Ever since my pregnancy with Kingston, I have wanted to write out the story of his birth. If I were to be honest, I think I haven't done so because it was wrapped up with so much pain and loss. My son's entrance into our world was one of the single most miraculous days of my life but the days before were sad. Very sad. Let me go back...
As I said, I am not a baby person. I love my babies. Madly. Desperately. Insanely. But I don't enjoy the daily grind of logistics that are involved with keeping an infant alive. After we had India, we were done. Done-done. Like, no thank you, I will never, ever, nineteen-eighty-NEVER have another baby in my womb!
The Fall of 2008 was one of the darkest periods of my life. I had just lost my job, which was less a vocation as it was a calling. In the process, I lost my church, my career, my hopes and dreams for my future and my extended family. My decision to walk away was the most painful choice I have ever made. It took years to come to that point but in one morning, the decision was made and my life would never be the same.
I went into a dark depression.
The kind that seems endless with no cure. The kind that pushes people away. The kind of depression that shuts down your will to live a functional life.
My marriage suffered under the weight of the loss. Every day my husband went to work at the very place that was the source of my pain. Every day was a jagged reminder that we no longer shared the same dream. Amidst biting accusations and extended periods of excruciating silence our marriage was crumbling from the inside out.
It was in this environment that I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant. Moments before I took the test I lashed out at Josh saying hurtful words in anger, blaming him if I was in fact, pregnant.
We looked down at the bright pink plus sign and stared. We said no words. I climbed in bed and slept the rest of the day.
My pregnancy was the worst yet. I suffered from hyper-emesis, which means I just throw up relentlessly for 9 months. I lost 20 pounds in my first 5 months. I burst blood vessels in my eyes from puking so hard. The emergency room techs greeted me by name when I came in multiple times for dehydration. No medication could help me from the nausea and vomitting. The last attempt was to put me on a med that chemotherapy patients use. It barely touched it.
I blamed Josh for my misery. I blamed my in-laws. I blamed my parents. I blamed the Church that had let me down. I blamed the people of God who ran from me because they were afraid of my anger. I blamed God. I blamed God with every ounce of my being.
And Kingston grew.
He grew inside of me and by the time I could feel his little body fluttering around, I could barely eek out a prayer of thanks for this little person.
I didn't want him.
I hated myself for this. I loathed the day I was born that I could not wrap my heart around his and welcome him into my body. I internally berated myself for bringing a child into such a mess. I kept a tight cloak of disgrace around my shoulders for not being able to imagine a life with this new person. I cried hot, shameful tears almost daily, knowing that in some way, my baby would suffer for this lack of love. I cried out to God to change my heart. To heal me from the bitterness that was slowly sucking the life out of me.
One day, my friend Trent reminded me of the story in John about Lazarus. In the story, Jesus gets word that his beloved friend, Lazarus, is sick and dying. If Jesus didn't come soon they feared the worst. The scripture says, "And because He loved them, He waited."
Because He loved them...HE WAITED?!
Trent got serious and said, "Rebecca, do you want a healing or do you want a resurrection?"
I knew then that this season of darkness was a process of me dying. Dying to what I wanted my life to be like. Dying to what I believed the Church could do and be. Dying to the picture of marriage I thought was best. In order for something new to come, I had to let the old die. Completely. I knew that I did not want a healing.
I wanted a resurrection.
So I crawled into the tomb and let the death happen. I worked meticulously with Holy Spirit to present my love and hate, hope and faith, painful memories, hurtful words, stubborn unforgiveness all before God and one by one grieved the loss of their place in my life. During this time, I lost many friends and befuddled the rest. I was inconsolable in my grief. I knew that I was in the tomb alone and I imagined, like Lazarus, one by one, my loved ones would leave me in there, as they walked away in grief.
The day Kingston arrived was hot and humid and I walked and walked and walked around the lake near my house to get him out. My hard labor started around midnight and because I was having a home birth, I got in the tub to ease the pain.
In a room lit with candles and a few friends and family members I moaned and groaned through each contraction. The hours melted into an almost psychedelic haze as my body used pain to do the miraculous work of birth.
By 4am I was exhausted beyond comprehension and felt a low panic rising inside of me that I could not go on. Each contraction gripped my body with a force so strong I thought each one might squeeze the beating right out of my heart. By 4:15 the contractions came fast and furious with no breaks in between. One after the other after the other. I was no longer in charge.
The moment of transition for me happened with such power that I squeezed my eyes shut so tightly and in that moment it was like I stepped into a dream. I opened my eyes to see myself in a dark, damp, stinking tomb dressed in death's clothes. I knew instantly that this was the moment of my resurrection. I knew that I was alone in this tomb and that the work of death had taken its toll. I knew that there was a big heavy stone in between me and the fresh, bright light of day. And I instinctively knew that Jesus was just outside that stone. And for the life of me, I will never be able to explain why, I started screaming at the top of my lungs,
"JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!"
I knew without doubt that I was not screaming Jesus' name so much for relief of the physical pain that I was in but more for the desperation that sprung from my soul to be called out of the tomb. I was screaming his name to let Him know that I was ready! I was ready for Him to say the word! Make it happen, Jesus, and my life will return to my body and I will understand life in a whole new way. I screamed His name so gutturally because death was complete and the only way back was for him to call me out.
At 4:47am on June 30, 2009, Kingston Kala'i ke Akua Lujan Loveless was born.
He was dark and hairy and perfect. As I held him in my arms I knew his life would always be a symbol of resurrection and the redemption of things lost. I cried tears of joy as I touched his little face and explored this tiny, familiar stranger.
Kingston = "Where the King resides"
Kala'i ke Akua = "The peace of God"
Last week as I was putting him to bed I looked into his eyes and said, "I am so glad you were born."
And I meant it with my whole heart.
His life reminds me that being truthful about our pain is crucial to healing. His life reminds me that it takes time to produce change and the process costs us so much. His life reminds me that our best-laid plans are often not as good as the surprising "last-minute" plans that God has. His life screams and shouts and giggles and jumps and bursts with the truth that God promises to bring joy from sorrow, peace from chaos, and
Life from Death.
|15 minutes old...my little papoose.|
|One of my fav photos of all time.|
|Josh & 6 month old Kingston.|
|6 month old Kingston & 4 year old India.|
|8 year old Gavin & 8 month old Kingston.|
|Cousin Photo Shoot. So many 1 year olds.|
|Beautiful Baby. 2 years old.|
|Feeding geese at Lake Eola. 2.5 years old.|
|Halloween 2012. He was a "policer".|
|Typical reaction to bed time .|
|Eating at our fav weeknight spot, Dexter's. 3 years old.|
|Kingston Kala'i ke Akua Lujan Loveless|