Indian Life Newspaper -

Water Has Broken

 

Last updated 8/1/2015 at 1:32pm

Last Saturday two phone calls came, one from my son Steve who said, "Dad, my water heater broke." I have no idea why he'd call a guy like me. I'm remotely aware that hot showers contain hot water, but I have no idea where hot water comes from. The basement, I think. "Shut off the taps. Mop up the water," I told him, "and call your Uncle Bill. He's a plumber." The second call came from my daughter who said, "Daddy, my water broke." On April first she said the same thing on the phone, but this time I knew it was no joke. She said the contraptions were 15 minutes apart, which sounded urgent to me.

Twenty-four hours of labor had begun.

Times have changed since I was a kid. My father was a few thousand miles away in Miami Florida on business when I was born. Back then, Dads weren't allowed in the same county as their wives during childbirth. It's likely because guys were known for fainting in the delivery room. "Ah, look Bob, there's your son's hair." Wham. Then everybody had to keep stepping over Bob. So dads were not welcome during childbirth. If the hospital staff was particularly accommodating, expectant dads were allowed to sit in the waiting room as long as they kept quiet and didn't faint. Preferably dads were to stand outside the building much like smokers do now. If they needed to smoke, they could come back inside the hospital where there were smoking rooms. In fact, the surgeon general was probably in there smoking. He might even be smoking in the delivery room.

Times change. Months before Rachael's water broke, she sent out formal requests inviting to the delivery room her husband, her mother, her best friend, and her doola, which I had never heard of. A doola is someone who has had at least 12 children herself so is qualified to offer practical assistance and emotional support, plus she brings crackers and cheese to the birthing room while her husband stays home with the kids, which is what I was doing. I was babysitting my first granddaughter, when my wife called to tell me they were running out of food and would I bring more snacks.

So I did. And suddenly I was standing in my daughter's delivery room. Worship music was playing loudly. The doola was taking pictures. I offered words of comfort to my daughter. "Rachael, remember that most people have been born this way. It'll be okay." Then I fainted. Not really. But I did leave rather quickly.

Back home I thought about a phone call from my daughter eleven months earlier. "Daddy," she said, "We lost the baby." In the midst of darkness and fear, God heard our prayers for another child. Another miracle. I flipped the pages of my wife's Bible to Psalm 78, "We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord...his power and his mighty wonders...He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them."

Early Sunday morning we said hello to our second cute-beyond-words-grandbaby. I was lovestruck. Despite my suggestion that they name her Phyllis in my honor, she is named after the Lord of the Rings courageous character Eowyn. Welcome to our world Eowyn. Jesus is here. And you're gonna like your Granddaddy. I'm gonna feed you ice cream before your parents want me to. Then we'll all go over to your uncle's place where you can have a hot bath. He's got himself a brand new water heater.

Phil Callaway is a speaker, best-selling author, and host of Laugh Again Radio. Check it out at laughagain.org

 
 

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