For months now, I have gone back and forth about having another baby. I had always planned on having four kids, but after Natalie was born, three sounded just fine to me. Then Julia was born. She started out a wonderful sleeper, but that ended at three months and even at 12 months old, she still woke up twice every night (now at 14 months old, she wakes once and recently slept through the night twice in a week! Progress!). From birth, she had a throat-grinding, painful sounding scream that took a very long time for Alex and I to get used to. Her temper is fierce and rises to the surface in an instant when you put her down, put her in the car seat, or when life just generally doesn't go her way. She is cute and smart, bashful and brave, but she hasn't made the should-we-have-another-baby-someday decision very easy. In my mind, I hoped that Alex would come around and agree that one more child would complete our little family and that Lord willing, we could become a family of five when Julia was about two and a half. Then I started getting baby fever. I blame it on Julia turning a year old. All the websites and books and baby updates start labeling your precious babe a "toddler" as soon as that one-year milestone is reached. Alex and I agreed that I was insane for feeling this way, lol. He was by no means ready to consider changing our family dynamic yet, if ever.
A couple of friends are having babies or trying to conceive, which I guess is pretty common when you're still in your twenties. Everyone around you gets married and within a few years, babies start coming and conversations change from buying houses, home decor, what recipes you make that are husband-approved to cycle-charting, morning sickness, labor and delivery plans, nursery decor, to how to get the baby to sleep at night. I think that as a twenty-something woman, it's only natural for me to struggle with family planning since I am still in the midst of that "ideal" time in my life to be having babies and keeping up with toddlers and, now that I have a 3 year old, a preschooler. I have had this conversation with more than a dozen people in recent weeks. "How did you know that you were "done"? Was it hard going from 2 to 3, or 4 or 5...? How long did it take for you and your husband to get on the same page? I'm just not sure. He's just not sure. I want my kids to grow up with siblings..."
Then I realized something wasn't quite right. I took a pregnancy test. And 3 minutes later, the future of our family was decided. Two pink lines appeared. I was pregnant. Me. Who struggled for 11 agonizing months to get pregnant the first time around. Who miscarried the second time. Who has to plan and try and endure the stress and heartbreak of things not happening as quickly as I would like for them to. Got pregnant without planning it. Without "trying". Holy cow. Um, yeah. I was stunned.
I didn't say anything to Alex because he was leaving for a week-long business trip in two days and I didn't want to blurt out that ready or not, he was going to be a daddy again, but have a great time on your trip and work hard! Good luck concentrating now that I've dropped this bombshell in your lap! I tested again the next day and confirmed that the first test wasn't a fluke. Alex left for his trip the following morning, and I spent the week just dying to tell him every time we talked on the phone. Never mind that he was on his lunch break or getting ready to go sight-see with co-workers or step back into a meeting. I have news to tell you and I want to tell you right now!!! Gah! I did call my doula because she was nearly booked up for Julia's birth month when I called her at 6 or 7 weeks pregnant. She is a vital part of my birth plan, so I couldn't take a risk on her not being able to take me on as a client!
In the midst of my indecision, I feel like God stepped in and said, "Would you chill out, woman?! I have this all figured out and you just need to relax and trust me. I've got this! This is the plan. Go along with it. It's all going to be ok." So now, 4.5 days later as I'm writing this (although I will post it later), I am feeling excited, nervous, a little stressed, still in shock, but I can't wait to tell Alex. I've been praying for God to prepare his heart. I don't want the memory of the moment I tell him to forever be negative because all he says is, "Well, guess there's nothing we can do about it now. We will never get a full night's sleep again!" or "Oh crap!" Ha! And the detail-lover in me is thinking about the finances, the need for a bigger vehicle to fit 3 car seats across the back seat because there is currently something like a meager 6 inches between Natalie and Julia's car seats right now, where is the baby going to sleep, when should Julia move out of the crib, should she move into Natalie's room or stay in her room with the new baby, what will the grandparents think because I know they think I already have my hands full, who cares what they think, who cares what anybody thinks, how much longer until I can tell more people, don't forget to tell so-and-so, don't forget to take your prenatal vitamins! It's a busy place in my brain right now!
Baby G-3 is due in early October. This is just further proof of God's sense of humor: after I miscarried, we purposely waited to try to conceive again to specifically avoid October as the birth month of our second child because there are 5 family birthdays and 2 anniversaries that month, including ours. God says, "Who cares if your kid has to share a birthday party with their cousins or your anniversary?! Ain't no big thang!" (Yes, God does talk like that, in case you were wondering.) So, here we are, our future mapped out before us. Thank you, Lord, for making the decision easier ;) Seriously. I mean that.