And then along came the ginger

Our family had settled into a predictable rhythm, five kids in. Every 23 months, a new baby arrived. Fertility, once a thing that was unsure for me, was reliably proven to not be a “thing” annually. On each baby’s first birthday, we knew we could count on soon learning we would welcome another.

When A turned one, we realized we were at a crossroads. First I wanted another. Then he did. Then we both did and it didn’t happen. We had different solutions, different ideas. “Another baby” began to be my answer to every “What do you want for Christmas?” type question and he thought that maybe five was a nice number. When we had lived the previous part of our life in diapers and tantrums and sleeplessness, that phase was passing quickly and we both wondered what it would be like to go back. Maybe we were finished. Maybe we were a party of seven. Maybe that was okay.

I found myself in the doctor’s office in 2012 with my physician feeling a lump on my abdomen that shouldn’t have been there. My right ovary was full of cysts, and with a strong family history she immediately pulled me in to view it via ultrasound. Almost all of the spots were not concerning except one shadow that she wanted to watch closely. I was advised to plan a hysterectomy to remove the risk. I called the mr expecting him to be as upset and indignant as I was. Remove my ovaries? NO WAY. Except, like most things in our life and marriage, he was not. He was logical. He was on Science’s side. You should do the surgery, he said. I couldn’t even speak to him. I felt like this dream of a sixth kiddo that I had silently and not so silently, depending on the day, held so tightly was slipping away.

I spent a few weeks in a funk. Physically I was not feeling great, which is what had placed me in that office in the first place. Emotionally, I felt hurt and angry and alone with those feelings. I asked God to give me peace. I kept thinking the phrase “one year” so announced to B one day that I would schedule surgery in one year. And I prepared for God to work His miracle, because I was so convinced He would.

Twelve months almost passed, and as the year mark approached, I felt more and more forgotten. Panic started to creep in. What I had felt so strongly was a message was maybe, after all, just wishing. I made my consultation appointment.

And then illness set in, so I cancelled it until I was well again. It was the tummy bug that never ended. Food aversions. Vomiting. Periods of feeling okay. Almost like…yep. Pregnancy.

We were back to diapers. Back to sleepless nights. Back to all of the things that we thought maybe we would be happy to leave in the past. And we weren’t. We were so thankful to be right back in the thick of it. So much so that we decided to adopt a little one, as well. And then we learned we were expecting another home grown, too, 15 months after little H arrived.

There are not words for this joy. All of our kiddos are so special and all have ushered in new stages of life. But this one? LAWD it is so, so hurt your teeth sweet. I think that such a common refrain is that as parents, we wish we knew how much we would miss it before it is gone. How true those words ring to my heart. What a tremendous gift we have been given to get to do it all over again, with that knowledge.

stephanie birth (155 of 220)

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