Our colorful nativity set was placed on a table beside our box TV that year. We were weeks away from welcoming our first child and I was overcome with anxiety about giving birth. Just days before Christmas, my husband and I wrote our biggest-fears-turned-biggest-prayers onto ripped-up printer paper and laid them before the baby Jesus’ feet in our nativity set. It was a tangible giving over of our fears as the transition into parenthood drew closer.
Here’s what I wrote on a small, jagged-edged, thin white surface:
God, please let me have a natural birth. I don’t want to be cut open.
I folded it up as tiny as it could be and left it there at his imagined baby feet, covered by cloth.