My Surprise “Bonus Baby”

After my miscarriage, I desperately wanted another child.  Month after month we tried; and month after month a piece of me grieved every time I started my period.  A couple times I was several days late for my period (which was very unusual for me—I used to be a 28-day-like-clockwork kind of a gal), but I refused to take a pregnancy test unless I was over two weeks late (which never happened) because I simply didn’t want to know.  I was pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to handle another loss like I had experienced already.

And then all the Depression I had been feeling ever since my loss all built up to a ferocious explosion when, three years after the lost baby, I was tossed even further into a seemingly bottomless pit of depression and hopelessness.  After coming out of that alive– praise You, God! – I finally felt healed and whole and full again.

Soon after that breakthrough I came to peace with the fact that I was never going to have a biological baby again – and for the first time that thought brought me peace rather then despair.

You can imagine my surprise then when, just a few months after I came to terms with that reality, I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant.watercolor pregnancy

I was absolutely shocked— I honestly did not think my body would ever house another baby again.  And when I looked at that stick displaying a plus sign, two thoughts came flooding into my mind and heart: the first was absolute delight.  The second was absolute terror.  While I desperately wanted this new child, I also was now no longer so naïve to think that just because I was pregnant meant I would get to hold a baby in nine months.  And given the spiral effect of all the hormones and grief and sadness that ensued from my loss three years prior, I was absolutely terrified that if I lost this baby I would once again plummet into those depths.  I literally feared for my life.  But, to be honest, I was also afraid of what would happen if this baby was born alive and well.  (Confession: infancy and toddlerhood aren’t my favorite time of life— I’m not a huge fan of sleeplessness or of being needed so much.)  And with the reality that Postpartum Depression exists, I feared how I would fare with a new baby.

Here is what I wrote in my prayer journal the day I found out I was pregnant:

Wow, Lord… may Your will be done.  Only You, me and J know about that positive pregnancy test.  Wow, what a shock.  I of course have my doubts whether “it will stick” or not.  Given my history of the last several years I’m wondrous that anything is in there at all.  But, Lord, I praise You for Your creative power and love and I trust that if You will for me to be a momma again, you will strengthen me and this baby and You will give me the grace and patience to do whatever I need to do.  Lord, please keep this child strong and may he/she be a brave, beautiful, lover of You.  And, Jesus, help J and I to truly bless and help each other this time around…. I long for You, Lord.  I long for Your strength and leading.  I need You so much.  I cannot do this motherhood thing without You.  Please help me.  And please protect me and my baby.  Amen.

So that entire pregnancy, I lived in fear.  Every. single. time I went to the bathroom: I would check the toilet paper to see if I was bleeding.  And every day I would pray that God would give me the strength for whatever the future held.  And every day I would pray that my baby would grow healthy and strong and perfect.

And every day I was expecting it all to end in a horrible, bloody, heartbreaking mess.

But… do you know what happened?

I got this:

newborn Ben

 

the big sisters

all three on porch

Can you stinking’ believe it???

Here is the prayer I wrote out the morning after he was born:

Thank You, Lord, for this wide-eyed, dimple-faced, perfect-lipped, birthmark, sweet-hearted, chunk of a baby!  Yay!  He’s here! 🙂

I praise You, Lord, for bringing him out safely and quickly.  Thank You for helping me endure the labor—and thank You for the technology of epidurals!:)  Thank You for his proud, loving big sisters and that J is here for it all.  🙂  Please help us get some sleep tonight—our first night in our own bed at home.  And please help us to be patient and loving towards one another.  I love You, Jesus.  Good night.  Thank You for everything.  Words cannot describe… 🙂

yawning Ben

And when he was almost a month old, I wrote this:

Oh, Lord, having Benaiah is so wonderful.  What a gift—an indescribably amazing gift—it is to have a baby again.  This time around feels so different from when I had the girls.  Especially when I had Ellie [my first].  I was so young, self-absorbed, so wanting my own way.  So impatient, so intolerant of her dependence on me.  It’s weird this time…it’s weird: the effect that being happy in infancy is having on me.  I’m remembering how very challenging this time was with Ellie and Abby… and how much easier and more “natural” is this time around.  And Lord… I feel… guilt and maybe even shame at how immature and stupid and selfish I was back then.  How blind I was to not see how sweet their innocence was.  I wanted so much to hurry out of infancy… and this time I am much more able to relish it, appreciate it for what it is… how BRIEF it is!…”

me and 6 month old Ben
me and 6-month old Ben

 

 

Ben
Time is flying by! Look at my two-year-old now!!!

 

Ben laughing

 

 

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What about you?

Have you ever been full of more fear than you knew what do with?  How did you deal with it?  Or: has God ever given you a super-amazing surprise present? 

Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.

 

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