We have some news. Quick. I'll give you three guesses.
Okay, time's up.
Why yes, that is right! We're having another baby!
The first time I was pregnant, I kept the secret so close it almost suffocated. Nobody knew until we had gotten positive confirmation that there was indeed a baby in there and it was even a girl. And when I spread the news around, everyone was surprised, delighted, and all of those other feelings you want to create when you're spreading some pretty exciting news.
The second time around, I expected the same reaction. Of course everyone was delighted, but not so surprised. I was a little crestfallen. "Well," my mom explained when I asked if she was surprised, "we figured that we'd be hearing that news any time now."
And the excitement has declined steadily ever since. When Brandon told his (single) brother that we were expecting our fifth, he was completely non-plussed. "You call that news?" he replied, "It's more like keeping to a schedule. It's like saying 'happy birthday.' You know it's going to happen the same time every year.'"
If you've been keeping up with the blog, this news shouldn't come as any surprise to you, just as it wasn't much of a surprise to friends and family. Everyone was just relieved that the fifth one was able to come.
But even though nobody else is that excited, I sure am. Maybe I'm even more excited than when I was pregnant with my first baby. Perhaps I had some excitement hiding somewhere in the back of my emotions - I remember putting tiny baby socks away and thinking that very soon I would have something with a foot small enough to fit into such a minuscule thing and that would be pretty amazing. But mostly it was just a mix of dread, anxiety, fear, and overwhelming desire to get the watermelon out.
Now that I've gone through this four times, I know what there is to be scared about, how long I can expect my life to be turned upside down, and the various tricks that have worked on various children. So that's not really on my mind. And the excitement can now take center stage.
It helps too, having my own pregnancy fan club with me every day. The last time I was pregnant Kathleen hadn't had first grade human body science, complete with the full story on babies. Now we get the twice- or thrice-daily update on exactly how big the baby is followed by a discussion about who will get to feed it and change it's clothes and whether it will be a girl or a boy and what we should name it (Edwin's vote is Lightning McQueen or Edwin) and how much longer until we get to see it. How could you help but be excited when everyone is going to be singing "Happy Birthday" for the next six months?
I recognize with the fifth on the way we have fully crossed the Rubicon into That Weird Family status. After all, who in their right mind has five children? But it doesn't bother me; after all a major part of my family planning priorities actually don't consider how normal I am (but I do confess that I think about it occasionally). I'm more focused on being happy and for us, that means lots of little (and later bigger) people to fill our lives with joy, even if that joy costs a lot of personal sacrifice. When I'm eighty-five and I get at least five flower arrangements on Mother's Day (do you hear that, older children reading the archives?), I think the sacrifice will be worth it. Even without the flowers, I'm pretty darn sure it will be worth it.
It already is.