Rosary while Sam was in hospital (15th/16th December 2012)
Sam [my wife] went into hospital in the afternoon of the 15th of December as her temperature was very high. The doctors decided that the best thing to do was to keep her in overnight, try to lower her temperature and if it hadn’t come down, induce her in the morning. So we ended up spending the night in the hospital with Sam receiving all sorts of antibiotics, along with vast amounts of saline and giving lots of blood samples.
Sam slept very fitfully, but during one of the periods that she was asleep I began saying a rosary. The joyful mysteries seemed to be sensible, given the situation, and whilst saying that rosary I found my meditations on those mysteries were deeper than they ever had been before. Although the memory of my thoughts faded all too quickly in the hours that followed, I will recall what I can:
The first mystery (Annunciation) made me think of both what Mary experienced not just at the annunciation but after it too; she had consented to be the Mother of God, but she had also consented to be a mother, with all that that entailed. I am reminded of girls at school who have a life-like doll to look after for the weekend and who are utterly unprepared for what motherhood involves; almost certainly Mary was not so ignorant, given the times she lived in, but having a child would have been for her (and still is today) a massive undertaking. This led me to think about how we found out Sam was pregnant, both with Teresa and with the new baby; it is very straightforward now, the tests are virtually infallible and a woman’s pregnancy is monitored continuously to ensure that the baby is OK; what must it have been like for women before such monitoring?
The second mystery (Visitation) made me think of the visits we had made to family, and that they had made to us. They have such expectation and it is difficult to know how to respond. How must Mary have felt in those months? The expectations of her child would be far beyond those of any child before or since.
The third mystery (Nativity) was, unsurprisingly, the most poignant and again I sought comparisons between our situation and that of Mary; a hospital with doctors and midwives against a stable with only her husband – a comparison made all the stronger by the fact that we were in the hospital because Sam was unwell. I cannot recall the details that went through my mind but I can remember the closeness that I felt to Our Lady and Christ as I prayed that mystery; genuinely one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.
During the fourth and fifth mysteries I considered the things we have to look forward to as our children grow and prayed that they will have happy and fulfilled childhoods.