We came two weeks late. A tangle of baby arms and legs all curled around inside her womb finally entered the world while our mother escaped the trauma in the “twilight.” Together, we were just shy of thirteen pounds. Ten fingers. Ten toes.
I came first by eight minutes and then they birthed my sister breech.
Taking care of a baby is never easy. (I only appreciated the challenge my mother and father faced after I had my first child.)
My sister cried more than me. A lot more. In fact, Daddy said that every time anyone picked her up instead of settling with his or her care, she cried even more intensely.
One of the many grandmothers hovering around said, “There is something wrong with that baby.”
Our grandmothers knew about babies. For the most part, they had brought their babies into the world at home. They had relied on the wisdom of their mothers and grandmothers----- the first pediatricians. Now they stepped up to give the first opinion concerning their new little one who seemed to be crying non-stop.
Daddy took my sister back to the city to see Dr. Teeter for the second opinion. He looked her over and found that her arm was broken----a result of the breech birth. The break was faintly noticeable on her skinny baby arm, but the x-ray showed it was already healing.
|Me on the left and Lea on the right.|
The doctor gave Daddy two choices: break and set it or leave it alone, let it continue to heal. Soft baby bones would straighten with time and no one would ever be able to tell that it was broken.
My twenty-one year old daddy walked out of there. No way would he allow that arm to be broken again. He would not subject my sister to that kind of pain.
Our Father, who knit us in the hidden place, in the darkness of the womb, understands how we enter the world broken with the legacy of sin imprinted on our lives.
Jesus took our sin upon Himself, took those broken from birth and healed them.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
In Holy Mystery, the broken are born again.