I am the oldest of three children.
My sister has three children.
My brother has three children.
I have two.
Over the past five or six years, people have asked me if I planned to have another baby. Because I have two daughters, the question is most often phrased as, “Are you going to try for a boy.”
Over the past five or six years, I’ve answered no. I have a long list of reasons: We like having two girls. There’s no guarantee we’d have a boy. We couldn’t afford daycare for three. I’d have to quit my job. We can’t afford for me to quit my job. I’m out of shape. And as the years crept by I added another excuse, I’m too old.
Although after my sister had baby number 3 and I watched them play and grow together I reminisced about my own childhood with two siblings. And as my brother and his wife began having their children, I considered it again.
I’d watch my own daughters interact and occasionally feel that someone was missing from our family. Then I’d remind myself of all my reasons and dismiss it from mind. My husband must have been feeling the same, because he began asking why we didn’t have another baby. I’d tick off all my reasons, how our baby years are behind us now, and that we have so much to look forward to now that the girls are older. We’ve started really enjoying traveling with them. And in nine short years they’ll both be off to college.
Lisa and I began blogging two years ago and my life began changing. I felt a strong calling to change my life, focus on new goals, and plan a new direction for my life. One morning I woke up disgusted with my body. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds. I envied Lisa’s toned muscles, so I gave up my excuses and joined the personal fitness training offered at my university. I lost another 5 lbs., built muscle, changed my eating habits again, and got into shape. I felt like I was twenty-four again. Last month I celebrated my 40th birthday feeling strong, empowered, with a positive look on what the year holds for me.
God gave me a surprise 40th birthday present a week later, though I didn’t find out until the beginning of February.
The first three weeks were one big blur of shock and disbelief. And those were just the reactions I receive when I tell people!
My husband is happy, though he admits that at times he feels like the snowman in the snow globe watching that last snowflake drifting slowly down into place, when suddenly someone picks it up and gives it a good shake! Our daughters are excited and happy, asking me constantly how I’m feeling and what is the baby developing today.
I’ve had some of my worries alleviated by various friends. When I mentioned my concern about being forty, I heard from others how their own mother was forty when they were born. When I’ve worried about the 12 and 9 year age difference between this baby and my daughters, I’m reassured by others about their own positive relationships with siblings with similar age differences.
While I’m now warming up to the idea of having a new baby, I admit I had some difficulty wrapping my mind around the changes this baby will bring. I never imagined having a baby at this time in my life would be God’s call for me. Like Moses I find myself saying, But God….. But God…. Like Moses, I must trust that God will provide me with everything I need to get the job done.
In the meantime – it’s been a long time since I’ve done this and your advice and prayers are welcome. I’d really love to hear more stories about how other women dealt with a surprise pregnancy over forty.
Copyright 2011 Shelly Kelly
About the Author
Shelly Henley Kelly is a daughter of God, a Martha who strives to be Mary, living in the world, but not of the world, perpetually busy as breadwinner, wife, mother, catechist, and ACTS sister. A published author, Shelly writes about being a working mom and catechist at SoundMindAndSpirit.com and can be heard on various podcasts at SQPN.com.