Judy’s short story of the miracles associated with motherhood:
“There are two things in life I never want to do: have a root canal or have a baby.” My famous words became a mantra. I’d heard horror stories about root canals and I believed my fears of childbearing and childrearing to be well founded. My mother gave birth to me following a difficult pregnancy. I arrived with a webbed hand and two undeveloped legs with no thighs, no knees and a total of five toes, instead of ten. My sister’s baby arrived with congenital cataracts.
My husband and I received genetic counseling three years into our marriage and were told our offspring had a 50 % chance of inheriting my disability. In my wheelchair or wearing my artificial limbs, I doubted I could perform the many physical tasks of motherhood. Plus I was scared to death of delivery and childbirth. All this confirmed that having a baby was something I never wanted to do.
God obviously wasn’t persuaded by all of my seemingly good arguments and He began to unveil His Plan ten years into my marriage.
During a heart to heart talk with my sister, our conversation turned to the subject of children. “Maybe so” I heard myself say out loud. In talking it over for the hundredth time with my husband, David, we exchanged simultaneous ‘pro-family’ thoughts for the first time ever.
My two close friends were new mothers. Each had a good pregnancy and delivery, culminating in a healthy baby. One of them, my special God-given friend, Marilee, had been preaching to me for three years: “Judy, you would be a great mother.” Unbeknownst to me, I was catching her vision.
Still another factor: a second genetic study refuted the previous opinion. The new geneticist indicated only a 0.5% chance my baby would inherit my birth defect.
With these behind-the-scene developments, David and I, with two changed hearts, made a choice to move in the direction of a family. Ten years on the birth control pill plus our ages (both of us were near thirty-five) caused us some concern. But this did not lessen our God-given enthusiasm and newborn desire to have children.
Feeling somewhat nauseated New Year’s morning, I managed to attend church, jotting down a new mantra that would carry me through the next year: “Am I hanging on to something old at the expense of taking hold of something new in Christ?”
The thrill of learning that the New Year’s nausea was morning sickness and indeed, I was pregnant was coupled with fear: would motherhood be as fulfilling as my career in speech pathology? Was I willing to be bedridden for three-fourths of a year, if necessary? Who was I kidding, of course I couldn’t survive the pain of childbirth. Far from a woman-of-faith at the onset. But our God delights in honesty. Given a heart that is willing, there is no limit to His outpouring of miracles.
The thrill of learning that the New Year’s nausea was morning sickness and indeed, I was pregnant was coupled with fear: would motherhood be as fulfilling as my career in speech pathology? Was I willing to be bedridden for three-fourths of a year, if necessary? Who was I kidding, of course I couldn’t survive the pain of childbirth. Far from a woman-of-faith at the onset. But our God delights in honesty. Given a heart that is willing, there is no limit to His outpouring of miracles:
- My pregnancy was without complication. I felt like I was at the prime of my life and David said I never looked better. My major complaints were an insatiable craving for McDonald’s hamburgers, then tacos, then ice cream and finally Clausen’s Dill pickles. It was overdosing on the last two that brought on some gall bladder problems.
- My weight gain totaled twelve pounds, not enough to throw off my balance wearing my artificial limbs nor to prevent me from wearing them. I was on my feet, and in fact in the office the day before delivery.
- Gradually my fear of giving up a career I was good at and entering the unknown was countered with a growing confidence that God was trustworthy. Indeed He was asking me to let go of an old life that I knew was good, so I could enter a new life that would be His Best,
- And finally, the labor and delivery, ‘my dread for decades’ came and went so fast I nearly missed it. Following three hours of labor at home, ten minutes in the ambulance and three minutes in the Emergency Room, Emily Beth entered time, all five pounds, six ounces of her. Her father didn’t recognize her gender until he had carefully scrutinized her whole body with ten fingers, long legs, knees, feet and ten toes. Thank You, Lord.
She arrived on August 14th,. Soon after God unveiled the triple uniqueness of that date:
- On August 14, fourteen years earlier, thanks to my Aunt Ginny, I experienced a new birth and received Jesus Christ;
- On August 14, one year earlier, dining at Emlee’s Restaurant in Carmel, California David and I determined should God give us a baby girl, we would call her Emily.
- And on this August 14, our Heavenly Father God gave us Emily, a cooing and kicking memorial stone reminding us that His Specialty is to walk us head on into our fears, teaching us there is nothing to fear.
And how special to discover the name Emily means ‘diligent one’ for we are expecting that God built into her special abilities to be ‘mama’s helper’ should God bless the Squier Family with additional memorial stones.
Postscript: Emily was joined by two sisters, Elizabeth and Naphtalie Joy. The uniqueness of God’s gift to their mom, was stated well when a friend said: “Judy, how good God is- you were born with no legs and now you have six good legs.”