Birth: Life or Death?

Ponder:  Stop for a moment and remember the women in two thirds of the world who face the threat of death during every delivery.

Prayer: Lord, bless all mothers and expectant mothers. Open our eyes to see and use our fingertips to write to help expectant mothers in the third world.




My daughter almost died during childbirth 6 days ago when she almost bled out, loosing a litre of blood

I gazed down at her limp form,

As a tear trickled down her pale face.

She whispered,

“I felt myself slipping away…”

My daughter  thought for a moment that she was dying,

Her husband carried her weak body to the washroom.

The nurse held her new son’s weight, as she nursed.

Life and death are not as far apart as I had presumed.



The largest threat in third world countries is the lack of proper maternal health care for women. In these countries, the women often die of haemorrhaging. This usually occurs while they are giving birth or after the process because there are no doctors or nurses in their presence. When the women begin losing a lot of blood, there is nothing anyone can do.


It is Good Friday, a day we reflect on our Lord’s passion and death. Yet a day that I am thinking of birth, as well..Jesus’ birth in a stable, with no doctor, in an era where mothers died during childbirth, especially young girl-mothers like Mary. I wonder what thoughts or fears went through her head? Of course God was with her and within her in a unique way, yet….

In this painting, young Mary is exhausted, asleep as angels entertain baby Jesus

Marianne Stokes..

4 thoughts on “Birth: Life or Death?

  1. You never know what will happen during childbirth. I’m so glad to hear that your daughter is recovering, and yes, the baby is adorable… boy or girl? When I was in labor with my first child 35 years ago, I was expecting a natural delivery. Things went from normal labor pains to prepping for an emergency C-Section when I was 3cm dilated. My baby was “frank breech” — sitting on my pelvis, butt first. I was only 5’1″ and 125 pounds. I was so scared, my entire body was shaking on the operating table until I started counting backward from 100, 99, 98 … zzzzzz. I learned an hour or two later that I’d had a healthy girl, and her daddy named her “Jennifer.” My plans for “Genevieve” were foiled because he couldn’t spell it! She goes by “Jenna” since high school. She’s expected her 2nd son, and I pray daily for a safe delivery in June.


  2. Melanie, this is very compelling and heart changing. The pictures from Asia say more than words. I’m reminded of Saint Louise de Marillac who worked in France with Saint Vincent de Paul. We need more people out in the field helping others. The work is never done until the Lord returns.
    I’m glad everyone in your family is healthy and safe. God bless you this Easter season.


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