A belly full.

Aaaaaannd…cue the next day!

Most of my friends/acquaintances/passing strangers know this by now, but just in case there was anyone in the world who didn’t, I’m filling you in now.

I’m pregnant. So very pregnant.

And yeah, I do know how this happens. (Well, I eventually figured it out anyway.)

I got a surprise baby in my body, and I’m doing everything I can at this time to take care of myself and make up for the delapidated conditions of its current living environment. Turns out having 4 giant babies puts some serious wear-and-tear on key mom-organs and my body is throwing a hissy fit.

I am on light bedrest for now. I may very well barf and bleed my way through Pregnancy No. 85.

I’m being funny but this is scary and it is hard. I didn’t see this coming and had, in fact, not been giving the idea of more kids a second thought because of all the heartbreaking complications I’ve experienced with past pregnancies. Guys, I was done with a capital Hell No.

And then Caleb–out of nowhere–says “I would love to have 1 more.”

And I say–out of somewhere–“How about we talk after I finish the half-marathon I’ve been training for for six months?”

And then he says “Watch you already be pregnant.”

And I say “I literally cannot think of anything I’d rather do less.”

And he giggles and teases me. And his best friend text-blesses his loins.

I laugh and tell him to shut his freakin’ mouth.

And it’s all fun and games until I’m two days late. And then a week late. And I can stand it no longer so I buy a test since I know that wasting $12 would surely kickstart my system by the next day.

I take the test as soon as I get home that evening. Before I have even completed the test, the results appear and I cuss, a lot, out of shock and happiness and fear and maybe even a little dread but mostly shock.

I begin to see the signs and symptoms and I couldn’t believe I overlooked them. How did I not put two and two together?


I am excited but mostly nervous, not because I don’t think I can handle five kids, but because pregnancy, for me, is filled with so much uncertainty. After losing two, and fighting through Arbor’s pre-birth journey, I worry about every little twinge, every symptom or lack of symptom, every ultrasound, every number on every blood test. I cannot even deal with the anxiety, it is crippling. And then, just when I let myself breathe and imagine–for a second–what having a new baby would be like, I bleed.

My heart breaks and drops like a rock, and there’s a lump in my throat and I KNEW this would happen, I just knew it. I don’t dare move, or dream, or plan, or get excited.

I don’t dare pray for a baby, I only pray for the strength to go through another inevitable miscarriage. I ask God to let it happen quickly and painlessly. I go through the process in my head: Bleed on and off for a few weeks. Light activity. Bones thrown with a few good heartbeats at the doctor’s office. Wait for the other shoe to drop. Bets are on 3 months this time.  A week of anger, 12 weeks of sadness, Praise God in the storm, throw myself into cleaning and exercising.

Standard procedure. A different outcome will be a pleasant surprise.

I cry as I write this. I know how wrong these thoughts are. I know how special this time is for our family and how wanted this baby is, by everyone including me. I feel guilty and helpless and lonely.

But there are tiny glimmers of light. It’s not a hopeless situation. I over-analyze. I let the loneliness and the downtime get the best of me. I have good strong heartbeats and perfect lab counts. Doctors assure me. And I have family and friends and support and kindness overflowing.

And for now, there is a life. And I want it. So I pray for it, I nurture it, I prepare for child number 5, and I love on children 1 through 4 the best way I can.

Besides, I have come to expect surprises.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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