Nearing the halfway point of the expected 40 weeks of this pregnancy, I'm realizing that it's high time I told the beginning of this story! It's a story that fills me with hope and rejoicing every time I pause to consider it, because I clearly see the hand of God at work through it. Here's how it all began...
After Moriah was born, folks (most of 'em, anyway) thought surely we were done. After all, we finally got our girl! And obviously that had been the whole reason we continued to reproduce, right? Well, no, believe it or not, that wasn't our reason. ;-) As far as my own heart, I rejoiced exceeedingly at the gift of four sons and a daughter; but I still had a lingering sense of wondering if there would be another child for us. I spent many, many moments pondering the "should we or shouldn't we have more" question. I don't remember who first said it to me, but the best advice I got during that time was this: "If you're still asking the 'am I done?' question, you're probably NOT!" There's a lot of truth to that. ;-)
One of my main motivators for wanting another child (besides the fact that children are a blessing and I adore each one of mine) was the two-by-two principle. In fact, a very long time ago, I began a blog post about that idea; and although I never finished it, my point was that in my family, even though there is much mingling between all of the kids, they seem to group naturally into pairs: Josiah and David are the first pair, Tobin and Shav the second, and then come Moriah and _______? I was hoping to fill in that blank. In that unfinished blog post, by the way, were these two pictures, taken several years ago perhaps, showing the close companionship of Josiah and David. Why not post them now? :)
A whole year went by.
All of 2014 slipped away, lost in the sands of time; and the only thing I had to show for it was an early miscarriage in August of that year. As the end of the year approached, I had truly begun to believe that God's plan for us might not include another baby, and my heart was at rest with that. How could I not feel abundantly blessed by the children He had given me already? I even got to the point of thinking, "Well, if I'm not pregnant by the new year, maybe I should switch mental gears and start making other plans for the future. Maybe we should look into doing emergency foster care, for example, and use our resources--clothes and toys and other things for both boys and girls from birth on up--to bless other children who are in need of someone to take them in immediately. Maybe that's why God never brought peace to my heart about getting rid of our baby stuff."
2015 arrived; and on the 6th day of the new year, so did a positive pregnancy test. :)
God, in His supreme wisdom, knew that 2014 was not the right year for us to have another child (I think particularly because of the need for me to help more with my mother while she was here at home and then her transition to a nursing home and the emotional upheaval that entailed...that would have been extremely difficult for me if I had been pregnant or caring for a newborn); but thanks be to Him, 2015 is!! :)
I believe I told Jeff about my first pregnancy test shortly after I took it, but also shared my uncertainty that this pregnancy would last; and we adopted a "wait and see" attitude. After my second test--the more definite one--which had been on Thursday, January 8, I didn't tell him about it until two days later, on a Saturday afternoon as he was dressing for a night of police duty. I vividly remember thinking that if something were to happen to him that night, I at least wanted him to know about his child on the way before he died! Such cheerful thoughts! ;-) When I told him, he exclaimed, "Cool!", then asked about the due date; and when I told him September 13, he mentioned that would be great because it would be unique for our family.
And then I didn't tell anyone else. That is so uncharacteristic of me, but this time was different from the other times I had gotten pregnant (and let's see, there have been nine times when I suspected I was pregnant and anxiously took a pregnancy test that turned out to be positive...but there have been far more than nine pregnancy tests taken by me because I've never yet been able to trust a single pregnancy test, so I always take at least two and sometimes four! it's a good thing I purchase them at the dollar store, so we don't go broke buying them!). ;-) This time, the new baby growing within me was a secret I held close to my heart. I didn't want to share it with anyone. Except Jeff, of course, but even with him, I didn't talk about it much.
I was scheduled to fly to Canada on January 24 to visit my aunt and other relatives there; and I had emailed Aunt Joyce and my cousin's wife Susan to let them know that another passenger--a quite small one--would be coming with me. ;-) I knew that before I made the trip, I wanted to announce this pregnancy to all of our friends and family; and I'll be honest, part of my motivation was that, if something should have happened to me during the trip--a plane crash or other calamity--I wanted the fact of my baby's existence to be known and acknowledged and mourned, not just by Jeff but by all those who knew us. I was really having a lot of very jolly thoughts during those days, wasn't I?? ;-)
We've already posted one video from the night we told our kids about the new sibling on the way; but in addition to that one that was filmed by Jeff on his phone, here is the one I was taking on our old camera. Such an important event couldn't be trusted to be recorded by just one device (especially one as unreliable as that old camera)! ;-)
Here is the puzzle I had made for the kids to put together to find out the exciting news. :)
Because we hadn't told the kids yet, I couldn't ask one of them to snap a photo of me, nor could I have Jeff take one when the kids were around. So late one night, I propped the camera up on the desk and used the self-timer to take this one, which isn't a great picture, but at least it's something. You could say I was starting to show already, or you could say that what I was actually showing was the lack of self-control during the holidays that I confessed to in this blog post! ;-) Either way, I knew that, Lord willing, I was about to get a whole lot bigger, and I might as well take a picture so I could look back when I was at my biggest and marvel at how small, by comparison, I had been then! ;-)
Sure enough, if you could see me now, you would notice that there's a whole lot more of me than there was back on January 11! What a blessing this kind of growth is! :)