So I have happy news to share today!
Farrell baby #5, who has been given the womb name of "Baby Otto", will be joining our family around the end of December!
I'll freely admit that there are days when I think I must be crazy for having another baby, but I can't deny that this baby has been following me around for awhile.
When I was pregnant with Tabitha Jon and I had the constant feeling that we were missing someone. When people asked how many children we had we would always say "four" but then have to quickly explain that one was on the way. We just felt like she was already a part of our family. We expected the "missing someone" feeling to go away when she was born, but it didn't. It just got stronger. So much that it was almost a daily occurrence to have one of us look around and ask who was missing. We even started to refer to "the baby" as a constant presence in our house, and our head count didn't feel complete until one of us would smile and say, "Oh, yeah we're missing the baby."
Tabitha's pregnancy had been hard on me emotionally and physically and it scared me to think of having to go through it again. Also the idea of having another baby when I felt like I was barely keeping the four I had clothed, fed, and restrained from killing each other made me want to cry. I knew that there was another spirit ready and waiting to come to our family, but I wasn't ready to even think about another baby. In my heart I kept telling the baby to be patient with me, that I was willing to bring him to the world but that I was scared.
Then several months ago Jon and I both realized, about the same time, that we hadn't "felt the baby" for awhile, and all of a sudden my heart changed. I realized that I wanted this baby. That I wanted that person to come to our family and that I wanted to be their mother. I was still scared, but the idea of missing out on this person, to have them go to another family and a different mother because I wasn't willing, made my heart ache deep inside.
I was too scared to actually "try" to have a baby, but I figured if it just happened then it would be too late to back out. I have been tracking my cycles with the Creighton Method for several years now and so I usually know when I am fertile and when I am not (it is an awesome natural family planning method by the way). When you are aware of your fertility signs it is hard to be "surprised" by a pregnancy or to "just let things happen" and so I tried to ignore them the best I could, but I still figured I was pretty safe.
Then at the start of April I started to feel sick and for almost a whole week I thought I had the flu. When the second week started, and I didn't feel any better, I realized that this baby hadn't wasted much time in deciding to come. I'll admit that at first I cried alot and felt really overwhelmed. I REALLY didn't want to be pregnant again and was worried about how I'd handle another baby. It helped alot that when we told the kids they were really excited. Seeing their enthusiasm and imagining another little face added in among them brought me a lot of joy, and really helped ease my fears. I don't regret having any of my children and I knew that I wouldn't regret this one either.
I am about 20 weeks already and I'm starting to feel really, really excited for this little person to come to my home. There is an old Spanish saying that "every baby comes with a loaf of bread under its arm." On the surface I think this saying is referring to the fact that there is always room enough for one more, and that life will always find a way to go on. Yet on a deeper level I think that what this saying means, at least to me, is that every baby who comes to the earth brings blessings, spiritual and temporal, for the mother, the father, the family, the community, and the world.
Already I can feel the blessings this little person is bringing with them. I have felt my soul expand and my capacity to love and to submit to God's will increase. This baby has stretched and healed a part of me I didn't even know existed. It is amazing how much I love him/her already. I still have my moments (sometimes days) when I wonder if I am crazy and how a girl who never wanted kids will soon have 5 of them. But then again, I'm also starting to realize that I'm not in charge.
God is... and when He sends down bread from heaven, who am I to say no?
My arms are open, my heart is expanding, and I am excited to get the best type of Christmas gift. My kids are convinced that this baby is a boy because so far our family has followed a boy-girl-boy-girl pattern, but I guess we'll just have to see. I don't have any premonition about the gender this time. Part of me hopes that it is my Luke, because I'd really like to meet him. But then the other part of me has fallen in love with the name Noelle for a little girl born at Christmas time. So either way, I think I'll be happy.