Room for One More

There is a horror story I've always liked about a man who is stalked by a frightening personage driving a hearse...as he rides by he leers at the man and says "Room for One More!" The man eventually gets on an elevator, and the elevator operator is the creepy apparation he keeps seeing!  Indicating space on the elevator, the operator once more intones "Room for One More!" The man refuses to get on, and boom! The cable snaps. Owing to my morbid sense of humor,  whenever we have mentioned wanting to have another baby I have always moaned dramatically "ROOM FOR ONE MORE..." It's suitable. Most people seem to view the idea of four kids as certain death, though for me it's just normal. I've never known anything else. Four was the magic number for me.

At least, it was until number three came out a week late, I went having labors that were less than 6 hours long to one that lasted for 36 hours and included lunch at El Rio and a shopping trip to Wal-Mart. My daughter was so large that it took her hours just to descend enough to stimulate dilation.  My water was broken at 9 and a half centimeters, and I was immediately hit with an uncontrollable pushing urge, which I had to breathe through for an agonizing fifteen minutes. Then, came shoulder dystocia and finally, I see my daughter, the largest newborn I had ever seen outside the Guiness Book of World Records. Five minutes after she came out I told my husband plainly "You can have surgery now. Seriously. I am DONE."

We felt we were being very wise. Pregnancy is very hard on a woman's body, and for me it lasts FOREVER and is fraught with health problems, not serious enough to endanger the baby, but enough to make me feel that I was slowly being invaded by an invisible army of pain. Birth is strenuous, and let's not beat around the bush. It hurts.

Why be greedy? We have our boys, we now have a girl, what could be more perfect than to just close the door on reproduction and open some new doors? Hugh returned to school, and I embarked on a freelancing career that really fulfilled me in ways motherhood did not. We felt very grown up.

But, only a few weeks after my baby girl was born, and I watched her adoringly as she slept in the church nursery's crib, I was struck by the powerful feeling that I was not done. The feeling was so deep, so profound that I could not fight it. I have learned that when I know something, I know it, and not to fight that knowledge. And I knew there was a baby in my future.

Later, Hugh and I discovered that we both thought of the same name at almost the same time. This future baby now had a name. The only thing left to do is to wait. And we did, longer than we waited for the other three, who were all born two years apart. I would look at the kitchen table and know that someone was missing, and I knew exactly who it was, and I knew it was only a matter of time.

And this week, we found out that we will be meeting this missing person, sometime in mid March if due dates are to be trusted (and I don't...my kids like to cook a bit longer.) I love accidental pregnancies. There are serendipitous, and proof to me that God knows us better than we know ourselves. I had baby fever for quite a while, but I really didn't think there was a chance I was pregnant, and I had made up my mind that I wasn't ready for another baby, that I wanted to do other things right now. And I was happy to do those things.

With the pace of my life I was slow to catch on that I had a new life growing in me. But when I found out there was nothing but joy. Earlier in the day I had fretted a bit about the future, about what I was meant to do. This settled that question. It drew my heart home, and even closer to the dear children I have already been blessed with.

It's a scary time, for my family personally and for the nation at large, but I feel immense calm. I know that this situation was born of purpose, and this child is meant to be here, meant to be someone. The knowlege of this baby has erased all fear, and affirmed to me that things will work out in the end.

So yes, we have room for one more here. But while that might spell gloom and doom for some, for us it just brings relief. If the cable snaps, we'll at least have eachother.