I have previously posted (here) about my beautiful friend Dee and the stories of our first born boys and new baby girls and, as I previously posted, there was more to the story.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she is done with makin’ babies. For some it’s over before it even began, choosing not to ever have kids; I fully support these women and that choice. Some don’t get to choose and only have the choice to accept a devastating and heartbreaking fact of life. Some come close and lose only to keep trying for a rainbow baby and others don’t, giving up on one version of a dream in search of another story, perhaps via adoption or surrogacy. Each story is unique, layered, and multi-faceted.
My own pregnancies seemed destined for me. Their timing a predetermined fork in the road, put in place by the Orchestrator of It All and most definitely not of my own choosing. I have had 4 pregnancies, I have 2 kids. I have no shame about the choices I have made. It was personal and, for me, there wasn’t really a choice. The two pregnancies I carried to term, I knew immediately were meant to be. The two that weren’t, I knew immediately were not. But this is not about me or my choices, it’s about Dee and Baby #3.
Dee who had wanted so badly and had lost. Dee who had waited gratefully and six years earlier been blessed with Mia. Dee who had thought she too was done with baby makin’ until the Orchestrator of It All put a fork, errr more like, Stork in her road. My bubbly beautiful friend was not as spirited about this surprise bundle.
She was pissed. (“Jo, I had just committed to losing weight and getting healthy! I was even working out with a trainer and bringing my own healthy food to work and my job CATERS LUNCH EVERY DAY!”)
She was embarrassed. (Jo, how am I gonna tell my 21 year old son to ‘be careful’ and then I go and get knocked up!)
She was afraid. (“Jo, do you have any idea how OLD I will be when this kid is graduating high school?)
These concerns and more were bared at a reunion party I threw for our old office gang. Most of our former colleagues were supportive. Trying to cheer her up with positive words and encouragement. She was only 8-10 weeks or so at this time. Quite early on really and since I have a big mouth and often am one to say that uncomfortable but sometimes necessary thing I offered, “You know you don’t have to have this baby right?” (gasp! yes, there was an actual gasp as I brought up the one thing we were probably all thinking.) “There are other options you know?”
Dee knew her options. Of course she knew. She knew her options and she knew her only choice. Just as I had known my options and my only choices. She may not have asked for it, may not have planned it, wasn’t 100% sure about it but knew that regardless of how she felt, this baby was meant to be born. She grumbled and complained and joked and cried and kept slogging her way through the pregnancy and baby shower and months and weeks leading up to her due date. I thought of her often during this time, almost daily. In all honesty, it freaked me out. All of her concerns ran through my head on repeat and though I never told her, I was terrified for her. I knew that I couldn’t have done it; I wouldn’t have been strong enough.
Isn’t that the funny thing about Life? God gives us what we can handle. There’s plenty in my own history that many folks would run screaming from, but God knew I could handle it. Just as He knew I would have ran screaming from that stork, but not Dee. Dee could handle this. As Life winds along and lessons pile up often the thing we are most afraid of, the thing we think is all wrong for us, the thing that seems like it is just the absolute worst idea ever many times turns out to be exactly the thing we needed all along. For me, those things looked like jail, eviction, and support groups, for Dee it was Baby #3. These events brought us wisdom, patience, gratitude, and even more faith that there is a plan at work here.
In just over a week, Dee and our babies, family, friends and even a few of our former colleagues will gather to celebrate the first birthday of Baby #3. Happy Birthday Brooklyn Monroe! God knew your mama’s heart better than she could and sent you, our Queen B! Welcome to Planet Earth little angel, we’re so glad you’re here!