Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And the Tree Grows

I've been wondering how I'd say this . . .

So, I guess I've been eating too many Tasty Tuesday treats lately 'cause I just keep gaining weight.


Knock knock.
Who's there?
Baby who?
Baby Leaf coming April 2012.

But neither of those do this announcement justice, so I'll explain.

When Leighton and I got married, we planned to have 4 kids, God willing. After Alyssa was born (our second) I decided 3 kids would be plenty. Then, when she was 10 months old and waking up 3 times a night to nurse because she was a horrible sleeper, we found out I was expecting again. Lack of sleep and an abundance of hormones strengthened my decision for 3 children.

I had a difficult time balancing things the first couple months after Zachary was born. I had a newborn, a 19th month old, and a nearly 3 year old. No more was I able to keep up with my clean house, empty sink, and laundry once a week. Being a perfectionist only made it worse. I felt awful when toys were scattered all over the house or when I had a load of clean laundry that sat untouched for days. It took a couple months before I could better handle it all and accept the fact that my house could not always be perfect, but that spending time with them was what truly mattered.

Still though, I knew 3 babies was enough for me. I had a couple wise women with multiple children tell me "If you can handle 3, you can have as many children as you want." They also said things like, "You'll know when your family's complete." And it was . . . or so I thought.

A few months ago, I got what I thought was the baby itch. I began really wanting another baby. At first, I attributed this feeling to a bunch of different things: we were planning a yard sale that month and selling all the baby stuff, I was able to care for a couple newborns in the church nursery, this was the longest stretch that I hadn't been pregnant since we started having kids, etc. But the feeling continued. I started to realize that it wasn't a passing thing, but that I truly thought we were meant to have another one. We began to pray. And pray and pray. I needed to know that it was the nudging of the Holy Spirit and not just a fleshly whim. We understood that life would be easier for us with 4 children than with 3 and disobedience. Of course, I know that God could have given us a fourth child regardless of what we planned (Trust me, both our boys came when we were trying to prevent getting pregnant!), but God always honors obedience.

We came to the conclusion that our family was not yet complete.

Two weeks later, I stood with a positive pregnancy test in my hands. God was indeed blessing us once again.

So, here we are almost 10 weeks into my fourth pregnancy. Alyssa told me the other day, "Look! You have a big belly." Thanks, Sweetheart.  Sheesh, I'm not that much bigger, but apparently it's enough for my 3-year-old to notice. Out of the mouths of babes. (I highly doubt that if Leighton would have been the one to announce it, it would have brought a smile to my face.)

We told the kids Sunday night. They were ecstatic! Jake keeps saying "That is so cool!" and Alyssa has asked over and over if it's going to be a girl. The next morning they both asked if we were getting the baby that day. They might be just a little bit excited. And now they understand why mommy hasn't been feeling well and hasn't been playing very much.

We had thought that our family tree would be dormant for many years, but here we are waiting to meet another little one that God has entrusted us to raise. And now the tree grows.
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  1. Congratulations! And welcome to the club! (the 4 kids club) You'll find it's a little easier with the bigger gap between baby 3 and 4. It's so exciting to see the older kids enjoy the baby. You might just get a little bit more willing help out of the older ones too.

    I'm sure this verse isn't talking about having a baby, but that's ok. :) Philippians 4:13

  2. Well, these grandparents are excited to be getting number eight grandchild. Like Jake and Alyssa we must also be patient and wait!!!

  3. Congrats Erika and Leighton, having kids is such a special blessing and you do such a great job with the 3 you already have. I love your posts and all the fun things you do with your children. Keep up the good work.

  4. Praise God!! Congratulations! :)