Why 100 years? Because 100 years ago today, baby Helen was born to Mathias and Susan Pamer. Helen grew up to marry my Dad, and become known as “Mom” to my five siblings and myself (in that order).
Last evening I was talking with one of our daughter-in-laws, who is expecting her first baby – a girl – in August. Of course, as women do, we talked about pregnancies. I mentioned to her that I marvel that we never had all the tests, sonograms, vitamins, restrictions etc. twenty+ years ago, yet our kids had “normal” births. (Mind you that a “normal” birth for two of our three children took place in small rural towns in Argentina….making it all the more of a marvel, given the conditions.)
Since our conversation last evening, I’ve been thinking how prenatal care and childbearing have evolved in the past 100 years. My grandma probably never even heard of prenatal care. Like most farm women of her era, she probably kept on working from sun-up to sundown, washing clothes by hand, hauling water from the pumphouse, hoeing the garden, gathering eggs, baking bread and feeding the animals. She already had 2 little girls, tagging along and hanging onto her long skirt. Nothing about her life was easy or comfortable, and much less when it was time for the baby to be born; no running water, no electricity, no phone, no central heating or AC. No medical professionals; just the neighborhood midwife. Complications were common and often fatal 100 years ago. What a stark contrast to today’s conditions!
While childbearing circumstances changed so dramatically in 100 years, I realized that some things have not changed, and never will: a mother’s love for her child; the sacrifice a mother is willing to suffer for her child; the protection, provision and care she gives her offspring. Those things haven’t changed. Grandma was a godly woman, and I’m sure that she prayed often for each of her eight children, experiencing God’s peace in the realization that He loves them far more than she ever could. I’m positive that her prayers for baby Helen – and all her children – were the very same prayers that godly moms today offer on behalf of their own children – no matter how old they are!
One hundred years later…some things changed, but some things didn’t.