When last I posted in late October, I had committed to writing materials for the year for a women's faith-sharing group and knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to maintain a blog but I still thought that I could spend some time on it. But I also didn't realize that I was expecting. Although I didn't have many complications during the pregnancy, I felt awful the entire time. I have never known a whole-body exhaustion like I experienced with this pregnancy. Chalk it up to my 'advanced maternal age' I guess. But the moment that she was born, I felt instantly better.
Now she is a happy, and very doted-on, two-month-old. Here she is with her big sister.
Perhaps it was part of God's will that I take some time off, focus on the pregnancy, and get back to writing when I felt like writing or perhaps it was just my old body telling me to rest. In any case, I've labeled that time as 'The Lost Year.' Not that it was squandered, but many days I felt like it was just an effort to get the necessary chores for the day done. My wonderful husband was there to pitch in wherever I needed him, especially playing Dad and Mom at times to the other children. I am thankful to feel much better now albeit tired. I have a two-month-old after all!
Just a few more pictures of my little princess: Here is our family at her christening. My favorite deacon did not perform the baptism. We asked our pastor to do the honors. While he could have baptized, several priests who we consulted suggested that he would be performing two functions (as a deacon and as a father) and therefore he really should function only as 'the Dad.'
Yes, we are a busy household here. My oldest two are in college and living at home! My son has a 44 mile commute on the days that he has class and thankfully my daughter's commute is less. But we actually have five cars here now and between the college kids, the high school kid and the elementary kids, our house is always hopping.
Of course, this is the child that everyone pauses to kiss before heading out.
Entering the baby stage again, I noticed a few things of late. Because I'm no stranger to this whole gig, I chuckle at the comments from strangers and certainly don't allow them to fluster me like they did when I was younger.
Three observations that I've noticed as a veteran and mom of many:
1. Because I am so OLD or at least perceived to be reaching crypt-keeper status, I can't tell you how many people would ask me, "How old are you?" when I was pregnant. I don't remember anyone ever asking that with any of my previous pregnancies. I guess knowing that I had kids that were college-age piqued their curiosity, maybe they thought that the answer should fall under "Right to Know" laws, or maybe they thought I was trying to get in the Guiness Book of World Records. I don't know, but it did surprise me. Since the rest of western Pennsylvania has already asked me that question, there's no reason to keep it a secret, I'm 45...almost 46. Oh, and when they ask if this is my last one, I usually say probably, although my doctor told me, right after she delivered my baby, that her friend was born to his mother when she was 50. So who knows, maybe I'll make that World Record yet.
2. Okay this has been addressed to my husband more than me, but still... We have been asked if all of our kids have the same mother/same father. At my husband's place of employment, they were even betting how many wives he has had. We have a 21 year span between our oldest and our youngest so I guess that I kind of understand but I didn't have my first until two years after I graduated college, it wasn't like I started at 15! But it really is a sad commentary of our society when an intact family with children spanning many years is the exception.
3. This is an observation that most moms will notice...having a baby means that that everyone has the right to give you unsolicited advice or tell you how to handle your baby. Perfect strangers in the store will chastise you if your baby is crying, fussing, sleeping, pooping, you name it. Even well-meaning relatives, who haven't raised a child in decades, will tell you what you're doing wrong. The difference between me now and my younger self? The me of then would have to leave the room crying. The me of now simply smiles and thanks them. Although sometimes I'll add that I'm the mother of six and that usually quiets them pretty fast.