Mary Poppins Not over at Crazy Acres shares her thoughts on Saying What I Mean, Meaning What I Say. I understand her sentiments exactly. I also understand having a baby at 43 and another at 45.
When John was a little over a year old I had a deep discussion about motherhood with our then pastor, Father Donahue. To us John's birth was nothing short of miraculous. After six years and six miscarriages, another baby seemed so far out of reach. And then John!
I experience an odd disconnect between pregnancy and delivery. Yes, I am aware that I am having a baby. With an active baby, such as Kolbe, there was no forgetting it for a moment. Kolbe would do pilates (or was it kickboxing?) for an hour or two and then wrap it up with a bout of hiccups. This was a nightly occurrence.
Once while carrying Tim, I laid hand on my belly just as he landed a kick worthy of Chuck Norris. For the briefest wisp of time, I wrapped my hand around his tiny foot. An unbelievable moment.
Despite these sensations, in my compartmentalized mind, there is The Pregnancy and then there is The Baby. With John I experienced a few hours of pre-term labor around 36 weeks. I talked to the doctor on call who advised me to head over to Labor and Delivery to be monitored. In we went. The monitor showed weak but regular contractions so the nurse pumped me full of a wretched substance known as brethine. As I lay there freezing and jittery, I looked around the room.
There was the bassinet, the stack of blue and pink striped baby blankets, the scale.
"I'm having a baby," I thought to myself. "This is real. This is real. I'm having a baby."
As I talked to Father Donahue with baby John toddling around, I shared what the years of sub-fertility taught us about the value of life and the blessings of children.
"You know, Father," I remember sharing, "if I have a baby at 49, I'll be nothing but grateful."
Little did I know that a teeny tiny Ainsey was at that moment already growing inside of me. Saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I laugh about that conversation and wonder if God will take me up on my offer to welcome another soul at 49.
Over at Faith and Family Live!, Arwen Mosher - who is expecting twin boys - is talking about giving her current baby a little extra love before the arrival of the new ones. The night before Ainsley's birth was a busy one. I was micro-nesting, making sure my bag was packed and my room was tidy. In all the bustle, John fell asleep on his own. I was oddly crushed. I wanted him to be the baby one last night! Tim was the baby for four years. Kolbe reigned supreme for six years! John got a paltry two years, 13 days.
God must of heard the silent desire of my heart (talk about melodramatic!) because John woke up about ten o'clock. I held him and hugged him and told him what a great baby he had been. We even captured the moment on film.
I guess the big boys - who are always pining for another sibling - are not the only ones with baby fever. My neighbor across the street just brought home the cutest, tiniest girl. Oh! My! Goodness! Nothing like holding a newborn to convince you your 18 month old is about to turn seven. Last week I attended a baby shower for another friend who, like Arwen, is soon to deliver twin boys. The cable knit cardigans and froggy sleepers were to die for! Baby clothes do it to me every time. During the lowest points of our secondary infertility, I strategically avoided the baby aisles at Target. Couldn't take the sight of those tiny socks and itty bitty onesies.
But my word for the year is Now.
Now John is every bit as cuddly as he used to be. While not officially The Baby, he is still little and funny and loving. Ainsley is not, in fact, seven. She is eighteen months in all its wonder. Now is the time I am enjoying her burgeoning toddler vocabulary as she says "John John" and "cookie" is the most adorable voice ever.
God may yet call us to joyfully bear another soul. But as for Now, I will celebrate with my neighbors and enjoy this energetic family of my own.