Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Longest Weekend of My Life: Preface

This is the first post in a special Saturday series.  Please check back next Saturday for Part 2.

Part 1: Preface

My husband and I wanted another baby, but we'd been planning to wait a few years. The last two kids were born pretty close together, and with 5 kids we definitely felt we had our hands full. We probably would have decided to stop having babies by now if we hadn't been strongly impressed that there's another little girl who is waiting to come to our family. In spite of all logical arguments, we planned to have another baby... just not yet.

We've learned with the last few pregnancies that our plans don't always work out the way we think they will. God often has a different plan or schedule in mind, and that usually trumps anything we've got in mind.

We absolutely love our big family, and we wouldn't trade that for all the riches in the world, and yet I found myself worried about what other people will think if they knew we were planning to have a 6th child. I'd even told myself that when I finally got pregnant again I wouldn't say a word to anyone, because I'd been afraid of the comments I might get. All I wanted was for our friends and family to support us, tell us congratulations and wish the best for us, but with each subsequent pregnancy it seemed they were less and less excited for us. With each pregnancy, as we strived to depend on the Lord for guidance more and more in our lives, we'd been both apprehensive and excited at the same time. With the last few being surprises it took a little while for the reality of the situation to sink in, but once it did it seemed like we couldn't stop smiling, and we got very excited to have another little one in our family.

Babies are precious, and they bring a light with them that nothing else in the world can compare with. I really like this quote from Larry Barretto:

"Babies are bits of star-dust blown from the hand of God. Lucky the woman who knows the pangs of birth for she has held a star."

When I was personally attacked online for having a big family I was told I should “stop having babies and find a new hobby”. This was from an anonymous person who apparently was very worried about global overpopulation and planned to never give birth to her own offspring. After recovering from the initial shock, I realized it wasn't a personal attack afterall, and I had simply fallen between the cross hairs of this jaded individual.

In my polite response to the anonymous attacker, I quoted Liz Armbruster:

"I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring."

How can you NOT bring children into this world? When you've known the incomprehensible joy and love that comes with nurturing and growing a developing fetus in your womb and then birthing it peacefully as a newborn babe into your arms, how could you even think this isn't a miracle? Children are a wonderful, blessed gift from God, and I feel honored to have been blessed with so many beautiful babies.

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. - Psalms 127:3

I'd been learning Fertility Awareness after our 5th child was born. I felt strongly a few years back that I shouldn't take hormonal birth control any longer, and I'd been pushed to find a more natural way of approaching family planning. I know some people who don't use any form of family planning as they pray and trust that God will give them what is right for their family. I felt I needed something to help me plan. I am a planner, afterall, and it gave me peace feeling I was doing something positive for my family.

I had a few odd cycles as my body adjusted back to normalcy after my baby's birth. A couple of my cycles had been about 45 days long, while one had been only 21 days long. So I didn't think much about it when my expected period didn't come. I decided instead of worrying I'd wait it out and see what my body was doing. I wasn't feeling emotionally ready to be pregnant again with my baby only a year old. Afterall, my husband had decided 3 years would be a good gap and I had agreed and supported him in that decision. This is where we always seemed to learn the Lord has other plans for us. 

Part 2: Bittersweet
Part 3: Numb
Part 4: Peace
Part 5: Waiting
Part 6: Writing and Reading
Part 7: Decisions

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