Our fourth child was a bit of a surprise to us. At the time we found out I was expecting again, we had a five year old, a two and a half year old, and a 14 month old already filling our home with commotion and pandemonium. Though I had every intention of someday adding to our family, I felt totally unprepared to face another pregnancy, and welcome another baby, so soon. My initial reaction was not one of joy but instead a sense of fear and exhaustion.
In fact, for the first few weeks my shock and fear continued to plague me. I just did not feel ready for a new baby and was completely dreading the long months of pregnancy. I kept reassuring myself that God would send me an uneventful pregnancy and a very easy-going baby because He knew I could not handle anything more.
As the weeks progressed, I discovered I was not very good at determining God's plans. My first trimester was fraught with scares. I had three ultrasounds and numerous calls to the doctor. I had at least one weekend where I was sure a miscarriage was eminent. Thankfully, it never came. Though I was emotionally unstable throughout the pregnancy, the pregnancy did continue. I had only one more unexpected ultrasound before baby was born because his heart rate was unusually high, but that too turned out to be okay.
Then came the last month of my pregnancy. By this time, I was at peace with the situation, after all I truly love babies and this one was coming soon whether I was ready or not. Soon, turned out to be a relative term. That last month was one of the longest of my life. For some reason, I was terrified about the upcoming labor and delivery.
In addition to my apprehension, I could not stand because my back was killing me, I could not sit because I was plagued with Braxton-Hicks contractions, I could not lay because I had such bad heartburn. I was completely over being pregnant, yet I was terrified about giving birth. I was miserable. I kept telling myself, this was going to be an easy baby. It had to be, God would not send me a challenging baby after all this.
So finally, the day came to welcome our new baby boy. Amazingly the labor was not too bad. I got quite nauseous though and the doctor gave me some medicine to help. The medicine made me feel very light headed and out-of it. The delivery was a bit hazy. Perhaps this was one little stroke of luck, because our baby was so big he got a little stuck on the way out and the doctor had to pretty much pull him out by force, as I was later told. I was unaware of it all in my slightly loopy state. I just remember looking at him afterwards, and upon seeing the rolls on my new baby's arms and legs, asking my husband, "Now do you see why I was so uncomfortable?" At 9 pounds 4 ounces, he was about a pound and a half bigger than any of our other newborns had been.
Was he the easy-going baby I had expected? You've probably guessed by now, that he was anything but. He would cry for hours every evening. He did not sleep through the night for months. He seemed to create a lot more laundry than his siblings had, between unending drooling and peeing out of his diapers regularly. He was a total mommy's boy and wanted to be held for the first 12 months of life. This was no easy feat considering his size and the fact that there were three other little ones also demanding my help and attention. Yet, God strengthened me (both emotionally and physically) and we persevered. And, of course, despite his demands and fussy times, my littlest boy was lovable and adorable and a blessing right from the start.
Four years later, our youngest son is the most amazingly happy, charming little guy you'd ever meet. He makes friends everywhere we go and is incredibly easy-going now.
I tell my son often that I am so glad God sent him to our family. Sometimes God sends the most unexpected blessings and with them can come the greatest lessons of our lives. God is so, so good.
At eight, my son is still sweet, charming, and easy-going. And, of course, I still feel incredibly blessed to be his mommy!