Many nights in these last 2 years Matt and I have found ourselves in our living room talking through inspiration, and taking turns drawing out and tweaking shape ideas for our online earring shop. I remember very specifically working on this new design one night back in early spring (or for us Minnesotans “second winter”). One of us asked, “What should we call it?” We thought on this a long while. Nothing perfect came to us. We knew that we wanted this design to be the star of a new, fresh line to be released in the summer and we knew that we wanted this summer line to be a fresh rebranding of Damsel and Fox.
Fast-forward to April. We were awaiting the arrival of our third child. Things had not been going as well financially as we thought they would by now, and we seemed to be too busy to be who and what we want to be. The need to have patience as we wait on the promises of God — that he will not let his people down and will always provide for their needs and give them rest — is of the utmost importance. How can we have joy and be happy, when we live so much of our lives outside of our comfort zone trying to do something greater with our lives? I don’t have a complete answer to this question, but I do have a glimpse. Philippians 4:6-7 in the Bible says to pray about all things and to be thankful, and that if you do that, then God’s peace will guard your heart. Sometimes I sense that peace, and sometimes I don’t. What I need and am religiously trying to practice is accepting and tolerating delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. This is why we named our daughter Patience. It can be considered ironic that the experience of her birth was a major event in my life where I needed to practice this very virtue. Here is the story:
Easter morning, 2:15am: My body wakes me up like usual with all the typical third trimester symptoms. I get up slowly, feeling sore and uncomfortable, waddle to the bathroom and then back to bed. But something is different. It feels as though my body will not allow me to go back to sleep. And then comes the first contraction- sharp, strong, and sure. The wave ends and I let my body relax, but a mere 2 minutes later comes the next. I pull out my contraction timer app and begin to time them. Each is just as sure as the last. The pain wraps around my back. It takes all of my focus to get through each wave. I wake Matt up and tell him that I think it’s time and we pull the appropriate strings to have someone here with the kids so we can leave.
Everything feels very surreal. We make the drive to the birthing center, contractions still pressing on all the while. My body is very ready for the ease that the birthing tub promises. Patience. First, they must monitor our sweet one and make sure she is handling contractions well. At 4am the tub is ready, as am I. The midwife arrives and we have lighthearted conversation between each contraction. The tub feels right and safe. My baby will be here soon. Patience.
My son’s birth, by comparison, lasted only 40 minutes so I’m beginning to feel discouraged that the pains keep coming with no progress. I remember that with my daughter’s birth, keeping my bladder empty helped progress things, so I am assisted to the restroom a few times. On my third trip, I stand up and my water breaks. This should mean it will be over soon, right? Patience. Back in the tub and things are only getting more and more intense. She is moving down but my body tells me it isn’t time to push yet. Patience. With each wave, I know in my mind that this should mean she’s closer and closer. I’m feeling very discouraged. The tears flow without my consent or control. It feels like it will never end. It feels like she isn’t coming. Each wave is getting stronger and stronger. It feels as though they are stronger than me. This is impossible, right? This IS my body doing this. I feel I can’t do it, but I AM doing it. Patience. I hear my husband continuing to encourage me. His strong hand helps hold me up and absorbs at least some of my pain. I cannot do this without him. My midwife asks what her name will be. Patience. I hear chuckles throughout the room. The irony is that she is taking her time in coming, and we are all practicing the very virtue she will be named after. Patience.
My husband reminds me that my labor with my son was mostly standing up. Perhaps standing will help her to move down and come sooner. My body is in so much pain I cannot imagine moving. More and more waves and pains come. The peak of the pain is unbearable, but I must bear it. Why won’t she come? Patience. Finally, I must try to move, try to stand. Perhaps this will push her into my arms sooner. With the help of many hands in the room, I stand. Next comes an enormous gush and splash! The shock sends a couple of the helpers in the room looking for a baby in the water, but it must have been my water breaking for real. Almost immediately I must push. This is what my body needed. This is what she needed. Patience. I begin to push while sitting back down in the water. I need to be able to brace myself more than standing allows. Sitting feels right. I give 3 large, painful, intense pushes. Her head is out. Patience! Labor has been so intense, so trying, that my body does not have much strength left. But she is almost here. It is almost over. I hear Matt tell me to give one more big push and that I can do it. I do it, and she is here. Patience!
Finally she is in my arms. It is over. Our sweet Patience Melanie is here.
Shortly after her birth, we were finally ready to hit the drawing board again to finalize this design for release. It made complete sense in our minds that, since our daughter came at this point in our lives, we must name this design after our sweet Patience and the very virtue that the Lord is working to instill in us at this point in the life of our family. This design resembles this time of life that I know I will look back on and see God’s fatherly hand guiding my steps and leading me to green pastures. Meet the Patience!