Anywhere that I go, two little blondish curly-haired boys orbit me. They are loud. Vivacious. Full of life. Into everything. Sometimes disruptive, sometimes uncooperative, sometimes outright enthralling - but no matter what they are doing, they always catch the eye of passers-by.
Everywhere we go we hear -
"What cute little boys!"
"You've got your hands full!"
"Are they twins?" (If they are sitting next to one another in a cart, it is a reasonable question. Their faces are different, but that hair is the same.)
And, if they are screaming or thrashing in protest (as they are wont to do), I often hear, "So, are you done?"
Well, no, I'm not. Lord willing, anyway.
We just passed baby-growing season in my circle of friends (there's one more due any day, but she's the last one - everybody's nursing now, and will have another year before it's baby growing season again. If I sound crass, please know that I LOVE THIS CYCLE and I say it with nothing but love in my heart for the mystery of Creation and our ability to participate in it). Last fall and winter, when my friends were taking turns posing with tiny tiny babies in striped hospital blankets, my friend's little girl would ask, "Where is the baby in Miss Stephanie's tummy?" We would always laugh and say, "She doesn't have a baby in her tummy."
Not yet, I would think.
But when? I really didn't know. How do you decide you are ready for your life to change? Do you do it when two are in diapers, since you're already knee-deep in babyhood anyway? Do you wait until the others grow a little, and things slow down? But are those little curly-haired boys ever REALLY going to slow down? No, of course not.
The answer, for us, is - we didn't decide. God decided for us.
Today we saw a little heartbeat - a seven-and-a-half week heartbeat, which puts me having a baby sometime around Christmas (my due date is the first week of January, but so far I've never made it to my due date). Of course anything can still happen, but I've never seen a heartbeat then lost a pregnancy, so according to my personal stats - it looks like I really am going to do this all over again.
Thanks be to God.
Also, thanks be to my sweet friends, to whom I sent an email recently that said - I'm pregnant and don't want to talk about it. Please pray that I stay pregnant and don't mention this to anyone. This email will self-destruct in twenty seconds. Or something like that. My sweet friends have let me walk around with that elephant in the room for weeks, and not one of them has said a single word unless I brought it up first. Fertility and early pregnancy feels a little bit like voodoo to me - don't jinx it with happy thoughts until you know it's okay. Of course that's not the way God or babies work, but honestly, God and babies are both so mysterious to me. We all know my ridiculousness is a defense mechanism, one that would never work anyway, but my sweet friends humored me all this time.