This past Sunday (5/23) it was time to share our second surprise. We figured their little hearts could only handle so much yo-yoing on one day and we opted to split up the news, hard news one week, happy news the next.
Although I looked forward to delighting the kids with our baby news, I find no delight in it myself, just a sense of resignation and acceptance. It's hard to celebrate this new child. We never planned to have a fourth child and as my bestie, Meredith says, this is "hilariously horrible timing." Cancer and a baby all in the same year.
At times it fills me with dread to think of giving birth/raising this child without Shane. For a while, I tried saying each day to our baby. "I'm grateful for you." But it rang false every time. An incredible friend shared a new mantra with me. She suggested that even though I cannot honestly say that I am grateful for this baby, I am grateful for love, and I am grateful for life. So each day I say to the baby, "I am grateful for love and life." And that feels true.
Once again, Sage discovered the news in a roundabout fashion, the day before, but she was still was anxious to see the kids' expressions when we made the announcement. Again, we gathered together and I shared the news. The littles were surprised, then excited.
Haven's first question was, "So you were doing it at the right time?" Apparently, she remembers her 8-year-old talk on procreation with Shane and I. ;) She is elated and I think she will pour all of her love into this baby. All three of our kiddos are looking forward to this new life. And I can imagine, though I don't feel it yet, that this little one will bring a whole lot of joy and come, "trailing clouds of glory," as Wordsworth says.
One of my dear friends wrote these words to me about this baby, "I think of all the mothers in the Bible who named their babies after the season they were in during their pregnancies and births. Naming their babies for the joy set before them. For the sorrows they walked through, and then the redemption they experienced. Birth as an altar - a place of remembrance." In order to honor this time in our lives we will try to find a name for this child that represents the bitter and the sweet. And I am choosing to trust the words of Isaiah and believe that this child will be, "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..."