yet traveling, she would have packed the bare essentials (swaddling cloth) for the birth of her child, before she traveled by donkey to Bethlehem, a trip that would have taken somewhere between 4-10 days. Heavily pregnant I can only imagine sitting on a donkey to be most painful.
As I wash and hang our Babe’s clothes and set up furniture I’m beginning to realise how blessed I am this Advent to be more intimately walking along the Road to Bethlehem with Our Blessed Mother. Instead of indulging in the paralyzed inertia that was gripping me, I can enter into the spirit and not only try to imagine this Advent what her emotions must have been but actually be privileged enough to experience some of them.
True, I’m not giving birth to the Son of God, the long awaited Saviour of the World, that is just incredibly mind blowing! Nor am I giving birth to my first and only child, I’m giving birth to our tenth, which in today’s anti-child world has its own unique challenges. As Mary was ‘without sin’ she gave birth without pain, this won’t be my situation, I so wish! still not even mentally going there. I’m inspired though to offer up any discomforts of the last few weeks and the pain of childbirth for intentions dear to my heart. I won’t be riding on a donkey for many days, thank goodness, I only have to endure a short car trip whilst playing the dodging pothole game. Nor will I be giving birth in a raw, primitive Stable, I’ll be giving birth in a modern hospital with caring staff whom I’m most comfortable with.
Despite the differences between Our Blessed Mother and I, we also have much in common, we both eagerly anticipate the birth of our Babes, babies that are much longed for and will be showered with love.