We found out about baby #4 on a Sunday morning. Which ironically was the morning that the stomach bug (finally) left our home and I (finally) reached my goal weight. Ha! It was also the morning after I (finally) began this blog chronicling the laughs and lessons of parenthood. Double ha! All-in-all, a pretty big weekend.
I always seem to have a pregnancy test laying around, and that Sunday morning was no exception. You’d think by now I wouldn’t be confused by that little bugger, but I found myself staring blankly at the windows and symbols before literally googling the image! We’ll blame that one on baby brain.
Positively thrilled. A fourth little laughter in our home. A fourth playmate for the 3 Little Bears. A fourth source of refinement for Momma and Papa Bear. A fourth soul to nurture, to train, to love.
And positively terrified. Nine months of my body turning into a circus act of emotions and functions! Pants that stretch waaaay above my waist (or what used to be a waist) and shirts the size of bed sheets! Nine months of sweating by night and nausea by day. Cankles. Spontaneous crying. Heartburn and Tums. I really should have bought stock in Tums. A fourth car seat. And let’s not forget the Birth Day. For all its beauty and joy, IT HURTS!
I’d be deceiving you if I told you these thoughts and others like them didn’t cross my mind. Or not just cross my mind, but threaten to set up camp there!
But do you know what destroys the enemy camp of fear and anxiety? Thankfulness. (And chocolate…but mostly thankfulness.) And so today I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I have access to an abundance and variety of healthy foods, even if they give me heartburn. And then, I’m thankful for Tums sold in bulk. I’m thankful for maternity clothes that are a tad more fashionable nowadays than our mothers’ moo moos. I’m thankful for the support of family and friends who are genuinely happy to welcome another Kirkpatrick into their world. I’m thankful for quality healthcare and for midwives who love birth and pregnant ladies and babies. I’m thankful for the privilege of conceiving. I’m thankful for a husband who loves being a Dad and a Husband, and who, upon learning of baby #4, created several charts and graphs projecting our financial future. (You can laugh here; it’s funny- I instantly jump on the computer to find a midwife, and he instantly jumps on the other computer to create a graph!) Did I mention he’s an Economist? And that he’s really good at providing for our growing clan?
And I’m thankful for God. For the wisdom and instruction He offers, for the strength and comfort He brings, and for His ability to transform suffering into joy.
Like a mom’s labor transformed into joy when she finally meets her baby.
It was worth it.
*Photo of our last birth provided by Caryn Scanlan