Our family has been grown in freedom. It has been one of the most freeing and uncharacteristic areas of my life. I like to be in control. I am a planner (at least in my head if not on paper). I think through things extensively. When I had a surprise pregnancy in college I almost crumbled. That was never in my plan. Everything seemed like it would be different. I never dreamed of becoming a Mom for the first time with a man that I was not married to and did not see a future with. It was heartbreaking. And yet, God redeemed that situation in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!
When Eric and I got married we started birth control. Very Western mentality about growing our family. We had a five year plan of sorts. About a year into our marriage I was having complications with birth control so we went off and schooled ourselves on Natural Family Planning in a sweet Catholic nurse's home. It was very enlightening and empowering. A few months later, I started to feel a pull to let go of "the plan". I shared this with Eric and initially his response was not the best. Something to the effect of "if you want kids you should start volunteering in the nursery". You can imagine how well that went over. Eric and I laugh at that now. We know each other better. I am impulsive and come to him with an idea. He is initially very grounded and needing to think through it which comes off as pessimistic to me. Then he jumps on board and I inevitably freak out and question it. Ah, Marriage!
But alas, we gave up our plan and conceived Simon shortly after. From there, we joyfully got pregnant with another baby that we lost at 12 weeks. That was heartbreaking and even though we were without a plan, no one plans for a miscarriage. Walker Joseph (Joseph means "God will increase") joined the family 2.5 years after Simon. Eden was another joyful addition 20 months after Walker. To watch siblings love each other is one of life's greatest joys. The boys fight on and off all day but then they have moments where they work together or love on each other and it melts everything in me. The boys have been a protector and lover to Eden from day one. She asks for them first thing in the morning and is looking for them and waving to them when she comes down the stairs.
After we had Eden there were many months that I told Eric "I cannot get pregnant again!". Having three kids 4 and under proved to be very challenging at times. So we did practice birth control exactly three times before conceiving again. And then there was another positive test and though we hadn't even talked through this thoroughly we were elated!
We are thrilled! My dream of a big family is looking like a reality! We are overjoyed!
Plans work for a lot of people. Not only do some people make plans to help with maternity leave planning, some people have to go through stringent testing and planning to conceive. Planning is not a bad thing, if not necessary in so many cases.
Becoming a Mom for me was not born out of a plan back when I was a scared college senior and it has been a complete gift to carry that forward. God has been faithful and good to us! I never really imagined my body could birth 5 babies. I'm beyond humbled!
Baby #4 is due in early December!
And on a sidenote, Eric is looking for "Mr. Fix-It" referrals...wink, wink!