I wonder if I will always associate Pascha with birth, or if those memories will fade as new ones form. It has been 2 years since my daughter's birth, but still I have vivid memories of praying, pouring my heart out, for a safe delivery every time the priest chanted the request to God during a Holy Week litany:
O Thou the Mighty Provider, Healer and Physician of souls and bodies...have mercy on Thy people and save them from all calamities, tribulations, and misfortunes, O Thou the upholder of those who trust in Thee. We ask Thee, O Lord, hearken and have mercy on us.
After a very difficult first labor, delivery, and recovery; I was begging God to help me through the second one. Glory be to God, He made it beautiful. With St. Elizabeth the New Martyr as my own private nurse, God gave me peace and strength, even in scary moments, and he delivered our little Ella from calamity.
from the archives...
I've been watching the lilies bloom and they remind me of preparing for my daughter's birth 2 years ago. She was due on Pascha, and during Holy Week I spent many minutes during services watching the lilies opening on the Epitaphios. I had read that this was good to practice and use during labor, to envision your cervix opening. Well, it worked for me, so I'm sharing some lilies with you, in case anyone is preggers out there--or plans to be.