A Perfect Dozen

Yet another surprise pregnancy test….

Three children in less than four years. Good thing I had two “older” kids (ages 7 and 8) to help out.  Little did I know how much I would need their help.

When I was five weeks pregnant I was put on bedrest to prevent a threatening miscarriage. Doctor Crowe didn’t give Benny and me much hope that our little one would make it. “You have four healthy children and one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage so you need to prepare yourself to lose this one. Go home and only get up to use the bathroom. I will see you back next week unless you need me before then.”

The following week he sent me home again — and repeated his counsel for the next four weeks. Miraculously, our baby was growing under hostile conditions. Six weeks after being placed on bedrest he told us everything was fine! During that time Josh and Jaime made lunches, potty trained their brother, brought school work to my bed to do each morning, did laundry and cared for their baby brother. On September 4 we all rejoiced at the birth of beautiful Janelle Marie. We thanked God together for protecting her, and for an older brother and sister who did more than their part to see that day happen.

Two weeks ago dinner with friends was interrupted by our now 26-year-old daughter.

“Mom, what happens when a pregnancy test is kinda positive?” she asked. “I’m sorry…oh…I didn’t want to tell you like this.  Well, maybe I’m not pregnant anyway. So am I pregnant or not?” (It’s always fun when my RN daughter calls Mom with medical questions.)

“Kinda positive? What? Wait..you’re pregnant?” I knew Eric and Janelle were hoping to have a baby soon but Eric is job hunting so I knew this wasn’t on their radar screen right now. Fortunately our dinner friend (and his wife) was also our family physician. After I blubbered my way through a question he recommended that Janelle wait three days then do the test again.

Photo credit: Granma

Photo credit: Granma

My Missy is having a baby.

Over the past week I’ve been reflecting on God’s kindness. He saved by baby girl’s life and is now blessing her with a baby of her own. Will her little one will throw temper tantrums that dwindle the baby sitter’s list down to family only? Capture the attention of strangers with sparkling blue eyes and a captivating smile? Have future sibling relationships characterized by both caustic bickering and warm affection? Will her toddler’s eyes light up when she walks into the room? Will he or she rush to greet Daddy when he comes home from work and insist on being prayed for each night before bed?

I smile when I think of how God is already using her little one to cultivate maternal sacrifice in my girl. She goes to work as a nurse feeling tired and sick when she wishes someone could take care of her instead. She invited friends over for dinner and had to skillfully shimmy meal prep between bouts of nausea. She came to help me pack when she would have rather rested and napped. Having 11 nieces and nephews has given her quite an education — and she’s embracing a life of sacrifice and servanthood while realizing already that having kids complicates rather than tidies up your life.

This fall, God willing, my Missy will hold a little one in her arms for the first time. She will experience a rush of emotion that will take her breath away and cause her heart to swell with motherly love. Through sleep deprivation and exhaustion beyond what she has ever experienced she will cry out to God for help and probably shed more than a few tears. She’ll look at herself and wonder if she’ll ever get back into her old jeans and perhaps battle discouragement over how a tiny person that weighs less than ten pounds could possibly require so much work.

And she’ll make lots of calls to her big sister and me about how to know if the baby is hungry or tired, if the poop is the right color, and how to know if she’s feeding enough or too much. Eric will probably makes some calls, too. As a new Daddy he’ll be helping care for a baby…and a Mommy.

Today I’m praying for you, sweetie. Praying for health and growth, but also that God will put into your little heart a desire to know Him at a young age. A passion for purity that results in trusting Him to provide a spouse rather than manipulating and compromising to get one. An infectious love for the truths found in God’s word. A loyal love for Mom and Dad that makes the battle with premature independence worth fighting. And a heart of worship that inspires all who know him or her.

Just like Mommy.

Number Twelve's Cousins

Number Twelve’s Cousins

I already love you, little one. You are Papa’s and my legacy — another Little Person to love and rock to sleep and fight all the sisters for snuggle time and buy candy for. You have eleven cousins who will love you; push you; grab things from you; kiss you; and teach you to play Duck, Duck Goose. Uncles who will throw you in the air and decide soon after you’re born if you’ll be a point guard or play underneath. Aunts who will forget that I get first place as Granma and rush to Mommy to hold you first.

And you’ll have another family, too, who will love you as much and provide you with even more love and snuggles.  What a blessed little one you are.

In just about 227 days I will meet you face to face. Blonde? Brunette? Boy? Girl? The only things I know is you will be deeply loved and welcomed into our growing family…and that you’ll have a really loud laugh.

See you soon, Number Twelve!

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5 thoughts on “A Perfect Dozen

  1. Oh.I.LOVE.this!!!!!!!! Families growing, loving, having real life together … with Christ in the center!!!! :.) Such an example of Christ work and faithfulness from generation to generation! Congratulations! =)

  2. I LOVE THIS! Oh my goodness, the loudest laugh EVER- I cannot wait! What a season of rejoicing!!

    Janelle and Eric, you are going to be outstanding parents! Because you know you need Jesus. You love how the Gospel affects EVERY part of our lives, and you hunger and thirst to learn and grow yourselves. I am soooo stinkin’ excited for this little! I think its a girl and I want to give her pigtail braids ASAP 🙂

    Words cannot express the joy that is bouncing around in my heart: I praise God for you guys. Praise God for your story. Praise God for your marriage. And praise God for your BABY!
    Love you!
    xoxo
    “Aunt” Jage. 😉

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