Little girl, how did this happen? You weren’t even supposed to be here, you know.
This would be the opening line if I wrote a book dedicated to my final, “surprise” baby.
Maybe I will someday.
You see, God works in mysterious ways, and if I had my story to write for myself, our family would have been complete after baby number three.
I never saw us being a crew of six. My husband would say the same.
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Four kids, people start to stare. Four kids, you have to upgrade to a minivan – there’s no way around it.
(I love you, Minivan. Ignore that.)
Yet, here we are, on the brink of Two.
And on the inside, I’m harboring a jumble of salad-tossed emotions that I haven’t sorted out just yet.
Let me explain:
When I found out we would be adding to our family tree, I was dumbfounded.
I kept the news to myself the first few days, in complete shock and denial. When I told my husband, he couldn’t stop laughing.
I mean, it’s not like we’re old – not like, Sarah-and-Abraham-old anyhow – now they had a reason to laugh.
It’s not like it was a miraculous conception – we just thought (with fairly good medical certainty) that we were done.
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I’m a planner, an organizer, a (recovering) Type-A all the way, and I like it when everything in life fits into neat little checkboxes.
Graduate college, check. Have first baby, check. Then second baby, third baby…check, check.
There wasn’t a checkbox for baby number four.
There wasn’t a checkbox; there wasn’t a onesie or a diaper or a single remnant of baby prepared-ness in my home or heart when we discovered you would be joining us, baby girl.
Of course, we quickly warmed up to the idea.
I mean, I did have a little expertise in this area of unplanned pregnancies.
In fact, you should know a little about my day job. I run a pregnancy help center.
Our amazing, humor-loving, life-giving Creator saw fit to drop into our lives a little unexpected “bonus blessing” of our own.
I seriously can’t make this stuff up.
For the first time, I understood (on a very small scale) that initial panic, that feeling of plans coming undone, of being scared and uncertain and … not in control.
Those feelings our clients at the Center must experience, except compounded by so many other factors I can’t even pretend to fathom.
And you know what?
I needed to feel it.
I needed to be reminded that I’m not in control – and I never was.
For whatever reason, God allowed me to have a glimpse of these things firsthand- which in turn helped me to serve others better.
Of course, He knew all along how that would work out, right?
And this baby – this growing, wild, ridiculously silly almost-two-year-old?
She’s the embodiment of the crazy ride that defines our big, crazy family.
Read next: The Reality of Having Four Kids
It’s like she knew what she was walking into; she knew instinctively that she would come and nudge us out of our three-kid comfort zone, out of our house (literally, we had to move to a bigger one), out of every well-intentioned plan we had laid for years ahead of her arrival.
It was as if the party never really started until she burst into the world … and solidified our team in a way we never would have thought possible.
We couldn’t love her more if we tried.
And so, here we are just weeks away from the somewhat-official end of your babyhood. My mind says, “It’s about time!”. My body says, “Hallelujah!”.
But my heart? My heart isn’t sure it will ever let this baby go.
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9 thoughts on “Our “Surprise” Baby is Turning Two… and I’m Surprisingly Devastated”
Oh, Brandi. I did the mourning thing too when my baby twins turned three and we finally decided there would be no more after. In fact, sheesh, I am still in mourning I think. They will be four in June and I have begun to consign little baby shoes and rattles and things that make me sigh to hold again.
Jamie, I have piles of baby clothes in the basement that I’m not going to think about right now. I guess that’s just the beauty of nurturing little babies – they grow! Praise the Lord. And hang onto those shoes as long as you need to. 🙂
I think I know how you feel. My baby turned 2 in September. He is number 6. I’ve determined along the way that official babyhood ends somewhere between 2 and 3. More like, 2 and a 1/2ish or so. We’re all most there. He’s talking more and more. We’re experimenting with the potty. He’s acting more and more like a little kid than a baby. And it’s sad! As amazing as it is to think about not having a baby (for the first time in almost 12 years), it’s also a little sad.
That said, for the first time ever, I’m enjoying really getting to pay attention to all this toddler cuteness without the distraction of a new baby to pull me away. And I’m looking forward to enjoying all the new stages with more focus this time around. There are some perks to having your last baby grow up. 🙂 I hope you enjoy those too! 🙂
That’s a really great perspective! Even though I’m not quite sure how to feel about the baby years slipping away- I do look forward to the different stages. I’ve said that as each of my kids has grown, but there’s something about this last one, gah! I guess this experience has just emphasized how they’re ALL growing so fast and I have to really be conscious of it so that I can soak up every moment. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Oh goodness, this brought a lump to my throat! We haven’t decided to be done yet, but my baby (my second) just turned one and honestly, even through all the sleepless nights, idk where the time went! I swear, yesterday, I was just meeting this sweet, spunky girl. I don’t know how to soak it up better so I can start enjoying all the precious new moments. Bitter-sweet for sure! Hugs from another emotional mama. 😉
Aw, thanks for stopping by Tiffany! I think getting these feelings out on in writing helps a lot, and it certainly will later on when I need to be reminded of the baby years. For now, I’ll hang onto the remnants and look forward to all the new adventures. 🙂
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Beautiful lesson <3 My youngest of 4 is now 3 1/2 and we were also VERY surprised when I got pregnant. I think I sat on my couch staring at the wall for 2 hours after I found out. Now it's impossible to think of our family without him!
Mine is also 3.5 now 🙂 And I would say the exact same thing. She has such a fun, unique personality, like “see, I told you I’d be awesome!”. haha!