From December 2015 --
I had barely squeezed back into my pre-baby jeans (I had to essentially jump off the dresser into them, but they zipped, and that’s a feat) when my husband and I looked at each other, and at our sleeping, angel-faced son and shared a “Should we do this again?” look. We agreed to leave it in God’s hands, not stress about timing, and “see what happened.” We guessed it might take a few months.
A mere 4 weeks later, I spent the morning hurling the contents of my breakfast, and I knew God had acted – and fast. Feeling shocked and blessed, I quickly did the math to determine how close in age my two tots would be. 13 months. My husband, ever the cool, collected, calm in our household, was thrilled. I was too. I was also panicked.
“Was that PLANNED?”
I was on line at BuyBuyBaby, organizing my coupons and wiping a rogue booger from Finn’s cheek, when the woman in line behind me noticed I was pregnant, with a baby in tow, and presumably fairly young. She shook her head in badly masked disgust, and asked one of the questions you’re really never supposed to ask: Did you plan that?
The answer could have been a simple “yes.” After all, it was the truth. Wanted, planned, anticipated, adored. But to admit that would be to admit that my first – who was the most amazing surprise of my life – was somehow “less than.” I looked at Finn, his big blue eyes blissfully unaware of the judgment that was looming about our family in check-out aisle 3, and thought about what my life would look like had he not been in God’s plan. I wanted to tell her that each night I thank Him relentlessly for giving me what I didn’t know I wanted, or needed. That I couldn’t have planned for such a miracle, and I’d spend every day of his life grateful for the gift of motherhood. It was him, and not this (planned) unborn baby that made me “Mama,” after all. He was an answer to the prayer I never prayed.
My stepdad once told me, that when you have faith in your own convictions, you never need to explain yourself. It’s a concept that can set you free from worrying about the thoughts of others, if you let it. Choosing diplomacy, I smiled and said “We must be crazy, right?” I handed the clerk my coupons, shrugged off my embarrassment, and drove home.
While cleaning up dinner that night, I thought of “BuyBuyBaby lady” again, and how I wished she could see through her prejudice and into our home. From the kitchen, I could hear Mike playing “sneaky kisses” (He hides, pops out, and an attack of kisses and laughter – from both of my boys – follow), and telling Finn how much we loved him as he got him ready for bed, a routine they share each night. I think about what I had planned for 2015 and how none of it could have been as magical without my little “unplanned” family. I wouldn’t trade a single, difficult, unplanned, chaotic minute of it for any other life.
It wasn’t at all what I expected. It was so, so much better.