What comes to mind when you hear the words birth story?
It could be that your only experience with childbirth is from binge-watching episodes of A Baby Story. Or maybe, you’ve birthed four children and look back fondly on your experiences.
However, your life may also tell a different story. Maybe you have had a traumatic birth experience that’s left you terrified to try again. Maybe you long for a baby, and your heart aches every time your friends swap delivery room recounts.
For every woman who’s had an easy pregnancy and a positive birth experience, there’s another woman’s story lurking in the shadows—one filled with sorrow, pain, and fear.
The Curse Runs Deep
Often, we only joke about the curse of pain in childbearing when our period rolls around or when the contractions start. But to understand the depth of our pain in childbearing, we have to rewind much farther than the delivery room or monthly calendar. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were individually cursed. Eve bore the curse in childbearing—God said he would “sharpen the pain” of her pregnancies (Genesis 3:16).
Throughout the Bible, we are confronted again and again with the hard blow of this curse. Rachel died giving birth to her second son, after years of infertility (Genesis 35:16–20). The woman with the discharge of blood desperately clung to Jesus for relief (Mark 5:24–29). Hannah exhausted herself pleading with God for a baby (1 Samuel 1:1–20). And while it is not mentioned explicitly, it can be inferred that even Ruth was barren at one point. There is nothing easy about bringing children into this fallen, broken world—and yet through it all, God promised he would redeem the world through a baby born to a woman—the promised seed.1