Rather fittingly, it was Mother’s Day morning that I woke early, took a pregnancy test, and, with a strangely quiet and still feeling, viewed the positive results. I suppose I wanted some jolt of spiritual confirmation to pop into my mind as clearly as those two lines did, but there was just the stillness; subdued and quiet.
I showered – pondering on my hushed emotions; then carried the test over to our bed and placed it next to sleeping Mike. He woke. Glanced at what I’d set next to him. Then woke much more fully. I smiled a slightly faltering half-smile, then tears sprung into my eyes, and I slipped myself snuggly under the covers and into his arms. For some time we lay like that, wrapped up tight and saying very little.
I listened to the rain coming down steadily outside our window and watched as an early, gray light slowly filled our room. The babies and kids all still slept (including Jesse, who’d had a bad dream in the night and was now snoring softly on the love-seat near our bed).
For a moment, in the midst of my somewhat muted emotions, I felt I was standing outside of myself – viewing, not just this scene, but my life, and Mike’s. It felt like, if I could just tune my thoughts to the right frequency, a picture would leap out – bright and certain and shockingly clear; but, as it was, my view of our plan and path flickered in and out between waves of static. Still, if there wasn’t yet complete peace, there was, at least, a gentle but secure shield that felt something like light and seemed to circle itself around us -- holding back, for the moment, a tremendous tide of worries and uncertainties.
I wish I knew how to announce this baby in a way that left no room for raised eyebrows or hasty judgements; a way that clearly laid out every experience and thought that lead to this choice. Perhaps, if we all lived in a fantasy novel, I could, simply by concentrating deeply, reach inside of myself and pull out a brilliant, golden ball of light – shimmering and softly buzzing with some near-spiritual frequency. I’d hold it reverently out to each of you; and you’d only need gaze into it to instantly comprehend the whole of this: everything that influenced this decision to have not one, but now two children beyond what we’d planned (in an overwhelmingly short amount of time and at an age when most people are sending their “babies” off to Kindergarten [or middle school], not . . . birthing them).
There would be no need for faulty words or stumbling explanations. No need for awkward attempts to defend, apologize, or justify. There’d be no pretense of superior confidence. You’d see clearly that this was, in truth, a decision made on the outskirts of logic; one that would complicate life and add undeniable difficulty that might, reasonably, have not been added. You would see the uncertainty and fear, the misgivings and self-doubt, the questioning and tears. But, you would see the rest as well. The powerful veil-piercing glimpses; the unexpected answers; the dreams, thoughts and nudges that came all bundled in little packages of light -- offering an opportunity to trust and trumping common sense. You’d catch your breath upon seeing the smallest flash of the light and intelligence and realness of this soul. You’d gasp at the complex eternity’s-worth of experiences he’s already had, the relationships he will temporarily be pausing and the ones he’s about to resume. You’d marvel over the detail and beauty of the plan he’s been prepared for, the lives he will influence and the lives that will influence him.
It wouldn’t even matter to you if, after taking this all in, your decision would have been the same. You would still grasp – with utter completeness and understanding -- why mine . . . was this.
Unfortunately, I have no magic ball of light to hold out; no ability to transfer complex and multifaceted chunks of life with simple telepathic purity. I can’t even gather all of this into a perfectly understandable picture for myself. Most of this journey, I see now, has occurred much like the scene I described earlier: bits of focus and clarity, a few clear images, and . . . an incredible amount of static.
I suppose the best I can really offer is little more than the announcement itself – the tiniest glimpse of a story in the middle (with a beginning I can’t fully recall and an ending I can’t yet see). It is simply this: Ninth Baby Coming.