When Jennie was here, I took her and the boys to the mall for black friday. It was a zoo, as you might expect. As we were making our way through the parking lot (after parking in the back 40, after driving around for one solid millennium), we passed a very pregnant woman. She was stepping off a curb, and reached out for the arm of the man accompanying her, because she clearly had no idea where her feet were.
Jennie and I watched her pass in silence, then I leaned over and murmured to her, "Aren't you glad you're not pregnant?" She nodded, and we walked on.
For the first time since I was...probably SEVEN, I genuinely was happy not to be pregnant. Not just because it's a drag to be so unacquainted with your feet, but because since Sophia was born, I have felt content. I could hold babies without feeling the slightest stirrings of "ooooohhh, but just ONE MORE baby?" It was such a relief, because I was convinced that I was going to end up 95 years old, in a nursing home, still pining for just. one. more. baby.
But with Sophia's arrival, I could look at my unruly gang of offspring, and feel...content. It was like waking up from a long mental illness, I swear.
People have asked, occasionally, if we plan on having any more. Mostly they ask with a cringing sort of curiosity, like they're thinking, how crazy is this ride going to get? And I would laugh and assure them, No, we're good. Life is pretty full, after all.
La la la...can we see where this is going?
As it turns out, that day when I made that comment to Jennie, I already was pregnant. As in, I AM pregnant. Due - get this - in July, the week my firstborn turns 17! That never fails to crack me up. 17! And a newborn! This ride is getting VERY CRAZY, thanks!
I am sick as a dog, and three (count them, one, two, three) people have felt it necessary to remind me of Michelle Duggar's miscarriage (the thinking being, I suppose, something along the lines of "Oh, she is almost EXACTLY like Mrs. Duggar, old and with a ridiculous amount of children, so I am certain she will appreciate the heads up." So if I DO lose this baby, my first thought will be "OH THANK GOODNESS THEY WARNED ME!"). Everyone was GOING to have their own room in the new house, but now Sophia and the baby will share, and I keep having these moments where I realize I am going to have to navigate another task that I thought I was done with forever - like finding a diaper bag I don't hate. I am going to be 41 when this baby is born, God willing, and the whole thing is terribly messy and crazy.
And I am delighted. Clay is delighted. The boys are delighted - although hoping for either a boy or a girl with fewer words. Sophia is...puzzled.
Despite all the upending of our plans, and the sickness and my advanced maternal age, I find myself very happy and hopeful. I may not have yearned for this baby, but now that s/he's here, I'm grateful for every day we get together.
It turns out we did need just. one. more.