Today is my birthday. 27 years ago my mother was going through childbirth. At least she says I was a really nice baby!
In a few weeks, I’ll be going through childbirth too. Happy and harrowing thought. 😅
This baby is our surprise child. We weren’t planning on getting pregnant when our first baby was only 9 months old.
So there I was, on the beginning stretch of our band’s yearly Christmas tour, sitting in the car. Just staring out the window. And suddenly realizing that I smelled the Pregnancy Smell.
I quickly texted James, who had been on a short branch-off tour, and told him to go buy a First Response pregnancy test before I saw him that night.
I love out-of-the-blue texts!
I then clandestinely looked at my fertility chart. James and I use Natural Family Planning for child spacing, though I warn you, our system is slightly improvisational and highly subject to whimsy, which is most definitely not recommended if you want to enjoy NFP’s 99.9% efficacy rate.
The chart showed me that there was indeed a tiny window of possibility.
I remembered the fateful day. I was standing in my kitchen, knowing we were on the brink of the abstinence period, googling “How long does sperm live?”
And Google Answers told me “2-3 days”.
Well, sitting in the car on that Christmas tour I googled it again and saw another Google Answers that said "3-5 days."
God has a sense of humor. And Google Answers is definitely not dependable.
From my calculations, this baby would be on the 5-6 day mark.
The next morning I peed on both sticks at once and Gabriel and I watched as two pink lines showed up on one and a bright bold YES appeared on the other one. My overwhelming feeling was that of shock. It had taken us over 6 months to get pregnant with Gabriel. Thanks to charting, I had finally analyzed my cycles enough to know that my body doesn’t produce enough progesterone to successfully ovulate. After consulting my naturopath and getting on a wild yam supplementation, I got pregnant within the first cycle.
And here I was, pregnant by such a margin! I was thrilled. I had been so afraid I would never get pregnant easily.
I was also worried. There were many reasons why we had been spacing between Gabriel and the next one. All those reasons flooded my mind in one fell swoop. I was still anemic from my blood loss with Gabriel and had been advised to wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again. Gabriel was not 10 months old and nursing very heartily...would my milk dry up? Would he lose precious baby bonding time? How was I supposed to take care of a crawling baby while I went through the difficulties of pregnancy? Our sedan was already too small for one child and a guitarist’s gear, let alone two children. We had just bought our first house, a brand-new condo, which, though cute, didn’t have room for a nursery, so we would have 2 babies in our room. We were on an insurance plan that didn’t totally cover maternity. And I would be going through childbirth again in only 8 months, which sounded daunting to say the least. I had just started to feel like I was getting back to my pre-pregnancy shape, and here I was about to go through the metamorphosis again.
I went in to the hotel bedroom and woke James up telling him I was pregnant, as I did with Gabriel. James was so happy. I told him all that I was feeling and he immediately swept my worries all to the wind.
You're beautiful! We're going to have a baby! Gabriel is going to have a sibling! We're going to have bunches of kids! 18 months apart is great!
But we would be smart. I would take care of myself in this pregnancy, build up my blood count, take high-end prenatal vitamins, take milk-boosting supplements to keep Gabriel on the breast as long as possible.
And as for the other stuff, who cares? Who ever shaped the cookie cutter of the American standard? Who ever decided that the litmus test of life success was what car you have? Of what house you live in? How much money you have in your savings account? If you have stretch marks or not?
I read somewhere later that only 3% of sperm live over 3 days in a fertile woman. This was one persevering warrior!
Then the feeling overwhelmed me. I was fiercely glad. Fiercely glad that I had done nothing to inhibit God's will. Fiercely glad that the soul inside of me had won out over a new car or a bigger house.
This baby is God-breathed, God-desired. Loved by his mother and father. And I can't wait to see him or her on the other side of my skin.