I’ve hit that stage in pregnancy where suddenly I feel uncomfortably pregnant and would be very happy to have the baby next week if it were safely possible.
This baby seems to have grown a lot in the last week or two, and is the subject of daily conversations with the children.
“Is the doctor going to pull the baby out of you soon?” Joachim wants to know, after seeing a photograph in the obstetrician’s office of a baby being born from a caesarean section (a tastefully cropped black and white photo, mercifully!).
“Where exactly will she pull the baby out from?” Hannah wonders.
“Can the baby sleep with me in my room?” Naomi asks.
The excitement is definitely building even though we are still nine weeks away from the due date.
We only have to get a very few things for the baby; maybe a little chest of drawers for clothing and a nappy change table, perhaps a bassinet if someone has one to lend us. But we mostly have everything we need, and we don’t have space here for anything more anyway.
After four babies we’ve learnt that newborns require very little to be kept well and happy.
The best thing we have ready for this little one is a bunch of fantastic siblings, and we can’t take full credit for that. It is an amazing grace and undeserved blessing from God for us to have been able to admit these four wonderful little people into the world already.
Sometimes though, even with all the help we’ve been offered by people, I still wonder how we’re going to manage some aspects of life once the baby arrives.
How will he or she ever get a nap, for instance, with all the noise and chaos that usually reigns around here? Where will we set up the baby’s things and cot? How will we all fit around the dining table? What if, come November, it’s another 18 months before I get a satisfactory sleep again?
Last weekend we had a few friends over for a BBQ. Among five adults we had seven children aged eight and under. When the visiting children arrived and they all ran in and out of the rooms the noise was intense.
My reaction immediate was to think of a ploy to get them outside, get them away, as quickly as possible!
Then our friend, the father of the three other children, came into the kitchen with a smile.
“Isn’t it wonderful to have a house so full of life,” he said.
Yes. It really is.
That is where my thoughts should stay, on a leash if needs be, for the next nine weeks and into the new life with the baby out here with us.
The truth is that this is wonderful, wonderful. When my thoughts run away into fantasy and worry, that is all untruth, a waste of time; me closing myself up into my own headspace instead of resting in the knowledge of God’s providence, which has never failed us.
I just have to trust (and remember from experience!) that in the same way as my body is expanding to an incredible degree to accommodate this little one, so will our family life, and with a little care we’ll have everything we’ll need and more.