Daniel Nuzum's audioboos

Friday, December 24, 2010

The last day of Advent and pregnancy: nervousness, joy and sometimes searing pain

In this last week of Advent I find it a deeply moving time to be working in a Maternity Hospital. I can sense in a way I never really did in parish ministry a deeper connection wit the reality of what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph. I see them in the faces of excited parents as they come for antenatal clinic appointments, ultrasound scans, routine check-ups etc. There is a sense of nervousness and excitement as the impending birth draws near. Hands are clasped, kisses are exchanged, impromptu cuddles and affectionate gestures are openly displayed. There are knowing and penetrating glances between lovers. Mums and dada hold stretched bellys and feel reassuring kicks and movements. Walking through the antenatal ward we can eavesdrop on the little lives of those we have not yet met face to face but whose heartbeats echo via the monitors... A sound never forgotten by parents.

As well as meeting with couples preparing for the birth of their babies, I also met with couples whose pregnancy had ended or whose baby had died before birth. There are no words to describe the heart rending pain this brings. I think of them, all of them, each of them, this evening as I get my children's Christmas presents ready. I have a profound awareness of just how privileged I am to be able to do this.

I was deeply touched during one of the funeral services for a baby that I conducted in recent days by a particular piece of music which was chosen by the little baby's parents. It was Never Say Goodbye sung by Hayley Westenra and is adapted from "Pavane". These words capture something of this loss and the searing pain of saying hello and goodbye to a baby in one breath. So as you celebrate Christmas today think too of those who would give anything to have Santa in their home this night.

If I could take this moment forever
Turn the pages of my mind
To another place and time
We would never say goodbye

If I could find the words I
 would speak them
Then I wouldn't be tongue-tied
When I looked into your eyes
We would never say goodbye
If I could stop the moon ever rising
Day would not become the night
Wouldn't feel this cold inside
And we'd never say goodbye

I wish that our dreams were frozen
Then our hearts would not be broken
When we let each other go...
If I could steal this moment forever
Paint a picture-perfect smile
So our story stayed alive
We would never say goodbye 
Hayley Westenra

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