Thursday, December 3, 2009

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

I have often heard people make the remark that this is such a silly song. What baby is silent? Babies cry alot when they are born, right? Well, having had the experience of birthing at home, I would just love to have a conversation with these critics (and I have one of them.) Babies definitely cry when they are born. But if it's done right, they don't cry for long (and sometimes not at all.) I have had 3 babies in the hospital and 3 at home, so far. My babies in the hospital cried more than those at home. Why? Well, it's cold out here!!! LOL!!! That's a simple answer but true. Not only that but they relish the security of mom's arms and her breasts. Babies don't cry when they are offered all these things first and wrapped up in the warmth of momma's arms. In fact, when my babies are born, I hold them skin to skin covered with a clean towel or blanket. Neither one of us is dressed. :) But they rarely cry. Mine study my face as I speak quietly to them. They will often search for the breast and then will try to nurse as best their new little mouths can muster. Mostly they just want to rest secure in my arms after the traumatic entrance into the world.

But there is something more that makes me love this song and the implications behind it. Babies crash about 2 hours after they are born and they sleep a long time. While in the womb, the adrenaline gets going. What happens once the adrenaline wears off? . .you sleep. Hospital births can't experience this because there are just so many tests, regulations, and such about where baby should be and when. I know when I was in the hospital, they were wisked away after some brief moments and then I didn't see them again for a few hours. They were sleeping by the time I got them and I had missed the wonderful waking hours they were having.

I treasure my home births. I have the baby, spend about an hour in the 3rd stage of labor and recovery. During this time I nurse the baby skin to skin and just study who they are. They leave baby with me. After I have been cleaned up and such, it's time to weigh baby and take more necessary vital signs. This is cold for baby but they've usually adjusted to the room temperature and aren't so in shock when unwrapped. After this, we both take a very warm healing herbal bath and then dad takes baby to bond and dress. It takes about two hours from the time of delivery to me getting out of the tub and dressed. When all this is finished, I sit contendly to nurse my baby. After that the baby sleep so soundly for the next 4-6 hours. It's truly a silent time. It's almost better with a night birth because then you just nestle down together and sleep. It's beautiful.

There is nothing far fetched about a silent night when Jesus was born. People sleep at night. Animal sleep at night. All is calm. But on this night, it is very possible that this new babe let out it's first cries to fill it's lungs, had a few more protesting cries telling everyone that it's cold in this world, and then nestled down into mom's arms secure and safe. By the time the shepherds got there, it's possible that Jesus had hit that long sleepy time for newborn babes. This could have been when Mary put him in the manger to sleep. The shepherds came to worship. . .he's still sleeping, it's still night, everyone else is still sleeping. . .it's still a silent night.

I have no proof to this, of course. This is just my own experience with my babies. Babies cry for various reasons. But if their needs are being met, they just simply don't cry that often or as loudly as everyone says and complains that they do. I have no illusions that babies never cry. Personally, I think babies are louder the older the get. LOL!!!! And they do cry when they are newborn but it's just not the frantic noisy cry that so many people say they should have.

Enjoy the season. Spend time with family. Serve where you can. Most importantly, remember the silent night when our savior rested peacefully in the manger only a while after his birth.

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