Monday, February 23, 2015

Life is Full of Surprises

We can plan things out to our heart’s content, but sometimes God has other ideas in store.  That is certainly true for many of us, and something I learned a few months ago.

My summer was filled with lots of family fun.  Strolls with Kendall in the park, playing in the backyard with the dog, running through the sprinkler, going out for ice cream, sitting by the fire pit… we laughed and smiled and just relished in the joy of being in each other’s company.  Yet it was also a time for Jonathan and I to get serious and have some very important discussions.  What were our plans for the next year or two?  Should we start talking about moving in to a bigger home?  Are we going to need a bigger car?  And most importantly, really the impetus for this conversation, when did we want to try to have another baby?

Fun in the sprinkler with Chloe

The day after Kendall was born I told Jonathan I knew why people had ten kids.  Giving birth and meeting my child was the greatest thing to ever happen to me.  Never had I imagined such a powerful love and I was hopeful that I would get to do it again one day.  Jonathan, on the other hand, didn’t seem so eager.  His love for Kendall was so great and so strong that he couldn’t ever imagine loving another child as much as he loved her.  And this feeling only grew as she got older.  Of course, I told him that he would change his mind, that his heart would grow to love another baby, and that I have always wanted more than one child.  Surely, we would have more children.  The question was, “When?”

There was a lot that we needed to think about in terms of another baby.  If we remained in our current home, would we have room?  The sad answer was, probably not.  Therefore, could we afford to move?  What were the benefits of waiting another year?  What were the drawbacks?  Clearly, I had had my share of reproductive issues.  Would it be better to try sooner, rather than later, in case there was the chance that the endometriosis came back?  These were all valid questions, not all of which we knew the answers.  It seemed, at least for the time, that waiting was optimal.  However, I still wanted to get a professional opinion.

So I made an appointment to head back up to Clinton, NJ to see Dr. Jean and the rest of the CrMS team at Morningstar Family Health.  I met with a new doctor at the practice, Dr. Eddie, and shared my concerns with him.  My cycle had just returned, after being absent for a total of twenty-three months!  I was curious how my hormone levels were looking and his take on future conception.  In my heart, I wanted him to affirm that it was better to try to conceive sooner, as the closer I spaced my children and the closer I stayed to that surgery date, the better my chances would be.  However, I was also concerned for my own health. 

I was still nursing at that point and knew what a toll it had taken on my body.  I wanted to ensure that I was healthy enough to even carry a pregnancy.  People do not lie when they say breastfeeding takes a lot out of you.  As odd as it sounds, I had never been skinnier in my life.  No matter how much I ate, all of my nutrients went straight to my baby through my breast milk.  I had a hard time fighting off colds and often felt very physically drained.  Trying to conceive would mean that I would need to get my health in order first.  Dr. Eddie agreed and said he would follow-up in a week to schedule labs and ultrasounds.  I was happy knowing that I was taking steps to at least getting my body on track, if not my family planning.

Despite these plans, more conversations with Jonathan steered us away from trying to conceive.  Perhaps now was not the best time.  We would wait another year, when we were able to make better decisions about our home and possibly moving.  I felt extremely disappointed, but also relieved in a sense that at least now we had an idea in mind of what we had in store for the next year.  Soon I would be finished nursing, I would be getting used to having regular cycles again, and my body, for the first time in two years would be my own.  Or so I thought.

The next week I waited for my next period.  It seemed like it was about to show.  Yet when it didn’t I decided to put my mind at ease.  There was truly no way that I was pregnant.

What?  How?  No!  This is definitely wrong!  I’m going to buy another test.  Two more tests confirmed what I knew to be a mistake.  I was pregnant.  And right after we decided we would wait…

Shortly after my positive tests I visited Dr. Jean.  She, along with Dr. Eddie and their ultrasound tech Amy looked at my chart, trying to determine when I conceived.  They all agreed: according to my chart, conception seemed so unlikely!  Yet there it was, on the screen reflected back at me, my tiny baby with a flickering heartbeat.  God wanted me to have this baby.

Life is full of surprises, indeed.  Our plans are not God’s plans.  And that is just how it should be.  So, together with much excitement, trepidation, and feeling abundantly blessed, Jonathan, Kendall, and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting Baby #2!  Expected arrival is April 3, 2015.  

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