After Little Sister was born, The Hubster and I talked about how many more babies we wanted to have. Big Sister wasn’t yet living with us, and I wanted to have two more kids. The Hubster felt we should stop at two. I kind of agreed with him…Yes, we should have two. Two MORE.
As the years passed with no pink lines, I eventually gave up hope of ANY more, let alone TWO. And then Little Brother came along, and I was so caught up in the little miracle we created, I never dreamed of tempting fate by trying for another.
But the good Lord remembered that four letter word I’d uttered so many years before. “More.”
A few days after Little Brother’s first birthday party, I knew. The thought woke me at four in the morning, and I sent the Hubster a text to pick up a test for me, but to be quiet about it because we still had family visiting. I was awake when he got home a little after six and thrust the plastic bag at me. I quickly ripped open the box and did my business. It was another digital test, so the answer was undeniable. Pregnant. Again. I handed it to him and collapsed on our bed as he asked me, “How did this happen?” Hilarious, right? When we know the answer, but we ask the question, anyway. I wondered what we were going to do, how we were going to make it, deep down remembering all the prayers I’d whispered for MORE.
Thank God He remembered when I’d almost forgotten.
Whereas my pregnancy with Little Brother was riddled with anxiety that something would happen and I would lose the miracle I’d waited so long for, this one was much more peaceful—in the beginning, anyway. I told my mom that I was trying not to feel cocky, but I felt like it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t meant to be. I started showing early, and had to spill the beans to suspicious co-workers at nine weeks. My news wasn’t quite greeted with the joy I felt, which was heart-wrenching. One friend asked me, “Where are you going to PUT it?” I was overwhelmed with surprised silence on more than one occasion and spent lots of time wondering who had replaced my friends with the judgmental peers I found myself surrounded with.
The nine months I spent nourishing Baby Sister were laced with complications. A strong belief that I was carrying twins was quickly dispelled by an ultrasound. A terrifying episode of Decreased Fetal Movement landed me in Labor and Delivery at 27 weeks, where I showed early signs of pre-eclampsia. The rest of my pregnancy included doctor appointments two or three times a week, with a weekly ultrasound and non-stress test. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (again,) gestational hypertension (again,) and ultimately induced at 39 weeks (again.) I experienced the ultimate high of childbirth with no pain medication (again) and my beautiful daughter was born on March 30th.
I knew all along that she would be my last baby. I wish I could have relished each movement and sensation a little longer. At the end, though, there was so much pain and anxiety that something would go wrong when we were so close...I just prayed to make it through each day to make her healthier and stronger. The first time I saw all of my children together, a little less than two hours after her birth, I knew my family was complete. Big Sister tried to play the stoic teenager, but couldn’t hide her excitement. Little Sister all but busted down the door to my hospital room to get inside and meet her new sibling. Even 21-month-old Little Brother had a huge smile and a cheerful “Hiiii!” for his Baby Sister.
In the years that followed Little Sister’s birth, two of my good friends had babies, got pregnant again, and had miscarriages. Each of them came to terms with their loss and felt they could be happy with just one child. I felt tremendous guilt because I never reached that point…I never felt like I could be happy with my family “as is.” Even after Little Brother was born, and I thought we were done—told people we were done, got rid of all our baby things again—I still never felt like our family was complete. I always wanted something More.
And now we have her. Welcome to the world, Baby Sister.