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Edward experiences a classic example of  “be careful what you ask for” that we can all learn from (and relate to) because while we think we are asking for something at the ant level, we never imagine that it will be answered at the cloud level.  (For an explanation of the ant level and the cloud level, see the link for “Fate and Destiny.”)  

When Edward and Bella share the news of their engagement with Charlie, Charlie’s initial fear is that Bella is pregnant.  Later Edward confesses to Bella how much he wishes that were possible, that she have the ability to bear children in her human lifetime.

Edward also spends the entire series lamenting over his desire that Bella live her human life to its natural conclusion and that she not have her life ended at the hands of a vampire, much less his hands, in some orchestrated, arbitrarily timed fashion.

Edward got both of his wishes.  They are both facilitated by Bella’s pregnancy and would-be-fatal delivery.   Childbirth would have killed her, whether Edward “saved” her or not, so her impending death was “natural” in the sense that no one orchestrated or planned her transformation in advance under those circumstances.  She did live the entire duration of her human life as fully and completely (and for as long) as she ever could have — and she also had the experience of a pregnancy and thus a baby.

The problem for Edward, though, is that her pregnancy at first seems like an abomination, an evil impossibility imposed on him as further punishment for what he perceives is his own selfishness in agreeing to consummate their marriage.  He is described repeatedly by Jacob as a “burning man” in this part of the series, and Edward literally feels his existence could not be any worse than if he were actually in the bowels of Hell when he sees what the pregnancy does to Bella, that it is literally killing her.

Of course, the story unfolds with the delivery of a beautiful, healthy child and a mother who is able, in her own way, to “live” to see her baby grow up and prosper.  Bella’s physical transformation from human to vampire was her destiny, as we have known all along reading the series, and even though Edward got exactly what he asked for on two counts through the pregnancy, the immediate circumstances were horrifying because he did not see the possibilities.  The immediate circumstances only looked like doom and despair to him because he did not have any actual evidence or known data to support the fact that she might make it through this experience or that the baby would actually be perfect. 

For Edward, as we have seen time and time again, if he does not have all of the desired facts at his disposal, he is in a miserable state of self-doubt and anxiety.  He never seems to consider faith an option up to this point.  Not even when both of his prayers are answered.   Like the rest of us in our lives, we fight what is unknown and therefore threatening because we fight what we cannot control and what does not appear to have a safe resolution.  Like the rest of us, Edward went through what was probably the most difficult experience of his life because he did not immediately see that prayers are always answered, even when we do not understand or recognize the pieces coming together.

One Response to “Be Careful What You Ask For”

  1. Sue Schwass says:

    Hi Jennie,
    In talking about Edward getting both of his wishes and Bella’s transformation, I thought about Joseph Campbell’s reference to the need for death in order to have life.
    This is a great example of the whole cycle of life and something everyone on the planet must go through.

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