I was quiet during January, wasn't I? I would apologize but truly I needed that time of mostly quiet. Let the words just sit for a while, rest, rise like dough left warm and covered on the counter. And rise they have.
Words aren't the only thing that have been growing in the quiet of January, though. New Years Day brought the most surprising and joyful news in the form of two blue lines. Our fourth precious child had nestled himself or herself quietly into my womb, no announcement or fanfare, just a silent little stowaway until our News Years Day discovery. What better way could there be to start off a new year?
Of course, amidst the excitement and joy there were those other feelings too. Four kids? We wanted four but maybe we were crazy. And so soon? We had expected this stowaway to settle in early this summer, based on our previous delayed returns of fertility. And me, a now-pregnant bridesmaid in May, my dress will never fit, and another cherished wedding will be missed, with the baby due only a handful of days before that one, oh dear. And our marriage, we have made such progress, such progress, will pregnancy and then babyhood serve to undo that?
Ah, fear. How quickly I allow it to rise up and choke out my joy.
But many deep breaths were taken and many prayers were offered and many fears were spoken aloud to one another and it all settles down eventually. The wonder if it all sinks in and those worries seem less important. (Although we are desperately sorry that we will miss the wedding of my dear sister-in-law and her lovely husband-to-be. Even so, what could be more perfect than a wedding and a new baby at the same time? What a blessed time for our family.)
The boys are completely thrilled, as I knew they would be. Then again, the older one has suggested that twenty children would be about right, but after discovering that the female body can mature up to 400 eggs, he wondered if that was an option for us. Yes, these are the sorts of conversations we've been having around here. I think I'm answering his questions well so far, but heck if it isn't a bit nerve-wracking nonetheless.
As for baby girl, well, she has no idea. It's a new experience for me, having a child who doesn't understand that Mommy is going to have another baby in a few months. Pregnancy has always been a beautiful time of watching them prepare for their new role as an older sibling. Closer spacing this time around makes for a different experience, and I hope that we can all handle this upcoming transition smoothly. I worry for her, just a little, and for me too, but things always turn out better than expected in the end.
How funny that I once mourned our inability to have our children two years apart like we wanted, and now I'm nervous about having received just that opportunity! Well, it will be a new adventure for us - and time for a mini-van, too!
This fourth little one will arrive at the end of August, making me eleven weeks along right now. S/he has been good to me so far, with only the slightest bit of nausea some evenings. We had the good fortune of seeing the little bean via ultrasound at eight weeks, lifting his or her little head and waving around his or her arms. I'm excited about the upcoming weeks - hearing the heartbeat, feeling those first movements, hopefully leaving the last of the nausea behind as I move into the second trimester.
Whatever worries we may have, it is joy that we feel far more abundantly. Thank you, Lord.