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One morning I arose as normal. We were ready for a new day. But as I began to move around and become fully awake I became aware of a dull ache in my head. I felt that my head was not quite on the rest of my body but was floating just above it. I had never before felt this way. Perhaps if I ignored it the feeling would go.
We went outside the cave and prepared to eat some of the cold food which was left from last night. I picked it up and put it down again.
Adam noticed that I was not eating. "What is wrong, Eve?"
"I can't eat this," I answered.
"You are going to be hungry if you don't eat something," he said as he ate enthusiastically. "Here." He handed me a piece of meat.
"It smells awful." It was torture to have it right under my nose. All of a sudden I had a sensation I had had before. I ran quickly away to some bushes and knelt. My body was trying to throw off the contents of my stomach but there was nothing there, for my last meal was last night. My body showed its anger and now I began to hurt all around my middle.
"What is the matter?" Adam had joined me and crouched down at my side.
"I don't know, I don't know!" I started to cry. I was sore and couldn't stand to have any food and my head was swimming.
Adam looked at me in consternation. I realized that he was at a total loss as how to comfort me.
"Maybe if I just lie down for a little bit I will feet better," I weakly suggested. All I wanted was to make my head stop feeling like it was going to float away from me.
"All right, you lie down for a little bit in the cave while I go and check on the flocks, then I'll come back and see how you are."
Adam helped me back to the cave where I thankfully laid my head onto the bed. He cast a worried look back as he left.
I lay there feeling sorry for myself, sorry that I was not out in the fresh breeze and sunshine of the morning. As I lay looking up at the ceiling the tears slid down the side of my face and trickled into my ears. Panic began to seize me and my breathing came in shallow gasps. What was the matter with me? Was I dying? Death always haunted me. Any strange thing which happened to either of us could mean death. I knew that I would surely die, but I didn't know when.
I must have fallen asleep for I awoke when Adam came in to check on me.
"Do you feel better?" he asked as he smoothed my hair away from my forehead.
"I think I feel a little better. I think I will get up now."
I did get up and went outside with Adam. I did feel a little better, but mostly after having slept for a little while I had decided that perhaps I wasn't going to die after all. Something was certainly wrong but I surely wouldn't die. I still didn't feel like eating so I ignored the food. I moved all that day in slow motion, trying to work, but accomplishing little. I had to sit often, for my head would begin to swim again and I must lean it against the trunk of a tree or a rock wall.
I felt very badly that Adam was having to do most of the work. He didn't seem to mind that I was doing so little. He would look over at me often with the look of worry on his face and I realized that he was feeling helpless where I was concerned and he seemed to do his work harder to make up for it.
That night he prepared most of our meal. I helped the best I could but I could not stand the food and ate little of it. After we had called on the Lord for the night and I had listlessly watched the sunset I was thankful to go to bed.
In the middle of the night I awoke to see Adam propped up on one elbow regarding me. The light of the moon shone in and softly lighted his face.
"Hello, Eve. Why aren't you asleep?"
"Why aren't you asleep'?" I returned.
"The Lord has let me know that you will be fine, but you will probably feel rather badly for a while." He looked at me with compassion and, could it be amusement?
"Does the Lord talk to you without me knowing it?" I was a little bit hurt at the thought but not feeling well enough to get excited.
"Well, it is possible that that is so. I was worried about you and asked if you would be well."
"What did God say?" I asked with interest.
"You will be fine, but we must be patient."
"What is wrong with me?"
"Eve, I have an idea, but I am not sure. Be patient and go back to sleep now." He kissed me lightly on the forehead and lay down again next to me.
What was going on here and why did Adam show so much confidence all of a sudden? All I could do was go back to sleep and hope to feel better in the morning.
I didn't feel better in the morning. I was sick every day. I felt that I would be this way forever. I moved slowly and rested often. To accomplish anything I made myself a reward, I would do some task, then I would reward myself by lying down with my head still. Adam was concerned because I ate so little. He tried to tempt with me foods that he knew I liked, but I could not abide it.
This continued for over one cycle of the moon. I was only vaguely aware of the passage of time, for I was so caught up in my misery. But I did notice another curious thing, my flow of blood had stopped. This was another reason to worry. Something must be very wrong with me. I must be dying. I remembered that Adam had said that I would be fine, but I couldn't believe it. How could Adam know such a thing? He wasn't going though this.
Finally a day broke that was beautiful. I could hear the birds singing as I awoke. I slowly walked out into the cool morning not expecting anything good from the day. But the sun was shining, the trees were swaying gently, and Adam was busy cooking something on the fire. It was soup made of meat and herbs. It had a very tantalizing smell.
"Could I have some of that?"
Adam looked at me with astonishment. "Of course you can! I haven't been trying to starve you!"
He gave me a small helping. No doubt he thought it would sicken me. I quickly drank the liquid and then ate all the solid. I asked for more.
Adam had a look of relief on his face. "I am glad you are finally eating again. I didn't know how long you could go with so little."
"This is good. I'll have some more."
"All of a sudden my sick wife has become a ravening wolf!" he laughed. "You must feel much better."
"Yes, I do feel better, almost normal. It is a miracle."
All that day I rejoiced in my returning well-being and marveled that the earth was even more beautiful than it had been.
A day came when I noticed a tightening and swelling of my abdomen. With concern I showed Adam. He ran his hand along it thoughtfully, Finally he looked into my eyes. There was laughter in the depth of his own eyes. "I think I know what is happening to you. But I am not positive."
"Well, you know that all the plants and animals have seed to reproduce their own kind."
"Yes?" What was he trying to say?
"Well, don't you remember that God spoke of the seed of the woman? And he also said that now there were only two of us, but that there would be many?" he gently asked.
Comprehension slowly began to form in my mind. I had seen the animals bear young many times. Why had the thought not occurred to me that I could also bear young?
"Do you think that is possible?" I rubbed my swelling body and then looked at Adam. "I wonder. Many times I have admired the young animals. I have seen how their mothers care for them. But I never dreamed that I would be like them. I wonder what it would be like?"
"It seems to me that you are due to find out one of these days. I think that if it is true it will change our lives. Come, we have work to do. That will never change."
I followed Adam and worked with him all day. As I worked I pondered the possibility that Adam could be right. Somehow the thought was exciting. All at once I was eager to see what each day would bring to me.
As we called on the Lord at evening time we asked him if indeed I was to reproduce our own kind. We were assured that I was. But it was not only my reproduction but was a result of the intimate act between both of us. This was not only my seed but Adam's as well. This was sacred between a husband and wife.
Now I watched the mothers and lambs in the flocks. I had always had a special feeling for the new animals in the garden. I remembered how I had rejoiced with them when there was a new arrival. I had been fascinated by the care which the new mothers gave to their young.
What would it be like for me? What would my young be like? The little lambs and the calves were a little wobbly at first and needed their mothers for nourishment. But they didn't seem to need much more than brief protection and soon they were eating grass and acting like the grown sheep or cattle.
In the garden, the apes had clung to their mothers. They had been almost helpless, their mothers had done everything for them.
Suddenly I had a deep yearning to see those friends again. Except for the flocks and herds which we kept we had been cut off from the daily lives of the animals. We saw them, but they shunned us. No more could I witness the birth of the kittens to the mother lion. No more could I laugh and play in a pile of wolf puppies. No more could I see the mothers and fathers and how they raised and taught their young.
Oh well, no doubt I would learn. The animal mothers seemed to come by their knowledge so naturally. There was no sense in worrying.
Meanwhile, as the days passed I felt stronger and more cheerful. I was waiting for a wonderful surprise. My body increased in size. One day as Adam and I were sitting and resting in the middle of the day I felt a movement inside me. I hadn't moved, and there was no reason for my stomach to be angry, we ate well since we had begun to tend flocks and grow crops. I waited in suspense. I felt a tiny stirring again.
"Adam, something is moving inside me! Come here!"
I placed his hand on my abdomen. "Are you sure? I don't feel anything."
"Yes, something moved." Now the movement had stopped. When would Adam get to feel it so that he would believe me?
I sat still hoping to feel it again. We rested for some time. Finally it was time to get back to work.
I grew larger and larger through my middle. Walking and moving became awkward. The movements in me came more often, some of them were quite violent, as if I were being kicked. I had let Adam feel them many times. I couldn't get over the wonder of it.
"Your seed seems to be very lively," Adam teased me.
"When it is time for its birth I wonder what it will look like. I know it will have to look like us but it will be very small. I wonder what it will be like having three people here instead of two."
"It will be different no doubt. We have had many changes in our lives since we left the garden. Some of them have been very welcome." He looked at me with a tender and teasing look as he made this last statement.
"Yes, life is not so bad," I agreed shyly. "It has certainly not been dull for a moment."
How much larger could I grow and still be able to move? I despaired that I would get larger and larger until I would be forced to do nothing but sit. How would I live?
I sat by the fire thinking these gloomy thoughts as we prepared our evening meal. As I tended the fire and stirred the pot of soup I became aware of a new unpleasant sensation. I felt that someone with huge hands had them around my swollen waist and was beginning to squeeze. And those hands were exceedingly strong. I gave a gasp and pulled away from the fire to sit in misery and incomprehension. The moments passed and finally the hands let go of me. I sighed with relief and took several deep breaths. Adam had not noticed a thing. He sat quietly on the other side of the fire deep in his own thoughts.
I ate little, for some reason I was not very hungry. That was surprising, for even though I did little actual work, I seemed to use much energy just trying to move and keep up with Adam.
We finished eating. At about sunset we called on the Lord, as was our custom. The sunset was very beautiful, the clouds all across the sky were orange and pink. The peacefulness and beauty of this daily event brought quick tears to my eyes. Oh, I was so tired!
I was standing as I watched the sun. Without warning the hands took hold of me again. I groaned with pain. Adam noticed this time. He walked over to me and I grabbed him and clung to him for support.
"I am being squeezed," I cried.
"What?" Adam asked incredulously.
"It feels like huge hands around me squeezing the life out of me!" Tears were streaming down my face. "Oh, it has stopped now."
Adam helped me to a seat by the fire.
"Has this happened before?" he asked with concern.
"It happened right before we ate."
"Perhaps you are just very tired. Let's go to bed."
"I am very tired, I am always tired," I complained as I clumsily stood. I stumbled slightly, Adam quickly steadied me and we walked into the cave.
I lay down on the bed. I knew I would not get a good rest. I couldn't lie on my back for the seed in me was like a heavy lump. I couldn't lie on my front, for I would crush my belly and the seed in it. I could only lie on one side or the other. First I lay on one side, then I would wearily turn to the other side. It was easier to sit up and use my arms to support me as I turned than to simply try to roll from one side to the other. This is the state to which I had been reduced.
Soon after I had lain down and tried to become comfortable the pains came again. I moaned in agony. This aroused Adam and he sat up to investigate.
"The pain has come again. I am sorry that I am disturbing you." I knew that Adam needed his rest. He had much more work to do since I was so little help.
The pain subsided and we lay down again, but now I was on edge. The pain had come three times now. Instinctively I knew it would come again.
The pain did come, on and off through the night. Adam was soon fully awake and would receive no rest this night. As the night wore on I paced the floor of the cave and clenched my teeth together to control myself from crying loudly. Not only pride kept me quiet but also a feeling that I would completely lose control of myself if I gave in to this torment.
"Adam, I am sorry that you are getting no sleep, but I am also glad that you are awake with me. It is so lonely in the night when I am awake by myself."
Adam was walking with me and helping to support me. "This night would be doubly lonely for you while you are suffering this way. I believe you are getting ready to deliver your young."
"Yes, I am sure that is it. But I have never seen one of our flocks suffer this way. It seems so easy for them. Why must it be so hard for me?"
Adam didn't answer. Out of the dim past, for it did seem dim now, came the memory of the words, 'In sorrow you shall bring forth children.'
I said to Adam, "Now I remember that the Lord said that in sorrow I would bring forth children. Am I always to suffer this for the forbidden fruit that I have eaten?" The tears of weakness and exhaustion and pain slid down my face and Adam held me close as I paced and paced through the night.
As morning approached I didn't have the strength to remain on my feet. I sat and leaned against the wall or lay down trying to rest, I became only aware of the constant agony. Finally my body demanded that I push with all my failing strength. Adam was there and gently held the being that came from me.
"Eve, you have borne a man!"
Where was I? I heard an outraged howling coming from somewhere. I reluctantly stirred myself to look at what Adam held in his hands. He brought it and laid it on my abdomen, then propped me up on skins so that I was partly sitting.
I looked at the little creature. How pathetic! He was angry, and how could I blame him? He was wet and covered with blood. I put my hands on him to try to comfort him.
"He must lie there for a little bit, Eve. You have seen the flocks deliver, it isn't done yet."
Soon the cord which had given him life was severed and I could hold this little thing. I took him in my arms feeling very sorry for him. He seemed so helpless.
"He is loud anyway," Adam observed. His eyes were shining as he looked closer.
"He is so tiny! How will he survive?" I asked. Already I was worried that something should happen to him.
"He will grow."
This tiny man-child began to whimper and then became quiet. He had attached himself to my breast. Of course he was taking nourishment from me as the little lambs did from their mothers! Extreme feelings of tenderness washed over me as Adam and I closely observed him.
He was tiny and curled up so that we could not see how long he was. But he must be not much larger than the stretched span of Adam's hands. His head seemed the largest part of him. His hands and feet were perfect replicas of our own, with incredibly small fingers and toes. Both Adam and I were enchanted with this little miracle.
"We will have to think of a name for him," I said.
The morning, which was just now breaking, was cool and I covered my first child with a skin as I held him close to my breast. Adam and I both savored this moment.
I suddenly felt the need to rejoice. "How good God is to us! Even though we have disobeyed and angered him he still loves us and has given us this most wonderful gift!"
"Yes, and you are very blessed, Eve," Adam said in wonder.
I thought back on the days of sickness and fatigue and fear of the unknown. Later had come clumsiness and finally tearing pain. These things were no more than a dream at this moment. "Yes, I am, aren't I?" I laughed. "God really does love me doesn't he?"
"Yes, he has given us this gift and put him in your care. Let us call him Nethanel."
"Do you hear, little Nethanel, our little gift from God?" Nethanel didn't answer, he simply kept gulping from my breast. I held him close. I would take good care of him.
Follow along in the scriptures (links to Center Place Library)
Inspired Version of the Bible
Genesis Chapter 1:22-32 and Chapter 3:22 and Chapter 4:2-3
forward to chapter 7
Copyright 1991 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: September 2, 2001