Baby Three

Two days before Easter, we found out we would be expecting our third child! To be honest, it was in the wake of an extremely stressful time. Our little Hannah had fallen a couple days prior at Target and had to get four stitches in her forehead. I was already feeling overwhelmed and incapable of taking care of two very active little ones - that my immediate thought when I found out I was pregnant again was, How am I going to do this?!

But then I remembered my sweet boy, Micah, coming into the kitchen earlier that month, looking at me inquisitively and asking, "Mommy, how do we get another baby in your tummy?" I smiled at the thought of him wanting another little sibling, without knowing that his daddy and I had been "working" on it for a few months already. But so far, there were only negative tests. And I wasn't sure how much hope I should hold out for considering my history with endometriosis. So I kneeled down next to him and quietly said, "Well, you could pray and ask God to give us a baby." With a defeated voice he said plainly, "But I don't think God will hear me." I lifted his chin and stared straight into his eyes, determined to defeat both his fears and mine. "That's not true, I prayed to God to give me a baby and He gave me you and your sister. God will definitely hear your prayer." Then the sweetest thing I've ever seen happened - he folded his little knuckles, bowed his head right there in the kitchen and began praying, "God would You please give mommy a baby in her tummy? Amen."

Approximately 3 weeks later, that prayer was answered. 

It was this sweet reminder that put a smile across my face and lifted the weight of the insecurities and doubts that I would be able to take care of another child. Sure, I'm weak. And weary. And often feel like I can't handle it all on my own. But the Lord, gave us this child. He has always renewed my strength, in one way or another, and by His grace we continue to survive.

I have felt His strength while taking care of two preschoolers and simultaneously battling nausea and digestion issues. I felt His peace when I had to make a scary trip to the ER last week to be catheterized. This hasn't been the easiest pregnancy so far. But again and again, I'm amazed at the miracle taking place inside me and I know the Lord has His hand on it all.

One exciting perk to this pregnancy - I get to share the experience! My little sister is expecting her first child, a baby girl, in October! I am so excited for her and looking forward to having close cousins as playmates! It's been fun sharing this little secret with my sister for the last few months. And, though I'm not quite sure how she did it, she was able to keep her pregnancy under wraps for 20 weeks and just had a big gender reveal party last week to surprise her friends! I'm not sure whether they were more excited about the gender or the pregnancy, but I'm glad the secret is finally out! I was having a harder time keeping her pregnancy a secret than my own, ha!

Not that I would have ever been able to hide this bump for long. Third babies don't like to hide.

Josh and I had a fun getaway last week for our anniversary in the mountains. It was my first time being away from the kids since they were born, and as nervous as I was anticipating it to be - it was definitely a much needed and relaxing time! We may look all serene and serious in these photos, but it was quite the comedy trying to capture them! We set up the self-timer on my camera - and I was hopping over rocks and hills (in heels!) to try and make it back next to him in 10 seconds. It was worth it though. These views were breathtaking and priceless. I am so glad we were able to spend this time together... just the three of us. And I guess I still technically can't say I've spent a night away from my babies, seeing as how I'm currently carrying another one. :)  

Those were the best days.

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"Those were the best days." She said with a smile, as she watched me push my 15 month old daughter around in a shopping cart at Old Navy. She was a beautiful elderly lady, that couldn't have been much younger than 80. Hannah kindly responded to her sweet voice and smile by reaching up to her with open arms and a toothy grin (I promise that girl has a sense for people - she knows the kind hearts).

I wanted to stay and talk. Find out how many children, grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren that she had. But I was too busy frantically searching for my 2 year old who was running around the store. So I told her in my most polite, don't-want-to-be-rude-but-really-gotta-run voice, "to have fun shopping!" She gave me a knowing smile as I pushed my cart away. And as I thought about it, what I really wanted to ask that sweet lady - was what made her believe these days, these long, busy, dirty toddler days, "were the best?" 

Because, let's be honest, these days I get tired. I get cranky. I look in the mirror and feel like I've aged five years in just the last two. If we're judging things on how often I shower and actually get dressed, mop my floors and leave dishes in the sink - these are definitely not my best days. 

But I have a feeling that's not what the sweet old (navy) lady was remembering when she looked down at my precious daughter.  

I have a feeling she was remembering her own daughter's first words. Seeing her walk for the first time. Or reach up and say, "mama." She was remembering those moments when her baby cried and only needed her. Only wanted her. 

There will be days, pretty soon actually, when I won't be changing diapers anymore. But that doesn't mean there won't be other dirty things I'll have to deal with. Like insecurities and self-esteem and teaching my children to have a Christian-worldview in a world that needs Christ so desperately.

Yes, there are challenging days ahead. 

God knew I needed a simple reminder to enjoy these moments while they are still young. While they still, not only need me but, want me. 

I believe this was also a reminder that I need those relationships with wiser, older woman who have been in my shoes and have walked where I've walked. While the worlds we live in may look differently, every baby is born the same - naked and needy. And there is wisdom in looking back that I may not see right now. 

So while the days may seem longer and I may in fact appear more tired than usual - it's because they are and I am. But I have a strong feeling that when I look back on the days I had a one and two year old running around the house, beating on toy drums and crunching Cheerios between their tiny toes, I'll remember those wise words and agree, "Those were the best days."