My sister was doing fine with her planned, induced delivery. Her contractions were steadily peaking and decreasing as her body prepared to give birth to her son: her fifth child. It was a risky pregnancy since she had preeclampsia. Thousands of women and infants die from this condition each year. Her husband had stepped out to get some lunch, since she wasn’t expected to deliver until later that afternoon. Mom, grandma, and I were there to offer support.
Because her side began to hurt, the nurse turned her over and left the room. Suddenly the contractions stopped. We guessed they would start again soon. Suddenly my sister panicked and blanched. “I think my water just broke.”
Mom ran to get the nurse who ran into the room. My sister pulled back the cover to look and said almost crying. “Is there supposed to be that much blood? I don’t remember there being that much blood when my water broke last time.” She got paler and paler with her lips turning blue. I knew something was seriously wrong.
Mom rushed my grandmother and I out and into the waiting room so the nurses could help my sister. She told my brother-in-law what was going on. He ran from the room. Mom said we needed to pray for her right away. I joined them in their Christian prayer since as a Unitarian Universalist and panentheist I believe in a higher power with many faces. (Besides my mom knows I’m Pagan.) I just don’t think Jesus was a powerful Avatar. But I believed in the power of prayer and I wanted my sister and nephew to survive. A life or death situation isn’t the time to debate theology or theaology.
I turned to Gaia, offering a silent prayer for her to protect my sister and her son. Gaia said, “No” — I needed to pray to Hecate. Hecate? Hecate? My mind raced. I understood her to be a dark goddess of the crossroads, the Queen of the Night. However, I followed my matron’s words and prayed to Hecate.
My sister and her son survived with no complications. The worse that happened was she lost 1/3 of her blood which she was able to replenish naturally.
Once I was home, I did some research on Hecate:
“Hecate, who is regarded as nurse and overseer of the young …” http://www.maicar.com/GML/Hecate.html by Carlos Parada Green Mythology Link website
“Hecate as a protector of childbirth is also expressed in one of her titles, Kourotrophos” http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Hekate.html
Thank you Hecate.