I remember when the nurse told me that I was pregnant with P. I was married, but very young (20). The nurse practitioner at the family planning clinic offered to schedule me “for termination… how does this Friday work for you?”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, incredulous. She replied, “An appointment to terminate your pregnancy. How is Friday for you?”
I couldn’t believe what she was saying to me. Really, I couldn’t. I was young, yes. I was not a believer but had never professed any opinion, pro or against abortion. I had never really been faced with the need to think about it, until then. “I won’t be needing an appointment, thank you”, I said. She seemed surprised and asked me a few more questions about how I would raise a child, but I was emphatic and I got out of there as quickly as I possibly could.
Pregnant. Not exactly in the plans, but not unwelcome. I loved thinking that there was a baby inside of me. It was amazing to consider it. Not that P was born into the ideal situation. We were too young to get married, and my husband had substance abuse problems. We were a big mess of immaturity and other issues, and it was not a good situation. P was born 5 weeks early, at 4#, 7oz. and 17.5” long. She was tiny, but besides severe reflux, she was healthy. Our marriage didn’t last past P’s 4th month of life. God already had it all planned out for us though.
When the doctor first put her in my arms, I knew that my life would be changed forever. I had no idea what I was getting into. Diapers and feedings were barely the tip of the ice berg! Reflux, skinned knees, fat lips, chicken pox, learning to ride a bike, mean “friends”, pigtails, 40+ ear infections, homeschooling, hormones, the Homecoming dance, high school and prom, and young adulthood. All of these things I have experienced with this one beautiful daughter. It amazes me how much goes into raising just one child over the course of 18 years. And we have more than one.
I met and married E and we had J together. She was actually five months old at our wedding. Yes, I know, backwards. My life has been like that. I have put the cart before the horse many times before. J was named and loved before she was born too. When she was laid across my chest, squawking like only a freshly born babe can do, I said “Well hello there, J!” She was full term, 7#, 1oz. I felt much more prepared and confident this time around, and although this meant that between E and I we had four kids under the age of six, it was just right. She brought together two families, and completed ours.
I loved having two little girls! At the same time it was amazing how different they were. P was the ultimate girly girl. She did everything “like a girl”. She was the absolute picture of feminine girlhood when she was little. She loved twirly dresses and pretty shoes (what little girl doesn’t LOVE pretty shoes?) She’s still very girly, but minus the twirly dresses these days.
J was the adventurer. She would climb the dirt hill with her big brother G, and come back with dirt and rocks in every pocket and every crease, and usually a critter of some sort to show me. She climbed trees, ran, raced, motorcycled and paintballed her way into her teen years. She’s just 15 now, so we have much more of that ahead of us too. And she is girly when she feels like it. =)
I had so much trouble with pregnancies (staying pregnant was very difficult for me, because I had PCOS) that we decided not to have any more kids… this way.
Stay tuned to find out how we came to have the younger boys, in my next post. If you subscribe by RSS or E-mail you won’t miss the next installment! 😉