My first-born

“you’re my first born child, and the person who first showed me the miracle of this love a mother has for her child. ”   ~Elizabeth Noble, Things I Want My Daughters to Know

Tara in black and white

I know where I was at this exact minute, on this day in history in 1979. I know how I spent the day. I remember everything leading up to its’ culmination at 7:16 pm from my waking thought at exactly 5:55 am, just before the alarm would go off.

What was that? Am I in labor? Eyes widen, fully awake!

Thirty-five years ago at this exact time, I was being born. Me – this mother, now grandmother part of me was laboring to be, to become. I was shedding the skin of childhood and girlishness and self-focus and passing through the purifying pain of labor and delivery. I was walking a pathway to an unknown and unknowable destination. I was giddy and excited, scared and alone. I trembled with each deep, slow breath.

A girl woke up alone at 5:55 am, pregnant, filled with life {potential}. At 7:16 pm, she was born – a mommy, a full-grown woman.  They placed this perfectly round-shaped, blond-fuzzy-headed baby girl into her arms, the fruit of her labors, a tiny baby girl was born {potential}, too. Now they were two.

when — naked, soaked in sweat and blood, and a heart thumping from a marathon — you are squeezing onto your bosom ‘the whole universe wrapped in harmony with your soul’ and realize that this is the tiny body of your own baby.  Mytyr, Mana, Mater, Muter, Madre, Mother, Mamma, you are the circle of life; heaven and earth pass through you.” (Eleftheria Mantzouka)

Yes. Today is Tara’s birthday.

Tara leading prayer and worship

Thirty-five years she has walked this earth, which is hard to believe when you look at her, overwhelmingly stunning, her spontaneous smiles so youthful, so nineteen! It’s the celebration of Tara, it’s her birthday! Her arrival changed everything! The entire course of my existence was altered right there on the spot. This is a bit of her story, her glorious entry, as I recall it.

When I’d arrived at the hospital, just 30 minutes before she was born, I was {quite unknowingly} in deep, transitional labor, my entire focus on cooperating, breathing, bringing my baby forth. I asked the ER attendant to wait before wheeling me upstairs.

“Oh honey. You’re never gonna make it, ” the sassy girl said. “You’re going to be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you’re acting like this now, you’re never going to make it.”

I had never wanted to hit some one so badly in my life (transition!), but I was on a mission to birth a baby. I closed my eyes to shut her pointless babble out and breathed, {inhale} in through my nose, slowly, to maintain some control, {exhale} out through my trembling lips.

She rolled me onto the elevator and her negativity became a drone, the sound of the “adults” on Peanuts cartoon specials, like unseen teachers talking to Charlie Brown, “Wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah-wahhh.”

Could she not see that I was bringing forth perfection – and soon?

In their defense, apparently hospitals work with first-time moms who freak a little too soon in the game, but I’d been laboring, working hard for this since 5:55 am.

I was wheeled into the laboring room at about 6:50-something, given one of those magnificent gowns to don and left to my devices. I swayed, I breathed, I called this baby (boy? girl – my secret dream?) forth. I braced myself for 20 hours of this hard work, my reasonable service.

When nurses returned a few minutes later, they were surprised to find that my royal child, this gift of God, was ‘crowning.”

Tara and her family in Kai's room

Tara was born.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

She was born at 7:16 pm, just about a half hour after we’d pulled up to the hospital doors and no one there really had anything to do with it. It was me, my baby and the God of the Universe.  The Creator – He was there, having just applied the finishing touches on a life so uniquely formed and perfect, His own (full and complete) delight splashed all over her, perfuming the air with His very Presence, His absolute love. I inhaled the scent of the heavenlies from the top of her tiny head.

Alone with my baby a little later in a dimly lit room, this exquisite girl-child and me, she slowly opened and closed fawn-shaped eyes. The holiness of the moment, of the realization of the redemptive work of God and His total love lie swaddled securely in my arms, as irrefutable proof of Him. He was here – He was with me, for me. Proof!

Tara's selfie

Tara was a gift to me from God Himself. To me.

I’d awoken a girl, filled with questions and wonder and trepidations. I was going to sleep, having been ushered through the courtyards of the Lord, arms and heart filled, into motherhood. A daughter!

I am ashamed to admit I still sometimes struggle to truly, really, wholly trust God. That is terrible. Especially because He has actually completely shown His trust in me – 5 times!

Do I even need to tell you that a gift from God is good? That He gives beauty for ashes, a garment of praise instead of a spirit if despair? Do I need to remind you? And He sent the healing oil of joy for mourning. Our good friend once called Tara, “Liquid joy.” And it’s true, because oil is poured out and nothing it touches is ever the same.

The enemy tried to take her from me once {from God’s great plan for her life}, but the full-force of heaven  stood with a mom, born that day, May 9, 1979, who said, “Give. my daughter. back!” And what could hell do but whimper sheepishly away?

Tara smiles

So, Happy Birthday, Tara, and happy {joyful} day you made me a mom

You have grown up to become a compassionate, loving woman. People are drawn to your smile, your sincerity, and your gentleness powered by strength. You are a star in the darkest of nights and a voice for your generation. You’re a wonderful mommy, the fun-nest kind and such a devoted wife. Your house, all interesting and textural and colorful and serene absolutely looks like you. The lyrics are in you, the melody pours forth sweetly, and you, my most darling and beloved first-born, are such treasure on the earth, let alone to me.

And baby girl, I can tell you this about God’s gift of you to me, for these words could not be truer in any situation,

“Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).”  Ephesians 3.20-21 Amp.

And so, as your momma, you need to understand how desperately I pray this for you. And how deeply I KNOW God is hearing you and your heart’s cry.

And because I witnessed your birth, felt you emerge straight from the hidden place where the Hands knitting you together delivered you into my arms and into your bright-light existence, because I understood His delight and joy in having created you and written your story, I KNOW He hears you now and that this same God, His power at work in you (in your heart, in your body, in your womb, in your reproductive system) is able and will carry out His purpose so far beyond anything you even dare to ask or think or imagine or wish or hope.

Beyond your highest and most powerful prayers or your wildest dreams, infinitely more than you may even have the courage to ask or think, God can do anything, anything.

It’s not too late, my Tara-girl. And I once fought hell over you. So believe me when I tell you, I am believing, petitioning, agonizing, asking, reminding and staying put before the throne for you, for your life, for your deepest, wildest dreams to come true. Because I was born that day, too. And this is what mommies do.

Tara in the car

God has given you so much love in three adoring fellas. From you to them, from them to you. But you have more to give, more love, more joy. So sing, sing in the Spirit and with the understanding. I’m joining in your song {Tara’s song}. Let’s see what will happen. :)

5 thoughts on “My first-born

  1. Now I’m a big teary mess! :’) This is awesome, Jeanie. You have one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever witnessed. Love you lots. And, Happy Birthday to Tara!

  2. What a great post! I can identify with the deep and unexplainable joy that exists with birthing a firstborn baby girl. There is nothing like it and the knowledge that I will be just as amazed and in love with her 35 years from now makes me see my beautiful big sister in a different light. I love you, Tara! Happy birthday!

  3. The words. It’s all about the words. And your words bring emotion and peace. Well done, you. And well done bringing our firstborn into this world. God’s destiny in action. I love you both. Also tears. Happy Birthday my little Tarby-Nooners!!! -dad

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