What do you consider big news? If I told you I was going to get my head shaved, or quit my job, that would be big, right? What I got is bigger.
There it is. Thought I’d just be out with it. No fancy, dramatic prelude. Just one giant hunka how do ya like that? A bit of a bombshell. Well, maybe not to you, but, to us? Definitely.
Maybe you have noticed I haven’t blogged in a while. There once was a time when I thought I would never run out of things to say; the blogs would just keep rolling. I figured nothing could silence me.
I was wrong.
The shock of finding out I was pregnant rendered me mute. I was literally stunned into silence.
I only just made this announcement to my family and a couple of friends a few days ago. I felt like I had to; it might have been rude to have my mother find out I was pregnant by reading my blog. When I was young and pregnant, I could not tell people that kind of news fast enough.
This time, I literally could think of NO ONE I wanted to tell.
When you are youngish and married, and you tell people you are pregnant, that’s exactly what they expect you to say. They’re very excited with you.
When you’re 43, and you have three teenagers, and you tell someone you’e pregnant, they simply cannot respond to that news with unrestrained enthusiasm. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just complicated.
I’m trying to handle my own complicated emotions. I’m without the resources I need to deal with the complicated emotions of others.
When your family hears the news, they worry. When your friends hear the news, they wonder if you’ve gone mad. When people you don’t know hear the news, they consider it a novel curiosity. But, no one, and I mean no one, says, “Oh, that’s WONDERFUL to hear from you, my dear. I had a feeling you’d be telling us something like this. I figured you just needed 14 years to get back on your feet and be ready for one more.”
So here is how our story goes:
The night before Valentine’s Day (and the boy’s wrestling regionals) I had an alarming thought as I crawled into bed. It suddenly occurred to me that it had been a while since I had my period. Unusual.
Warning: I don’t like being so graphic, but this story can’t be told without a few gross details. It’s probably going to get worse. Turn back now, if you don’t have the stomach for it..
As I was trying to fall asleep, I thought about that missed period and a few other ways my body had been betraying me in the past few weeks. Then, I remembered a conversation one of my bff’s and I had about a month ago. We were talking about PMS. She was saying PMS bit. I was saying I wouldn’t know. I have never had PMS. I told her the only time my hormones made me crabby and crazy were in the first months of pregnancy, and after the baby was born. Otherwise? All good.
A few weeks after the PMS conversation with my friend, we were sitting at our daughters’ basketball game. I told my friend I must apologize, and I had to eat my words. I explained that I was feeling really irritated for no reason at all. I mean, if you want me to get real, and tell you how weird this gets, I’ll tell you that the friendly lady behind me at the basketball game was bugging the crap out of me…for being friendly. Yep. Not proud.
I told my friend I was due for my period. I told her that I guessed I DO get PMS after all. (You should know that this is the kind of stuff moms really talk about while their kids play sports.)
That conversation with my friend was running through my head on Valentine’s Day Eve, and then I felt the panic bloom. I thought about the dusty pregnancy test sitting in the medicine cabinet. I did some deep breathing, and told myself I would take the test in the morning. Then, I would see, as usual, that I was worrying for nothing.
While I slept, I had a dream that I took the pregnancy test and it was negative. I was sobbing and sobbing with relief. I was thanking God in my dream, and telling him I knew he didn’t really think I could do all that stuff again. Then, I woke up and took the test.
The plus sign turned up immediately.
I sat in quiet shock. Then, I took the dog for the walk. Good thing about being in your 40’s. You’ve been shocked before. You know there’s no sense in stopping to gawk.
Before I left for my walk, I put the positive test on Scott’s clothes he had laid out for that day on the bathroom counter.
When I came back from my walk, Scott was in the bathroom. I knocked on the door to ask him if he had seen what I left for him. He said real nicely, “No. I haven’t had a chance. Sorry. I’ll look in just a minute.” (He thought it was a Valentine’s Day treat. Oh, it’s a treat alright.)
I went out to the kitchen, and a few minutes later Scott came out too. He looked confused. He said, “What is that?”
I said, “Oh, you mean that stick with the plus sign that says a plus sign means your pregnant? Well, it’s a wrench.”
I know. You’re thinking that there was no need for sarcasm. You’re right, and I didn’t really even say that. But, I wanted to say that. Sometimes I just don’t like having to spell everything out. Especially when I have a wicked case of PMS which isn’t actually a case of PMS, but a case of pregnancy.
Scott took a few moments. He stared off in the distance like he was in deep thought, and then the bugger smiled. He actually smiled. I think he said, “That’s crazy.” Or, something like that, but he didn’t look a bit disturbed or scared or disappointed. He just looked surprised, and, I guess, pretty happy.
Scott told me he had a dream that night that he was walking around holding our one-year-old. And, of course, he loved it. Don’t you think that part of this story is kind of freaky? Because, I do. I really do. Dreams are funny, and sometimes scary.
Scott and I hugged, and said, “this is crazy” a few more times, and then we started our day. Regionals was super exciting. I welcomed the distraction. Like always, I just loved watching the guys in my life and their awesome teammates work toward their goals. There was so much happening: some disappointment, some thrills, loads of cheering and smiles. And, throughout all of that, I had that tiny voice in the back of my head asking me, “Is this friggin’ for real?”
I kept my eye on Scott more than usual that day. I watched him pat kids on the shoulder, laugh with kids, and hug his sons. I watched him from the balcony of the gym, and I thought this, “Of course, that guy down there could have another child. Children are his thing.” And, truthfully, since this whole thing developed, that’s one thought that reassures me.
Scott has never met a child he didn’t love. Really, if Scott’s crabby and I tell him something cute a child did, or show him a cute kid video, he is delighted. And, really, I am too. Our common love for children is something that brought us together when we were teenagers. I think I recognize that same love for children in our own kids too.
I don’t KNOW how I can do this. Really, if you ask me, I won’t have an answer for you. But, what I do feel sure of is that there will be love in excess for any child who joins our family. That thought comforts me too.
What concerns me most is probably the same thing you have been thinking while you read this. We’re old. I saw a picture of myself recently that someone took while I wasn’t looking. I saw my bare arms in the picture, and I thought those arms looked like they belonged to a Grandma. I really didn’t mind so much, because while I do want to be my best, I’ve never objected to getting older. But, I guess I object now that this thing is happening. Don’t you need young arms to take care of a young life?
I know, I am being a bit dramatic. I had two dear high school friends give birth this past year. They both did it beautifully. I know it can be done, and that before modern day birth control, it happened plenty. The difference between my two girlfriends and me, I think, is that my friends’ minds were open and receptive to this possibility before it happened. I, on the other hand, have spent not one hour, minute or second pondering “what if”.
I have always felt so done with my child bearing years. In fact, maybe even a little smug. Never had a should we or shouldn’t we have another baby question in my mind. Just happy for three children who fed,bathed and put themselves to bed. I have looked at young mums, and thought, “sorry about that.”
This is the kind of thing that I thought would always be funny if it happened…..to someone else. Not to me.
So, these are all my thoughts I am working on right now. If you’d like, you can stay tuned, because I’m fairly sure my thoughts are bound to change.
I have all these worries, and then I think of Scott. Do you want to know what? When I had young mom arms, I thought that my arms were the only ones that could take care of new life. Scott had way stronger arms than I did back then, his arms were just as loving as mine, but I didn’t take advantage of that like I should have. I kind of hogged the experience for myself.
I’m older now, and, hopefully, smarter. I won’t do that again. My plan is to do this thing with twice the manpower, which might make it half as hard, which is good because we’re almost twice as old.
The other thought that that I’m holding on to is this: God and I have been through some stuff. I am trusting that this is His idea. Scott and I have been using the same birth control for 13 years, and we are not careless about it; God must have a reason for defying His laws of nature.
I’ve heard people say that humans use faith as a crutch. I don’t disagree. Except, I might amend that statement and tell you that I use my faith as a wheel chair. Without faith, life might shock me into an immobile pile of good-for-nothing.
Absolutely. One hundred percent I do believe that there is a God who loves my family and me. I believe we can trust the plan He has for us, even when the plan looks a little scary. And, I’m telling you right now…this plan looks a little scary.
I guess there is one other reason I could be pregnant. Remember when I told you that I watched, “Call the Midwives?”. It’s a show produced by BBC. Well, guess what? I became addicted to that show. I watched every episode because every episode was beautiful. And, I should have known that would make me pregnant.
In that show there are so many, many women having babies. I guess I just pressed my luck with it. I don’t think it’s scientifically possible to watch that many women having babies without having one yourself. I mean, that line of thinking is if you’re not into all the hocus pocus, spiritual stuff. That’s just more the science part of it.
So, that is the news. I am not worried that sharing our news with you will be bad luck. Whatever happens in our lives, I will ask God to give us the strength to accept it, learn from it, and hopefully use the experience to help others. That’s the whole point, I think.
Apparently, I have a lot yet to learn.