I didn’t always know that I wanted children, and I certainly did not think that I would ever be a mother of four…but clearly the universe had other plans for me. Shortly after moving south for work, I met the love of my life, my now husband. At the time we were dating I had been having some health issues and the doctor had told me that the chances of me being able to conceive a child were slim, and the chance of me being able to carry a baby to term was even slimmer.
To our surprise, only 6 short months after we began dating we found out that we were expecting our first unexpected child together. We accepted the news with grace and excitement and began to prepare to become parents together. Baby number two was a no-brainer, we began to try when K was 18 months old and were thrilled to find out that we were expecting our second daughter. At this point we were really on the fence about trying for number three. We bounced back and forth and really didn’t ever make up our mind to actively try. Life got in the way: There were job changes, health issues and marriage troubles. Also, a move back to my hometown left us living with my parents for 10 (LONG) months as we attempted to sell our home. When we finally settled into our new home, our daughters were 5 and 3, we could “see the light at the end of the tunnel”. We were through the hard part: the diapers, the sleepless nights, the 2-year-old-tantrums. The baby fever inside of me was burning hot, but we just could not see ourselves going back to the days of infants and toddlers.
We had been successfully using the “rhythm method” of birth control for some time now, and we were confident that we had this making-babies thing figured out…….until we didn’t. My period was late, my boobs were sore, and I felt all-day sick, and I knew, without needing to take a pregnancy test that we were unexpectedly expecting for a second time. Hubby didn’t completely warm up to the idea of L until the day he held her in his arms for the first time, and now of course we couldn’t picture our lives without her. At that point we decided that having 3 beautiful daughters was fantastic, and we called the doctor and made the appointment for my husband to get “the big V”.
Unfortunately, we live in a small town with only two doctors who perform those procedures, so getting a procedure date can take some time. During the waiting period we were being VERY careful. We knew that our “rhythm method” calculations had failed us before, and we didn’t have a great track record for surprises, so we basically avoided each other like the plague…..until we didn’t.
For fuck sakes, wouldn’t ya know it only takes ONE TIME!!! Two weeks before hubby’s long-awaited procedure, when baby #3 was only 9 months old we found out that we were unexpectedly expecting for a third time with NUMBER FOUR. This time the news hit us both hard, like fall-to-the-ground-and-cry-uncontrollably hard. What were we going to do??
We already had three kids!! We were not physically, financially or emotionally equipped to deal with 4. We could think of so many reasons why we should not keep this baby…..but this was our baby. We started thinking about all of the wonderful things that a child brings. We started picturing our crowded dinner table, and our full minivan, and the endless amount of joy and love and happiness that children bring to a home, and even though all of the logic said that we shouldn’t, we knew with all of our heart that we should. We were beyond thrilled to find out that baby #4 was a boy and we knew at that point that he, and all of our beautiful unexpected babies were meant to be. We were meant to be a family of 6, hubby and I were meant to be parents of 4. We are happier now than we’ve ever been. We feel complete. We feel whole. We are grateful. We are unexpectedly and imperfectly perfect.