Raise your hand if you are a planner. I am sure a lot of us would raise our hands and admit that in some way shape or form, having a plan in place brings us comfort. What happens when the plans that we have made change? What happens when they change drastically from the way they were “supposed” to go? Well, this is the story about how our best laid plans changed drastically.
My husband and I talked about kids before we were married and before we had them. We agreed that two was a great number for us. My husband is an only child and I am one of four. Two seemed like a happy medium and the best scenario for us. We planned the spacing between our kids and could not have been happier. We were blessed with a boy and a girl. What else could we want?
Life with two became the new normal for us, and life was good. I remember after coming home from the hospital it was just the four of us at the house, and I felt peaceful. I felt complete. We knew what we were doing (mostly). Our son took so well to his sister and loves her so much and so well. Life as a family of four seemed to fit us well. We were not outnumbered. We could give each child the one-on-one time they deserved.
Shortly after Christmas, we got the biggest surprise of our lives.
We were pregnant. My first reaction was how can this be? How did this happen? (Well, we know how this happened.) From there, the feelings went to panic. How were we going to manage three kids? The morning we found out, my husband just hugged me for a long time. He kept saying, “It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.” He was just as freaked out as I was.
After I had some time to digest this news, I was affirmed by God that this is meant to be. This verse from the Bible has given me comfort from the beginning. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) God will go before me. Do not fear.
Do not fear.
One of the initial feelings that I had was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of how this will affect my other two kids, fear of how this will change our family dynamic, fear of being outnumbered, fear of how we will change our kids’ room situations. I look around our house, and everything since the birth of our daughter has been completely geared towards our two kids, from the way we hang pictures to the way we hang their towel hooks in the bathroom. I realize as I write this, these are all monetary, material things that can easily be moved around and changed. A friend of mine who went through a similar situation told me that she wishes she could go back and tell her self then to be excited, to be joyful, to not fear.
After getting over the initial shock and getting to the acceptance point, I felt guilt. I felt guilt because of the fear I had. When we found out we were pregnant with our other two, our initial response was joy. We cried tears of joy and excitement. Finding out this news was met with anxiety and panic. Obviously, we want this child and we do not want this baby to ever think they were unwanted. I felt guilt about so many people I know who have suffered from infertility or miscarriage(s). All I want for those friends is for them to have a healthy baby.
The more we shared, the more excited we started to get.
When we started sharing our news with people, those feelings of panic and anxiety magically went away. Why was this? Because mostly everyone we told had pure excitement for us. We frequently got the comment, “I knew you guys weren’t done. You are too good of parents to only have two.” Or we heard, “If anyone can handle this, it’s you guys.” I never thought of us as those rockstar parents who can be outnumbered and still keep their sanity. Apparently people saw something in us that we did not see in ourselves.
After the dust settled, we moved forward. I cried when we saw this baby on their eight week ultrasound. I cried when I felt those first baby flutters. Those first kicks brought so much joy to both of us. We look forward to going to our doctor’s appointments and hearing baby’s heartbeat each month. Seeing the excitement on the face of our four-year-old son when he hears baby’s heartbeat is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Seeing this little peanut at our 20 week ultrasound brought much relief and joy. We realized there is so much to look forward to.
I decided early on that I would not let fear define me or define this pregnancy.
I will treat it with as much excitement as I did my first two. Do I still have moments of anxiety about what it will be like to be outnumbered and to have three aged four and under? Yes, I do. But we have gotten to a point where the moments of panic are way outnumbered by moments of joy. I have to choose joy. God clearly chose us for this purpose and He has great plans for this baby. He has plans for us as his or her parents.
This is a gift–perhaps one of the greatest gifts we could have ever received. And when he or she is born there will be a moment when we know that he or she completes our family and God will show us the reason. And so in the meantime, I will choose joy. I will be joyful about this baby. My son gets to be the oldest with two younger siblings. My daughter gets to have a younger brother or sister. I will be joyful that we have been given the gift of being able to have children. I will be joyful that God gave us a sense of peace about our family, if even only for a season.
We are putting one foot in front of the other.
We have made adjustments in our house to prepare for this baby. I have prayed for wisdom, strength, grace, and a healthy baby. I have prayed for our family. We have accepted this gift and have worked to prepare our hearts and home for this little miracle. I will treasure my time with my two kiddos and never forget to let them know how loved and special they are. Once again I have embraced the power of my body to be able to carry and nourish a baby to term. I have excitedly accepted the everyday miracle that will be joining our family. I have chosen joy even in the unknowns. This baby will be loved even though he or she wasn’t part of our plan. I will remember that God’s plan is far greater than our own.
I will always remember that some of the best gifts in life are ones we didn’t know we wanted.