(Note: I wrote this over a year ago, and hadn't ever finished it. Thanks to Erin Aurich, fellow twin mama, for inspiring me to post it today!)
When I was about six weeks pregnant with this baby, I made a 3-hour round trip to my parents' house with the kids with no notice, because I needed to see my mom. I was crying when I called to say that I was coming, and continued crying in the minivan for a little while while I was driving. My parents hugged me, took me to lunch with my sister, and the kids and I took a long nap before driving home again. It was good for my soul.
Why did I drive such a long distance to stay such a short time? Because announcing our fourth child's pregnancy was one of the most isolating times in my life. Yes, many, many people congratulated us with excitement and anticipation. But, there were also many who did not share our excitement. "Was this one an accident?" "Four kids, four and under, huh? Good luck with that!" The usual montage of "you know what causes that, right?" and "you'll have your hands full!" My personal favorites were the ones who decided to tell me about their personal lives instead of congratulating us. "Oh, that's nice for you ... but my husband and I have decided not to have any more children." "I/My husband would DIE if we got pregnant again!" "We've decided not to have more children so that we can take lots of vacations."
On that particular day, I had received a discouraging note from a "friend" regarding my pregnancy. I also had to herd my three girls to a doctor's appointment, in the snow, waking them up to get to the appointment on time, only to find out when I arrived that every single doctor in the practice was out that day and they would have to reschedule. I felt like a sideshow, parading them through the doctor's office and back out again, with all eyes on us. It wasn't much, but it was enough to break me. That's when I called my mom.
That isolating feeling didn't last very long, thankfully. After the announcement and initial reactions, things settled down, and now we just eagerly look forward to Baby's arrival with the same anticipation that we have with all the others.
Shortly after these events, I read this article about a lady who has changed her views on abortion from pro-choice to pro-life. The entire article is good, but it doesn't all relate to my post. Here's one thing that stood out to me: "The way I'd always seen it [when she was pro-choice], the standard position was that babies are burdens, except for a couple times in life when everything is perfect enough that a couple might temporarily see new life as a good thing. ...New human life is always a good thing."
Most, if not all, of my friends and family are pro-life. The people who said unkind things to me about my pregnancy are Christians. They say that babies should be valued -- the ones who are conceived by single teenage mothers, or conceived in poverty, or who are just plain unwanted. But what about your immediate surroundings, and yes, even your own home? I can't help but think that if all my pro-life friends truly valued all new life, some of those stinging statements about our newest pregnancy wouldn't have been said. Furthermore, it saddens me that I have "pro-life" friends who would feel disappointed if a new, God-given life came into their family.
The next time that somebody announces their pregnancy to you, may I suggest simply praising God with them? God is good. All the time.