During this latest pregnancy, I was actually rather afraid that another baby would seem like, well, just another baby. Of course I knew we’d love him with that fierce and irrational love we can’t help but have for our offspring. But I was also secretly concerned that, with my hands already seemingly full with his brothers, I might find the new arrival to be...more bother than brother, more pest than personality, more work than wonder—you get the idea.
After all, we’d already done this baby boy thing a couple of times. The new baby prep this time around consisted mostly of hauling some things out of the basement—none of the extensive, anticipation-building preparations, registering, childbirth classes, and shopping sprees that tend to precede the first and second child. So I was kind of bracing myself to be rather underwhelmed by New Guy’s arrival.
With great wonder and joy, I can honestly report that the opposite is true: I’ve been, if anything, more overwhelmed at God’s graciousness in adding him to our family than I was with the first two. Yes, ours is a busy and sometimes chaotic household, and I don’t have hours to gaze dreamily on his pug-y little button nose or to watch his face as he sleeps. Yes, the poor little dude had better get used to having his nursing sessions interrupted, and to being hauled around the house and yard like a (very small) sack of potatoes as we keep pace with his older brothers. And emphatically yes, we will be grateful when he starts to sleep for longer stretches. (Though he’s a remarkably good baby so far—the best we’ve had yet. Knock on crib…)
But here he is, and he’s a miracle. And I’m overwhelmed. I have this incredible sense of our unworthiness to receive this greatest of gifts, the gift of life, of love incarnate. I may feel this more strongly now because we know more couples who very much want multiple children but who have struggled with miscarriages or with hard cases of health and life circumstances. We like to pretend to be in control of every aspect of our lives, including and often especially our fertility, but it is God ‘s grace, and God’s grace alone, that ordains and sustains each new heartbeat, each breath of life.
Even more, I’m realizing that if we had never been awakened from our narrow little newlywed dream life, which included two carefully scheduled children, we might never have met this little guy.
“the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23