I held my breath and waited to see what would happen. I didn’t have to wait long because there it was after about 10 seconds: a second pink line. Thoughts and questions flooded my mind: Another baby!! How wonderful! And terrifying. Are we ready? We already have a baby–she’s not even 1 yet! And she’s still nursing! Can my body handle so much demand? What will Husband say? We were supposed to go to East Africa this fall, but I’m pretty sure our due date is now this fall. How is Afton going to do as a big sister so soon? But this is great! We love babies! And we want a big family, so it was really just a matter of time. Right? Is it too soon? Is my body even sufficiently recovered from having Afton to healthfully support another baby? What if we lose the baby? How will I be a good, present mom to Afton while still grieving?
And then, the kicker:
What will people say?
It was the heart of the matter for me. I’m not sure if I was expecting judgement or just to be the butt of a few off-color jokes, but we waited several weeks before announcing our pregnancy for a number of reasons, not least of which was because I felt like a teenager about to confess some awful sin to my parents. Those weeks prior to making our surprise announcement gave me a lot of time to think, though. They gave me time to reflect on the privilege we were being granted in watching this little one’s life unfold.
Yes, this baby was a surprise. We planned our first, eagerly awaiting her arrival from the second that little pink line showed up. This one, however? I was fully expecting a negative test that morning, thinking there was no way we were pregnant so quickly after the birth of our first. But a surprise baby is no less of a blessing. I have been reminded of this over and over during this pregnancy, from the tears of joy and pride I saw in my beloved husband’s eyes when I told him to the outcry of excitement when we told our families and friends to the heart-melting moments when my one year old randomly kisses my belly and says, “baby?”
Worries about what others might think have been driven far from my mind. We’re having a baby. A sweet baby! I look back on those early days after my first was born and remember the sweetness of how she would only sleep if she were touching me and the first time she smiled at me on purpose and how those tiny fingers would close around mine and that magical newborn smell. Is there anything better than that smell? Someone needs to bottle that! We’re being given the chance to experience all of that and more two years in a row. What a gift!
I still have questioning times, of course, namely in the middle of the night when my daughter just won’t sleep. Will I ever sleep again? How do you prepare a busy one-year-old to go from being the center of the world to having to share that spotlight? And she has always been my snuggler. From day one, she has wanted to be held and kissed and cuddled; what if this baby is the same way? How do you cuddle two at once?
But, as I head into my third trimester, I grow more and more confident that we will figure all of that out. It won’t be easy, but nothing is more worth it than family. I see friends who have two less than two years apart, and I watch how those children have grown up best friends. The oldest doesn’t remember anything about life prior to the birth of the younger. What a beautiful friendship to be giving my precious daughter!
Three short and very full months stand between us and meeting our second-born, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Nervous, of course, but thrilled. This baby was obviously planned for us long before we would have considered having another, so having a front seat to his or her life will be incredible. And, this is the truth to which I cling during the moments of doubt:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Corintians 12:9
The next time I have an uninterrupted night of sleep may be unknown, but of this I am quite certain. There is grace, and it is sufficient.