It’s been 7 years since my husband left, when my daughter was just over a year old. I honestly didn’t think I would have the chance to have another child, much to my daughter’s disappointment. She is wanting LOTS of brothers and sisters. At one point, the number was as high as 10.
And then the unexpected happened. I hadn’t planned on getting pregnant last February. It wasn’t on my to-do list or something that was talked about as an option, yet it happened. At-home pregnancy tests, yes, tests plural, confirmed my gut feeling just two days after my birthday. Happy birthday to me… except I wasn’t happy.
You’d think after having wanted another child for the last 7 years, I would be overjoyed to be pregnant. Nope. It didn’t happen the way I had hoped or when I had hoped. But… it happened.
First thing I did… end the relationship. Not necessarily because I was pregnant, but there were reasons. I spent the next 5 months in disbelief and frustration. I had brief moments of excitement, like when I could feel the baby moving inside me, but many times that excitement then turned to sadness or anger.
To top it off, when I first, reluctantly, announced my pregnancy, I dealt with a lot of harsh remarks from people I thought were friends. I was already feeling ashamed, stressed, and alone, and rather than giving encouragement, there were those who shamed me more. I wanted to hide. Ending the pregnancy wasn’t even a thought in my mind, so I had no choice but to move forward.
God showed me early on what her name would be, before I even knew I was having a girl. Her name means God is my foundation, and that thought is something that kept me going.
I tried several things to get me excited. I bought outfits, toys, knit her hats, etc., but the excitement quickly faded each time. Even hearing her heartbeat and seeing her on the ultrasound didn’t feel real. I kept seeing my reflection in the mirror grow, but it didn’t feel like it was my body that I was seeing.
There was definitely a moment that my thoughts became more excited. I think it was sometime around the 7th month of pregnancy. I remember feeling different, but I’m not sure now what that moment was that made me change. There were definitely still moments of panic and wishing she could just stay in there though. What helped was how excited my first daughter was at getting a sister. She was so excited and was telling nearly everyone we met, even strangers!
My pregnancy seemed to last forever, but when I was a week from my due date it seemed like it wasn’t that long ago that I found out I was pregnant. I was actually getting excited and eager to meet her, and I was so much hoping that she would have red hair like me. If this was going to be my last child, I wanted her to be a redhead, and, for months, I really believed she would be.
Then the day came. I tried to go without pain medication, like I did with my first, but I guess being 8 years older makes labor (and pregnancy) that much harder. The intensity of the contractions were just too much, and at 7cm dilation, I was given an epidural. A couple hours and a few pushes later, my baby girl was here. She was bright-eyed and alert and already making sweet baby noises. I couldn’t believe she was here. Even as I held her, it felt surreal.
She’s now 6 weeks old. Many days it still feels like a dream. Many days it’s still hard to believe that she’s my baby. Yet, as she fills her diaper on me as I type this, she is my little joy. It’s hard to imagine her not with me. There have been a lot of adjustments and things we’ve had to do differently because of a newborn, but it’s worth all of it. My oldest daughter is such a great big sister and has been a huge help to me. She’s given me opportunities to take showers! Hallelujah!
It’s been so long since I’ve had a newborn. I had forgotten how exhausting it is. I’m tired, worn down, over-touched, hungry, thirsty, overwhelmed, and squishy, but I love my little redhead. 🙂
I love these girls. So very, very much. My life wouldn’t be the same without them.