Monday, May 20, 2013

the big Good News

I'm struggling to find the words to write today, not because anything is significantly wrong, but because we had such an "off" morning.  For the second week in a row we've tried to insert a new outing into our Monday rhythm, a morning Bible study at a friends house.  And for the second time in a row we left emotionally tuckered out.

I knew it would be hard to add this in because I don't like to go out in the mornings and Monday is our weekly Laundry Day.  The outing interrupts so much of our flow.  Even though it sounds fun and it is good, it undercuts the supportive currents that nurture the kids and I.  It's that flow, that rhythm that enables me to do so much and for us to feel good and balanced and connected despite that productivity. 

But not today. 

So, here I am sitting down wanting to tell you some really good news and instead my heart is heavy and crowded.  Liam's heart broke at playgroup.  He was just not in a place to process and deal with some things that went poorly amongst the kids.  It makes me see that he is like me.  For us, the details matter, routines matter.  I've given him my hugs and my love and now we are all having our rest time.  I trust we will come back together refreshed.

*******

Now this is my time to write.  I could have waited until later, but today I wanted to share my heart.  Mess and all.  I know the internet can allow us bloggers to give the impression that we have everything together, that our life is all sunshine and beautiful snap shots.  Today I choose to write now, to bring this very special announcement along with my tears.

We're planning to have another baby!

In February my husband gave me the best gift of all - he decided we will have another child, something I've been longing for for years and years.  He wanted to keep it to ourselves a bit, so I've been holding it in, not even telling Aria and Liam.  Then just last night we celebrated a late Mother's Day with his mother and gave her this present...

suprise, Grandma!

Two yellow bottles, our way of announcing that we're going to try for another little one after all.  We thought the grandparents would enjoy seeing the kids' original reaction to the news, so I included some little gifts that I though Aria and Liam would enjoy using someday with baby.  It does not escape me that the baby gown is pink...

sharing the news all at once

No, we're not pregnant.  There's a reversal between us and that goal, a surgery not scheduled until December, but we're going to at least try.  And I am so happy.  And grandma was SO happy.  And it really is THE happiest Good News.

Sometimes I'm fearful as well as joyful.  Fearful about finances, ability to keep working, to keep homeschooling, and to make a child happy who will be so much younger than my other two and probably have no siblings (unless we have twins, please God!).  But, you know, the good things usually are Hard.  They can be SO HARD.  Just like a fiddly, tricky quilt that's in some ways a true pain in the arse, but if you can relax and enjoy it and take it one day at a time... 

Today I claim joy.  And I pray God that joy would come. I've been keeping this verse by my side, as sort of a personal motto.  Today it seems fitting to share it with you...

"Seize life!  Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes - God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on color or scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift.  It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it.  And heartily!"

- Ecclesiastes 9 from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language

with blessings and
such gratitude for this space,

Rachel


69 comments:

  1. Oh, congratulations! That really is the best news! I kept thinking, from the post before this one, which I just read, "Hmmm ... is she pregnant?" The string block that had the big-stitch quilting on it--it said, "morning stitches," but I read it as "morning sickness" haha! Well, that really is wonderful news and I'm so happy for you. Have fun trying! :)

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  2. Beautiful post, Rachel...and our pastor is preaching from Ecclesiastes right now, so that is on my heart. What a blessing! I love that verse in that translation. I am going to print that out and carry it with me! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Such happy and exciting news! Congratulations on your decision, a big one at that! Also on the first part of your blog... Just remember that the devil will try to steal your joy...sounds like he is working overtime to make your Monday morning bible time a disaster... I will pray for you and your little ones that there will be a wall around you to keep the devil out, your joy in, your time blessed, and you can leave from your outing feeling refreshed and ready for the week!

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  4. Yay! Congratulations, Rachel :)

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  5. Hooray! Best of luck on your journey. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  6. the happiest news of all! me and pregnant belly are very selfishly wishing for you to have a pregnant belly in the very near future, too! while the trying can sometimes be difficult and drawn-out (personally speaking) it can also be very fun. ;-) hope you embrace the good and joy and that we hear more happy news soon.

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  7. Congratulations on your family's decision to add a little one to your loving household. Enjoy this journey!

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  8. Good luck. We have a 13-year separation between siblings and while my daughter doesn't have a playmate close to her age (at home), she does have the world's coolest big brother! None of the other kids get picked up from aftercare by their big brother. None of them have brothers so big that they can lift them on their shoulders. The separation in age makes him a very attentive brother. Sometimes she probably thinks she has three parents. :) OTOH, wow are you brave announcing your intentions to the world. We're extremely lucky to have the two kids we do have. But we wish we had all the ones who were conceived and lost as well.

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  9. Such exciting news Rachel! Good luck :) Also, just wanted to mention that large age gaps between children aren't so bad, speaking from experience! My sister Gaby and I are 11 years apart and still very close. I'm sure your kids are going to LOVE having a baby around, and they'll be great helpers too!

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    1. Thanks so much for saying so, Holly. I hear from many that a big gap has been very hard on the younger ones. You and your sister are definitely a sweet example.

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  10. Good luck! My sister and I are 8 years apart and we still had fun growing up.

    My husband and I just brought home a newly adopted bundle of joy on Thursday :)

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  11. yay, how totally wonderful. Hope it all works out very, very soon.

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  12. Congratulations on the wonderful news!! Also, I really appreciate that you shared your morning. I often wonder if our family is the only one that has a similar reaction to situations like that...our last week was like that as a result of grandparents visiting. Totally a good thing but totally knocked us off routine, schedule, and everything. We're just now starting to get back on track...Hugs and thank you and congratulations!!

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  13. Congratulations to the great decision!!! Good luck, Rachel :)¨
    J.

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  14. I'm so happy for you and your family! I'm the youngest by far in my family and am closer to my oldest niece in age than my sisters. She and I are very close and my Mom and I were always best buddies. She always says I kept her young!

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  15. That's so exciting and good and hard and close and yet a long way off.
    Homeschooling is more about life than anything else. A new baby will bring an added dimension to this life for you all if you can make the most of each day and not stress over trying to get too much done....

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    1. "Homeschooling is more about life than anything else" Beautifully said. Thanks for that! It does feel a long way off, but February to May sure did fly by fast...

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  16. So happy for you! My heart wanted to add another child to our family and it took some convincing of my husband as well. Sending my best wishes for an easy time!

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  17. I am so excited for you guys! I really wanted to join the Homeschool class, but Jacob quit his job and now is un-employed or I guess I should say self-employed. He is going to try and build the business and so we are living off savings for a few months, yikes! Anyways, very excited for this new chapter in your life and will be praying for the process! Boy do I wish we were closer, can't wait till we can get together again!

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  18. Such exciting times. Lovely news. Although my brother and I are close in age my sisters and I are well spaced out - 10 years and 17 years but we have always gotten on very well and to this day are great friends.

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  19. Congratulations. I hope that your journey to add a family member is an easy one, with far fewer bumps than mine. The good things can be so hard, but it's nice when they are easy. I do think the internet gives us the impression everyone has it together and easy, but I read something somewhere that said to "stop comparing your behind the scenes with other's highlight reel" which is really what everyone puts out there, so thanks for letting us peek behind the scenes.

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  20. Hi. Such news. I have every faith that what will be, will be. It's refreshing that we all worry about different things.....Nine years ago, our stories couldn't have been more different. I had two daughters, then 13 and 11 years old, a husband of 14 years....and an unplanned pregnancy. Husband declared it was abort or divorce time. I made the only choice that I could, with so much soulsearching and many, MANY prayers, and listened to what was right for me and my girls. Adam is now 9 years old, and has a terrific relationship with both sisters. I have a wonderful partner of 5 years, who is the only "dad" Adam has ever known. Everything worked out just fine, when it might have gone so horribly wrong. Believe me.....just enjoy everything that's wonderful in your life right now; all that hope and excitement that new life brings....and soon the age gap will pale into insignificance. xx

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    1. Oh, wow. What courage! Thank you for sharing Kirstie.

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  21. Congrats and good luck! One more voice adding to the choir that a big age gap between siblings can be wonderful: I am 11 years and 7 years younger than my sister and brother, respectively, and while it's true that they were not playmates most of the time, it was a great experience for me. I got a most of the benefits of having siblings AND the benefits of being an only child (lots of devoted, one-on-one nurturing time). I became an aunt while I was still in junior high and I thought that was the coolest. I grew accustomed to hanging out with older kids and that gave me a lot of confidence, socially and academically. My siblings have so much more life experience than me, so they give me great advice (and I can avoid their mistakes!), and my parents were seasoned veterans at parenting by the time that I came along!

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    1. Thank-you! I'm loving these encouraging stories!

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  22. Congratulations on such a big exciting decision, Rachel! I wish you all the luck in the world!

    And just a suggestion - how about changing your laundry day to make that Monday morning Bible study a bit easier? It might be hairy for a week or two but might be just the thing to ease up that morning crunch....

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Since I don't want to do laundry on weekends or on work days, I only have Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday is cleaning day. Friday is playgroup day, so if we didn't do playgroup.... It's something I'm thinking about a little, but overall not so sure I want to do.

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  23. Rachel....I follow your blog every post via email but this is the first comment I have left,here's why.
    I have boy 19 1/2, boy 15 and boy 13 1/2 who I raised on my own from the baby's first year...then I got a second life with my darling and we now have a girl 11 months and have just decided to go for a sibling for her.......mad as a meat axe I am......but life is so great the boys and their sister adore each other and I'm tired anyway, but they all bring me so much joy....I'm not religious and I never planned to be a mother of 5!!! Just do it with an open mind and heart and cut yourself a break every now and then!
    Rebecca.bird@clear.net.nz

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  24. Congrats!!!! He/she will be loved, the rest will work itself out :)

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  25. I am so happy for you!! And here's yet another sibling age gap story (sort of), I'm the oldest of 7, with the very youngest being 14 years younger than me. I adore him!! And each one of my four children are 3-4 years apart (due to fertility issues) and they get along beautifully (for the most part). It's gonna be so great!! And you'll find a new rhythm with laundry :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing that Jenn! I'm glad to hear it too. :)

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  26. ((((HUGS)))) to you and Liam! Congratulations on a future little one! And I love the verse!

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  27. oooh, I will have my fingers crossed for you - I hope to hear some baby news sometime in the next year. My eldest and youngest have 7 years between them and they adore each other. It's so gorgeous to see them playing too - the eldest has learned so much about being gentle and looking out for those younger than himself.
    So lots of practice, okay ;) and I second the comment about moving laundry day. Either that or start wearing your undies inside out as well so you have to wash less often.

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  28. Thanks for sharing your heart and your stories, and I hope it happens for your family! Your kids are so lucky to have an energetic, creative, homeschooling mom!

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  29. How wonderful!! My sister and I are 9 years apart and are so close it all works out no matter the ages.

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  30. That's exciting!

    I love watching how God can grow hearts. My faith has grown in leaps and bounds with children... Especially that last one. ;)

    I too would (have?) love(d?) twins.

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  31. Oh, I so know what you mean. I need my routines and time at home. I need to limit my outings. Getting my washing done or sewing done or vacuuming is just as crucial to my heart and catching up with friends. And I've always felt a bit silly, I think because we're part of an intentional urban community where people are the priority. It's probably taken till my grief recently to realise that I'm one of those people, and caring for myself and our peace in the home is an important gift to those people too. I hope you can find a new groove.
    Praying for your miracle (times two!). I have to say reading 'pain in the arse' and 'twins' (I'd love some of those too! Mostly because I'd love 4 and I have ceasars so this would get it over in one!) made me wish I lived a bit closer and could get to know you in person!
    Thank you for sharing yourself. It gives us courage to be ourselves too. xxx

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    1. Isn't it wonderful, Jodi, that though we live on different continents we're still able to actually know each other at all? I know you agree. And, I think as time goes on, we will continue to grow in our friendship. Thanks for your last words especially.

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  32. Oh, wow, that is quite something! I am 14 years apart from my baby sister (there are a few others between but she is 5 years younger than the next one up.) She is getting married this summer. I've asked her if she minds that gap and she doesn't at all. She doesn't know any better and that's just how it goes.

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  33. Hi Rachel, what good news! My husband and I just had the same conversation about 3 weeks ago. I was scheduled to have my tubes tied and then out of the blue he wanted to talk late one night and said he wanted to have another. We have 3 daughters. So we are going to try for one more baby. I'm still bfing my 2.5 year old, so as soon as she is weaned hopefully I'll be able to get pregnant. Nursing has been perfect birth control for us!

    One thing I can tell you from talking to other mothers who are older is that they either a) regretted not having another or b) never regretted having another. So either way you win!

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    1. Yes, I know I will never, ever regret it! When it comes down to it there is nothing I would rather spend our time, energy and money doing than welcoming another child to our family. Nothing. No vacation, no ease of life, no quiet evenings. That's how I know this is right for me.

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    2. Ah, yes. I think that is it...knowing there is nothing else you'd rather be spending your resources on. Hubby and I have decided to try for #4 - I'm more convinced than he is that it's right for us but have not been able to explain why I know it is right. This sums it up nicely.

      When I read this post, I was so happy for you. I feel the same way about our decision although I'm not sure we'll have as much excitement from the grandparents as you do. I just don't have the guts to shout it from the rooftops even though I really want to!

      For the record, I'm 36 and my kids are ages 8, 4.5 and 2.5 right now...so probably by the time baby arrives a year or so from now, we'll have a decently sized age gap. ( and I'm no spring chicken :-)) But I have loved the gaps so far. Only one kid in diapers at a time! And man-o-man, does my 8 yr old love on the 2 yr old!

      All the best to you.

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  34. Aww, congratulations! My siblings and I are also separated by a decade or more, but we're very close. Like someone else mentioned, growing up we each got the benefit of having our parents' full attention and doting. As adults, I couldn't ask for a better relationship. Best of luck!!

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  35. Yay for having another baby! Babies are awesome, especially their new-person smell. Plus, you can sew them the coolest thing ever.

    My sister is eight years older than I and I was the youngest in the family until my niece came along. But it was good because my sister was always ahead of me, which made me work REALLY hard to try to catch up. Working, as in, when she read a theology book, I read it. Or when she listened to music, so did I. And she used school books, then I used them. Ditto for clothes. (I even absconded with some of her old school books, too, when she got married.) It was also good to have a big age gap because I learned from her mistakes. (It's amazing what a little kid can observe about older people.) Plus, she and her friends let me hang around them most of the time, and they were all about as Godly as kids can be growing up, which means they rubbed off on me. So age gaps are good. (But I do sometimes wish I had a sibling closer in age.) I also had an easier time because Mom and Dad were more practiced by the time I came along. Mom knew more about homeschooling, Dad could actually put hair in a ponytail (important skill for dads of little girls), and they both had learned more about general kid-raising.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! These stories from the youngest sibling are my favorite. I know my older ones will love and enjoy the younger ones, I just hope the younger one isn't "gypped" you know? Aria and Liam play together SO MUCH that I sometimes look at them laughing and thing....? But, I have peace that this is the right path for us. Still, encouragement is always welcome!

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  36. Wow, what a big decision! Congratulations on taking step 1 and I hope that everything works out for you! :)

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  37. Congratulations, Rachel. May God bless you on this next stage of your parenting journey.

    I totally understand what you mean about the morning and Monday as your laundry day. My Mondays are similarly structured and I need that routine most of all.

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  38. Congrats and good luck.
    I know god has great plans for you and I hope they include twins...
    Know that your family will be in our prayers and we are very excited to hear good news next year.

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  39. Wonderful! I love your attitude about the situation and willingness to share. Trust God's timing! I know when we were trying every day was hard to wait.

    It'll be fun to see what you make for your new babe.

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  40. Dear Rachel, I wish you all the luck in the world. I pray you get your wish of another little one to love. I have 4 kids, my youngest was a surprise baby, he is 8 yrs younger than his next sibling..14 yrs younger than the second oldest...and 18yrs younger than my first...but you know what? We homeschool like you, and my kids are together every day, and the big kids just LOVE the littlest.They take him outside adn play with him, the make him laugh, and dry his tears. If you are granted this child, you will be so surprised how much your other two will give to him/her...no matter what age seperates them. May God bless you.

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  41. Congratulations Rachel! What wonderful news! So excited for you guys.

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  42. I too struggle with really wanting to be in a good Bible study, and not seeming to find a way to keep it from totally disrupting the flow of our week. I think we moms of young children need fellowship and study but we also need routine and consistency. It's a tough balance.

    I also know what it's like to have my youngest be much younger than my oldest and to wonder if he'll feel like part of the group. I also wondered how could I still homeschool and make things and survive. But it's all just a matter of adjusting, of making way for a new family member, and in the end we're fine--no, great--because God is in control and when we put Him first everything else falls into place. I will pray for you guys for peace and joy and wisdom to know how best to spend your time. :)

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  43. Oh Rachel! Such wonderful news. And what a nice way to share the news with your immediate family.

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  44. WOW! Miss one day of reading your blog and all the excitement happens! Wishing you the best of luck and calm all the way through!

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  45. congrats on the permission to move ahead!!! and best wishes and prayers for your success. we have a "bonus" baby and i totally understand all your fears. but she truly is a bonus and the best thing to happen to our family in years. it was very rough at first, not gonna lie! but those routines came back and we feel blessed every. single. day. because of her. you won't regret it!

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  46. Best wishes on the reversal and subsequent seed planting. God is good! Trust your gut on the Monday morning thing. Enjoy the quiet time you can have at home with your children. There will be years after they're grown to have a Bible study with friends on a Monday. :)

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  47. thank you for sharing your heart with us. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. I think it's important as people, makers, and believers to share our hearts, our praises, our struggles, and our joys together and to come together as a community to share in those. That's why God made community and the internet (when used for good :) ) is just another reflection of that!

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  48. Congrats on your decision! It is a big one! I wouldn't stress the age gap. Your life will adjust accordingly and you will all settle into your new rhythms. I am a person who thrives on routines too so I understand how you are thrown by the changes. I read somewhere that it takes 3 weeks to adjust so give it a bit more time. =) I also did my laundry all in one day until I had 3 kids, then 4....now I have learned to spread it out, doing two loads a day, six days a week!! It took me a bit to adjust but now I think it is not so overwhelming. --I am learning that when I am down, if I can find something to be truly thankful for then it lifts me up and things are a lot brighter!!

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  49. My mom had twins when I was 8 and my older brother was 10. Even though there is quite an age gap, it worked. We were more independant by then, and actually I was more like a second mom when they got older. Even when they were babies though, I was able to help change diapers, etc. Congrats on your decision and I hope all goes well!

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  50. Congratulations on the first step. :) My husband and his siblings are the result of a successful reversal, so i'm sure you will be sharing more joyful news in no time at all! My son and his half brother are 6 years apart and they play and have all sorts of fun together. With siblings age doesn't matter too much. I had all sorts of fun with my younger sisters (11, 14 and 17 years younger than me).

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  51. The good things can be hard. But there's nothing better (in my book) than a child. I wish you the VERY BEST of luck (and doctor's skill).

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  52. I so appreciate you sharing your 'real life' struggles Rachel. I cannot speak for all followers but I often find myself questioning my own capabiliites when I read some of the blogs I follow and your all sound and look so accomplished, capable, popular, skilled, etc. It is easy to forget that we only see and hear what you all share and that you are all just as normal as the rest of us, struggling with life's issues. Your courage to share your vulnerabilites allow you to be witnessed as you walk your life's path and the rest of us to be reminded that we are not alone and that we can ask for help when we need it and reach out with a comforting hug or, in this case, words to share to offer our support.

    And I have one child, now an adult, who struggled with they busyness of life and had a hard time setting her own limits for many years, so I had to know what was ok and what was too much. She came to really appreciate my strength to set limits on what she did and what we took on in our daily lives. It was not always easy but I KNEW it was necessary. The world is often just far too busy for the tender, sensitive, creative souls that live amongst those of us who have a bit more outward resilience.

    May you find yourself happily pregnant as soon as you have all your ducks in a row. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself.

    Michelle

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  53. That is wonderful news, I am so happy for you. I come from a big family (I'm the oldest of 7) and my youngest sister and I are great friends and get along better than the rest of the siblings - and we're 11 years apart!

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  54. How very exciting! I wouldn't worry too much about the age gap; as long as your kids spend time together they'll always be close. I have three brothers, one older and two younger (all spaced three to four years apart). The youngest is 8 years younger than me and we grew up very close. xoxo

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  55. I think it's wonderful that you're trying for another baby. I am due in early July with my third boy. My first two are going to be 5 and 7 when baby is born so I can understand your feelings about it not having siblings. I'm hoping I can get my husband to try for one more after this guy, so he's not alone, but we'll see!

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  56. That is terrific news to hear. I hope the plan goes well for you and that you will be expecting quickly. From someone who struggled for a long time to become a mom and eventually had to travel across the globe twice to bring my babies home, I totally understand what it is like to want a baby. Best of luck!

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