Now that our 3rd child is eleven years old, and he’s a healthy, happy thing whom everyone knows we adore, I’m going to be honest about something: We weren’t very excited he was coming.
You see, he was a surprise baby. We were in a terrible jam, running a fun but failing little garden center on the side of a busy road with traffic that never bothered to stop, toting around a two-year-old and keeping up with a four-year-old. In the middle of all that mess, we found out we were expecting our 3rd baby, due just three weeks after Christmas.
All children are welcome in our house. Any child would be. But it was such poor timing – I was so focused on robbing Peter to pay Paul to feed ourselves and keep the house – that I’ll admit my maternal instincts didn’t kick in with this pregnancy. For eight-and-a-half months I was not thrilled.
…Until the day I found out he was a rare footling breech and a big boy and there was no possible way to turn him. That day, my maternal instincts kicked in. I clenched my jaw, wrapped an arm around my huge belly, and said to our little guy, “We’re going to get through this. You’re going to be okay. I’m sure of that.” That day, I wanted my baby very much.
He was born via c-section – you just can’t give birth safely to a footling breech – and at 9lbs., 5oz.,oh, my, he was the prettiest baby in the hospital nursery. Living in the womb head up and being born without squishing through a tiny birthing canal has its perks.
Even though the birth distracted me temporarily, our dream of a good life continued to crumble the moment we came home from the hospital. Collectors called at all times, our house was on the brink of foreclosure, our bank account was in the red, we’d just had a $10,000 c-section, and it was January - who goes to a garden center in January?!
I sat most days and nights on the couch, breastfeeding my baby, rocking side to side, tears streaming down my face until they ran dry while those other two young-uns of ours survived on cold cereal and cartoons.
As I sat on the couch, in pain and likely in post partum depression, I felt a bit of peace looking into our baby’s blue eyes whenever they were open, willing them to be open when they were not. He seemed freshly sent from Heaven, as if he’d just been up there and had a bit of it left in him. He was a gift, sent to me straight from God who knew when I would need a baby most – and as I gazed into his eyes day after day, hope rose gradually until I began to trust that we were going to be okay.
Soon, my wound healed, the collectors stopped calling, the house wasn’t lost, and our bank account balanced. Our older two learned to make healthy sandwiches on their own, and I was able to cry tears again.
So, although we weren’t excited about him coming when he was a bean-sized thing and we couldn’t yet see his adorable cheeks, it turned out just fine.
These days, I’m worrying over what I will do without him when he’s old enough to get married!
Becoming pregnant with our surprise baby changed my life. I’d love to hear about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.