From the time I was pregnant with our first child, I decided that I would offer my suffering during labor for the soul of that baby and for the soul of my husband.
By Rashele Birmingham
17 April 2017
Pregnancy and labor are long and grueling for most women. However, as Catholic women, we can put all that pain to good use through offering our suffering to the Lord for either specific intentions or to distribute as He sees fit. Perhaps instead of trying meditation, hypnotic birthing, or classical music, we ought to bring a crucifix, stream the rosary in the background, or even ask family and friends if they have specific intentions we can pray for during labor.
From the time I was pregnant with our first child, I decided that I would offer my suffering during labor for the soul of that baby and for the soul of my husband. As a registered nurse, I knew that (if I was able to have a natural labor) avoiding interventions would be the best for my health and the health of the baby. And so my decision was made, but as my day of pain drew nearer, I waned between determination, fear, and dread. I was consoled only by the thought of surrendering my pain to the Lord and uniting my suffering with Christ’s suffering on the cross.
The ability to offer my suffering (during what has so far been the greatest suffering I have ever physically endured) was one of the greatest gifts I have given my children and family. It turned pain into beauty, gave sacrifice a purpose, and drew me closer to Christ and His suffering on the Cross.
Not only did this offering affect me but also my husband. By the birth of our second child, his faith had grown immensely. Instead of being unsure how to help as I suffered during the labor, he was able to unite my pain … his pain … our pain … to the cross. He was able to assist me in my sacrifice. He finished my Hail Mary’s when I could not. He reminded me after eighteen grueling hours that my suffering had meaning and a purpose. And so our suffering brought us closer as a married couple as we gave this time in our lives to God.
Any Catholic mama’s out there who have offered their labor pains to Christ? If so, in what ways were you able to do this during your labor?
Rashele Birmingham is a Catholic, wife, mother, and Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of a large hospital. She and her husband are focused on raising their children and promoting a Catholic culture in the home. Rashele enjoys sunshine, hiking, all things family oriented, playing piano, making healthy and delicious food, and action movies. Be sure to check out her new website featuring healthy food and healthy living: thenourishedfamily.com