The Tragedy Of Having A Baby


My wife is 41+ weeks pregnant with our third child. Even though we’ve done this (twice) before, we are attempting a VBAC home-birth and we’ve both been running the full gamut of stressful and nervous emotions. All signs point toward a healthy and comfortable baby who just doesn’t want to come out yet(who can blame them?), but expecting to go into labor every hour for 3 weeks is exhausting.

The other day, after a solid cry session, my wife expressed again her current emotions in the constant waiting and said “I just feel like something bad has happened and I have to convince myself to be okay and bear it.” The truth is that anything we put significant hope in is a tragedy until it is fulfilled. It’s not tragic because we don’t want this baby, its tragic because we really, REALLY want this baby and we can’t do anything to get at it.

From a storytelling perspective, this makes a lot of sense. The goals that any characters hope toward and how their actions and fate play together are the plot of a strong story. The only difference between a traditional comedy and a tragedy is whether the hopes of the protagonist were eventually fulfilled. In a comedy he gets the girl and the happily-ever-after. In a tragedy he dies alone. Either way, the plot along the way is tinged with some level of fear that his hope is misplaced.

I think life should be full of these experiences. They suck pretty badly, but if we want to cultivate things like faith and hopefulness then we have to pour a lot of them out before we start seeing them rewarded. We live in a world that mostly let’s us down. Whether its the people we care for or the general negativity of circumstances, cultures, or political structures, we have more reasons to stop hoping and cut off faith in beauty and love and truth-acted-upon. But there is reason to hope, though we only do so in weakness now.

We’re pushing in to this idea. We’re recognizing the confusion and frustration and are choosing actively to have hope that we will look back in joy and laugh at what becomes a comedy in hindsight. We want ever stronger and stronger muscles of faith, persevering to trust in the truth regardless of attacks or whispers against it. As a farmer plants his seeds in the spring and watches the seasons change in eagerness, we have hoped and prayed toward this child’s birth and will continue to seek and find rest in the future healthy delivery of a son or daughter (we don’t know which!)



Further reading

What Daughters Should Expect From Their Fathers

Wanna Change The World? Shake Someone’s Hand!

What Christians Can Learn From Atheists


  1. Homebirth is a bad idea for the safety of the mom and baby. It has a significantly higher death rate for mom and baby than hospital birth. You should put your hands into doctors who know what they are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Please, please think about getting a second opinion from an OB. I lost my son at 40+2 during an attempted HBAC. I promise you it is not worth the gamble that everything will be ok. The statistics we have on HBAC mortality are horrifying. Please… I would be happy to talk to you more or share my story. Just take a look at this piece written by a doula:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Induction actually reduces the chances of having a c-section, especially for post-dates. A huge new systematic review was just done on all of the studies, you can see it here:

    Please go to the hospital. Get your baby checked out. Post-dates can be very dangerous for babies. On top of that, a home VBAC is ALWAYS very, very risky and can easily result in the death of your baby. Please put the safety of your baby above everything else and go to the hospital right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Midwives Alliance of North America’s HBAC stats:

    HBAC 5 times more likely to end in death than VBAC in a hospital. HBAC 9 1/2 times more likely to end in death than elective repeat cesarean delivery.

    Anna’s HBAC uterine rupture story:

    “If we had been in a hospital I would probably not tell myself every day that not only did my choice to give birth at home result in the death of my baby, it deprived my husband of the gift of a first son, and took away my daughter’s chance to have the little brother she now asks to go rescue from heaven in a rocket ship. We all want him back.”


  5. You say there is nothing you can do but there is, there is! Please go to the hospital and have the baby checked out and talk to them about your options for induction should your wife not go into labour on her own. This isn’t one of life’s awesome lessons, it’s your beautiful baby’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just want to read that your baby arrived live and well. I am already PTSD triggered and holding my breath knowing that this is unfolding as we speak. Whatever you do I am praying from across the world, because that is all I can do, and I hope to God that you will do something other than just pray and sit and wait to see if what happens turns out to be a tragedy or a comedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, I’m really sorry I’ve caused so many intense fears in you all! It’s very strange to read these comments and also read other responses else ware were people say “my daughter was born 21 days past her due date and it was perfect!” or “I had 8 births that were all over two weeks late!”

    I guess our perspectives always depend on who and what we trust!

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone!


    1. Anecdotes are not evidence. Every study we currently have regarding pregnancies going over 41 weeks shows that babies have a significant increase risk of fetal demise. It is far riskier to watch and wait at this point, especially passing 42 weeks. Of course there will women who go 42+ weeks that ended fine, with a healthy baby….. there are also women who went 42+ weeks and had a stillborn baby because the placenta was unable to sustain life for the baby. Postterm also poses increase risk of infection, meconium aspiration, etc. This is why anecdotes are basically useless and should not be trusted. You are throwing caution to the wind. If things end up going wrong, you will think “how did this happen? Why didn’t anyone tell us?” If everything goes ok, you will think “see, you all were wrong! We were right!” The reality is, majority of babies post date will be fine. But increase risk never the less. Also decrease of VBAC being successful.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Find a birthing center that supports your choice. A hospital will just push a C-section on you or force it on you. In a birthing center your choices will be respected, but you will also have the safety of a medical staff.


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