We had just spent several hours in the labor and delivery room together, mostly by ourselves. Every so often, a nurse or midwife would come in to quietly check on me. She’d watch the way we worked through contractions. Then she’d slip out again.
We barely noticed their coming and going. We were too focused on the job in front of us. Through the peaks of each contraction, Jeff applied counter-pressure to my lower spine. And when I mentioned something about my butt being on fire, he reminded me of the time we took a cool walk over a glacier in Alaska.
Jeff watched and listened and matched my mood.
As I progressed through the stages of labor, I talked less and focused more. So he talked less and focused more too.
When the big moment came, Jeff caught his baby girl and laid the ten-pound babe on my bare belly. Then, as if on cue, our darling little daughter proceeded to poop all over me.
One nurse carried her to a bassinet made of Plexiglas while another nurse tried to wipe up the mess our baby left behind.
Now, it’s important to note that a baby’s first bowel movement isn’t made of regular stuff. It’s actually meconium, which is a sticky tar-like substance, and it’s difficult to scrub off. But it was time to deliver the placenta, so that took precedent.
Within the hour, all the post-labor niceties were tidied up, and Jeff and I were finally left alone with our neatly bundled lump of love. We watched her breathe as if nothing in the world could be more fascinating.
Then Jeff turned to me and asked if I needed anything.
Yes, actually, a shower sounded heavenly. I felt like I was covered in sweat and blood and poop. But as soon as I tried to stand up, I lost consciousness. Jeff had to catch a girl for the second time that day and lay me back in bed.
I had lost so much blood during the birth that I couldn’t even stand on my own two feet. A shower would be impossible. But Jeff remained undeterred. He rifled through our bag and retrieved a couple of washcloths and a bar of soap. Then he filled a small plastic tub with warm water.
Slowly and gently, he washed my face. Then my arms and abdomen. Then my legs and feet.
After becoming a father, the first thing Jeff did was care for me. He washed me clean when I couldn’t wash myself.
Jeff’s love for me reminds me of Christ’s love for His Bride.
Ephesians 5:25 says,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word . . .
Lots of good dads love their kids. But the great dads love their kids’ mamas too. <<Tweet this!>>
That’s what great dads do.
Jeff loves participating in all the hands-on work of caring for our children. He has never shied away from diapers or midnight feedings, even when he was the one who had to go to work in the morning.
Whenever we reminisce about the time our sweet little Brynn entered the world with Poop and Circumstance, I remember the hands that washed me clean. And I fall in love all over again.
I could easily list a thousand things about Jeff that I’m thankful for. But today, and every day, I continue to be grateful for the gift my husband is to me. God gave me a godly husband who’s an incredible father to our kids. And I’m forever thankful.
What’s your favorite memory of your father or your husband?
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