I was expecting and was two months into what would become 6 1/2 months of bed rest. I was sick of being off my feet, sick of constant trips to the hospital and anti-labor medications that left me ill and shaky and miserable. Thinking of reasons to be grateful became a daily regimen of mine. I was reluctant to tell myself it would all be worth it when I had a little baby to hold and cuddle and love at the end of those months of struggle. With so many complications, all of which could easily cause the baby to be born too early or to die in the womb, I didn't dare hang my hopes on a happy outcome.
As Christmas approached, I heard "A Cradle in Bethlehem" on the radio and fell in love with it. The song is a lullaby, soft and quiet and joyful. I distinctly remember thinking, "If I am blessed to have this baby, I will sing that song to her." The words speak of a mother in Bethlehem cradling her baby. I felt a connection to Mary that year I hadn't before--the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy and the birth of her child were not easy, but she was blessed for it in the end.
I still love this song. And, yes, I sang it to my beautiful daughter after she was born, healthy and strong.
A Cradle in Bethlehem
by Nat King Cole