Part I of this post can be found here. You really should read it first....
November and December blew in with the force of a Canadian jet stream. But when you are living out a story that's being written, you often don't realize when a new chapter blows in. You're just living your life, doing the best you can, and then - Wham! You turn the page and discover you're not in the old chapter anymore. That's just what happened to us.
See, November was a tough month. In the middle of scrambling to fight the plummeting economy's effect on our business, we lost a friend to two strokes and then a heart attack that ended a two week battle for his life. His passing hit Tom especially hard, since he was a fellow coach on the hockey team and a father of a teenage son, and daughter in her twenties. It was an unexpected blow to his family and friends, and is still so hard to believe.
On the heels of the funeral, an explosive situation in the middle of a hockey game resulted in a huge drama on the team and major stress in dealing with parents and officials. It was just the kind of thing to bring on what happened next.
Out of the blue, Tom experienced an incident that scared him. The symptoms were classic stroke symptoms that sent him to the doctor for an MRI and MRA. It was difficult to wait for the results, and just after our friend's passing, it was hard not imagine the worst. Thankfully, the results came back extremely good: he is in very good shape and has healthy veins and arteries. There had been no stroke. We breathed a thankful prayer and high-fived each other on the way home. Woo-hoo! What a relief!
Things were marching toward Christmas, but there was a tiny detail that was really starting to bother me. That tiny detail prompted me to dash into my local CVS pharmacy to purchase something I hadn't had to buy in a really long while. I picked up a home pregnancy test, so I could eliminate the niggling little worry from my mind. When I got home, I raced to the bathroom.
Oh man. Hoo boy.
My knees went weak, and I had to hold my head in my hands to be able to compare the pamphlet's pictures to the kit on the counter. Everything was swimming. Two blue lines?
Lord Almighty! I. am. pregnant.
Girls, I am expecting a baby!
Go ahead, rub your eyes. You read that correctly. Pick yourself up off the floor. I still can't believe I'm writing this.
I already know that some of you are doing the math: "5 years ago she was turning 40 and now she must be.....45?????"
Ladies, this is what can happen when you are still crazy about the man you married 25 years ago, and the two of you still act like you are um, 30.
Now, back to the scene in the bathroom with the kit. I immediately called my sister Katherine, hysterical. Happiness was nowhere in sight.
"How am I ever going to tell Tom? What kind of freak of nature are we going to be? I'm 45 freaking years old! We're going to be a freak show!" I believe I used the word "freak" many times.
Fortunately, she talked me down from the ledge and told me it was going to be ok. She said this is going to be wonderful. She said God knows what He is doing. She said, "Rachel, you can do this." Pretty good advice from someone who was in an aisle at WalMart at the time.
It took me another full day to work up the nerve to tell my husband. But when I asked for his hand across the table at a local restaurant and asked if he loved me, followed by, "Honey, guess what?" he looked straight into my eyes and said, "You're pregnant."
I immediately welled up and said, "Yes."
"Wow." He smiled. "This is going to be good." But later, in the sporting goods section at WalMart, where we were hopelessly trying to do some Christmas shopping, he confided, "I keep thinking I'm going to faint. My legs are wobbling."
And since we are HORRIBLE at keeping secrets, we had to tell our children that very day.
Those would be our children, who are 22 (married to a 23 year old), 20, and almost 15. Wouldn't you have LOVED to be in on THAT family meeting?
They were astonished but excited for us, and what this means for our family.
It has been quite a Christmas. We are bemused, bewildered. befuddled and have become utterly entranced at the idea of having a baby again. We did not plan it and could not have imagined a more ridiculous twist in our story, but here we are. Oh, Lord, here we ARE!
We've got a new baby coming. And I am scared and excited and worried and overwhelmed with joy all at the same time.
What kind of irony is it that when my friend asked me if I was "kind of 'over' the whole baby thing," I was already pregnant?? I'm still shaking my head over that. It's as if God knew it would make a great first line in a new chapter.
Silly me. I had simply thought it was the last line in the old chapter.
But God is the one writing this story, isn't he?
Would you please pray for a safe and healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby? I scared myself silly, googling "pregnant after 45" and seeing what the risks are, so I have banned myself from the medical websites. We are believing God for a miraculous end to this implausible chapter, and are thanking him for another little person to enjoy. It would mean so much to me to have my Company Girl friends along to travel this road with me.
I could use some hand-holding.