6 + 1 = 7
I never thought I would have five children. I never really knew how many I wanted. I came from a big family, but I would see other families with 3, 4, 5+ children and think, “Wow, how do they do it?” Especially after we had our first two, I could not even wrap my mind around continuing to have more. We took it one at a time, with not a lot of thought about when we would stop. We have always left the option fairly open, and never wanted to close our hearts to the possibility of a new life too soon.
It often felt like we were done after we had Lydia Lulu, our forth. In the fall of 2020, a stirring in my heart began. Could we have another one? Do I want to? Is this something God has for us? What would that mean for the four we already have? Do I really want to go through pregnancy, labor, delivery and breast-feeding again? There were so many big and small things that factored into this stirring in my heart, from a quote I read in a book, to how our world has been impacted by covid, to my new level of strength/fitness, to the community we live in…all the things. An odd combination of situations and influences came crashing together in my heart and I had to at least explore the option. I will save those for another post.
My husband was not feeling the same way, and I was not willing to push him on it, so I just left it. I wanted it to be his decision and desire too, so I prayed that if it was something God has for us, that Cliff would have the same stirring in his heart. Let’s be real, I could have pushed him on it. I do possess powers of persuasion and influence with him, but that is not how I wanted the story to go. We never drew a hard line in the sand, but it was not something he was open to when I first mentioned it in passing. Our hands were always open to new life and God’s plan, but at the same time, we felt pretty good about the four we had, and we were enjoying the “golden years” of parenting (when your kids are between 14-10).
Back in the fall I actually wrote out a pro/con list to analyze the decision. It is always helpful to get thoughts in writing. All the pros were very moving and inspiring. Most things on the cons-list had to do with the fact that it would be hard and I do not like to be pregnant, and ultimately, that was not a good enough reason for me to say no. We do have an “ideal” set of circumstances that cause it to make sense for our family.
A turn of events unfolded and Cliff became open to the idea and here we are, expecting our fifth. Who would have guessed? Not me.
I have had the typical first trimester symptoms of all-day nausea and fatigue, more intense than other pregnancies. I have eaten more carbs in the last two months than I have in the last 4 years. Carbs are the only thing that sound good and they create the illusion that they will suppress the nausea, but that never lasts. I already have to modify my normal workouts and I do not have the energy to get up as early as I like to. My jeans already do not fit and my body is expanding at a faster rate than usual. There are trips I now will not be able to go on in the next year, and fun things that I will need to say no to in this season.
Yet, all is well. None of this feels good to me in the moment, and I have to work harder on my mental game to stay positive. But I know that it is a short season of discomfort for a lifelong gift, and we are focused on gratitude for the blessing of a new life.
Seven more months until we meet him or her. Stay tuned.