This will be the humorous side of being pregnant for the fifth time…I have another more serious blog in the works, but this one came together more quickly. Read it with much sarcasm in mind. J
As many of you know from Aaron’s last blog post, we are having another boy. Yes, you read that correctly. ANOTHER BOY! His name is Joshua Hunt Baraka Kelley. And we all love him so much already. However, this keeps running through my mind:
Really? Another boy? Really? Everyone else in the world (at least that’s what it seems like right now) gets to have a girl AND keep her. Not us…At least not right now.
Rather than be bitter about this, I’m choosing to join the “Mom of 4 Boys” Club with pride and look at the humorous side of this pregnancy. Hope you get a few laughs (at my expense) while reading my current thoughts on being pregnant with my fifth child, my fourth boy.
Being pregnant 5 times in less than 10 years has some clear disadvantages. Here are just a few:
- Your stomach muscles go on vacation really early! This time around, I was finally, after months and month of ab workouts, getting my stomach to tighten up. Then, less than 8 weeks into the pregnancy, they just gave up. If they could talk, they’d say, “Why bother?” All of the sudden, I looked 20 weeks pregnant at 8 weeks! I don’t want to think about what they’ll look like after delivering Joshua.
- Your older kids have more and more questions and comments with each pregnancy. Levi loves to touch my belly and ask, “Is this fat or is it the baby?” While Jacob and Noah haven’t asked the “Where do babies come from?” question yet this time around, I know it’s coming. And I guess we’ll have to have some serious discussions since they’re old enough for some real answers. We were able to skip around those talks with them when I was pregnant with Hannah because they weren’t quite ready to hear facts…Unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore.
- Maternity clothes have lost all appeal. I still remember going shopping for my first maternity wardrobe. It was so fun. Aaron and I went to Old Navy and Motherhood Maternity, and I got all kinds of cute clothes. I think I was barely 12 weeks pregnant with Noah at that point. I didn’t need to wear them until after 20 weeks, but I did anyway. I was so excited to be ‘showing’ that I wore those clothes much earlier than necessary. (And by ‘showing’ I mean that my belly had an ever-so-slight bump that was only noticeable to me.) This time, however, I still haven’t embraced maternity clothes. I’ve bought some jeggings and leggings here in Nairobi, and I had some cute dresses sent over from the States. BUT none of them are actually maternity. I’m not sure why, but I’m hanging onto any and all clothing in my wardrobe that can stretch over my belly before turning to the preggo clothes. I have worn maternity shirts on occasion, but I don’t even own maternity pants or skirts. I guess there will come a point when this insanity will have to end, but I’m not submitting easily.
- I’m older. Obvious, right? Well, I didn’t really notice that I was over 30 until I got pregnant. I thought that since I didn’t have a 1- or 2-year old still in diapers this time that I’d have more energy and an easier pregnancy. Not so much. I was sicker and more exhausted this time than ever. The first trimester kicked my bum. Fortunately, I’m enjoying the second trimester as much as the previous 4 pregnancies!
- In all seriousness, though, the biggest disadvantage is that I have a greater chance of delivering early. I had Noah at 36 weeks, Jacob at 35 weeks, Levi at 37 weeks and Hannah at 34 weeks. Statistically, I will go into pre-term labor with Joshua. In an effort to carry him as long as possible, we have begun progesterone shots. We have steroid shots ready for Joshua so that they can be administered at the first sign of labor. Most importantly, we have an army of prayer warriors asking God to perform a miracle and allow me to carry to full term (at least 37 weeks). I know HE is able. Please keep Joshua and I in your prayers!
On the flip side of the coin, there are also some clear advantages to being pregnant so many times:
- The best advantage is that I don’t have to listen to much advice, for there aren’t too many mommas (at least not in America) who have done this more than me. Of course, people still give advice, but I can now better distinguish between good and bad suggestions. All babies are different. Each one of my children is different. Each pregnancy is different. Which leads me to my next points…
- I know my body better. Because of this, I think I become a worse patient each pregnancy. (Sorry to my OB here in Kenya!) I guess I’ve seen trends in my pregnancies that are just normal to me. They probably concern the doctors around me, but they don’t worry me as much. For example, gestational diabetes is always a big deal. I had it with Noah, and I’ve been border line with all the others. I’ve never had major problems, and none of my children have had any issues concerning it. For me, it’s just part of being pregnant. I eat healthily and everything seems to be ok. I pray this remains true for this pregnancy.
- I’m more confident in my ability to know my baby and what’s best for him and our family. I’m confident that while Joshua will be someone created uniquely and beautifully so that I won’t know him instantaneously, I will figure it out. God has ordained me to be his momma. He has ordained Joshua to be in our family. Everything will work out. It might not be easy, but it will be beautiful.
- Aaron knows his role quite well by now. His childcare responsibilities increase with the size of my belly, and they don’t get any easier after the baby is born. He knows what to expect from labor and delivery. He knows to be quiet and let me do my thing. He knows that he needs to be prepared to deliver the baby any time after 32 weeks, for I deliver quickly and early. He knows how territorial I get with my newborns. He knows how hormonal I get after delivery and how to handle it. It’s great to know that he has my back, that he will support me even in my craziness, and that we’ll survive both pregnancy and life with a newborn.
- I don’t have to read any more pregnancy or newborn books. I devoured books with Noah, especially after he was born and would NEVER sleep. I reviewed the same book after Jacob was born. Levi was the perfect sleeper, so I didn’t even think about books. Then, with Hannah I didn’t care about books. I still used the principles but I didn’t feel like I needed a step-by-step guide to survive her first months. I’m assuming that I’ll be as relaxed and confident with Joshua. While I’m hoping that he loves sleep as much as Levi did (and still does), I know that he’ll eventually sleep through the night, sit up and eat normal food and even potty train! Having so many babies just gives you better perspective, and I’m so thankful for that advantage!
- The kids are older and more independent! Yahoo! All 3 boys are potty trained, able to dress and undress themselves, feed themselves, and entertain themselves relatively well. They even do chores and clean up after themselves! It’ll be interesting to see how they step up to the plate once Joshua is born.
- Since I’ll be at Tenwek, I’ll have Joyce to help with all the housework and meals. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for Joyce. She can run my home without much direction. What a blessing! In addition, I’ll have a neighborhood of aunties, uncles and cousins to hold and spoil Joshua and entertain and watch the older boys.
- Life here is simpler. No daily car rides, which means no car seats to buckle and unbuckle. There’s no where to go. School, friends, church, work, etc. are all within walking distance. It’s great, especially when you’re sleep deprived and nursing and caring for older children. I think it will help me enjoy babyhood more.
- I LOVE watching the older children with their younger siblings. It’s wonderful to see their love for Joshua grow as they feel him kick and see him via ultrasound. Hearing them pray for their unborn brother (and their sister in heaven) is the sweetest thing ever. I can’t wait to see how they include him in their lives once he’s here. Joshua is one lucky little guy!
- Having another boy will be easier. I’ve become quite good at being a ‘boy mom.’ I rarely jump at the first cry. I’m laid back about their crazy stunts. I enjoy their shenanigans…at least most of the time. I already have lots and lots of boy gear. Joshua will fit right in with this crazy crew. Plus, him being a boy will eliminate most of the comparisons we will make to Hannah. It’s inevitable that comparing and contrasting will take place, but it will surely be less since he is a boy. Having a baby at this point in the journey is a big leap of faith. I’m thankful that God has given us a little more time to hold onto our daughter’s memory, that she’s our only daughter for a little longer. While my heart desires to raise a daughter to adulthood, I’m willing to wait on God’s timing. He knows what is best for our family. We can’t wait to welcome Joshua into the Kelley clan.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Psalm 3:4-5
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Praise God for His perfect provision, timing and plan.
- Praise God that language school is going well. Please keep us in your prayers, especially on Friday. We have our first test Friday morning!
- Praise God for a new niece! Aaron’s sister just had her first baby, and we are so excited for them. We hope to meet her before she turns 1!
- Praise God for an awesome faculty here at language school. Please pray that they will prosper, that more students will come, and that they’ll be able to pay their bills each month. Shade Language School is a partner of Kenya Baptist Seminary. The schools are running on tiny budgets. If you’d like more information about how to help these ministries grow, please contact us.
Furahini katika Bwana sikuzote; tena nasema, Furahini. Wafilipi 4:4