Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ninth Baby

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.

Photo Jul 14, 10 47 13 AMPhoto Jul 14, 10 46 56 AM

23 comments:

Kara said...

I have so much respect for you, friend. The amount of faith and valiance. I so wish to be that. The courage. Well done.

Becca said...

Ahhhh, Nancy. Nance.

This is so precious and perfectly written. Thank you for sharing. Thanks for taking the time to write it right.

And I am sending prayers and hugs and positive thoughts to your big Allred family and your own precious little family of nine sweet kids.

Mandy said...

You have a beautiful family, and one more precious child will bring unfathomable blessings - not only to him but to everyone else. With the amazing example set by your parents, why not welcome another of Heavenly Father's choice spirits into your arms? The only sadness I felt as I read your post was that somehow, somewhere along the line, you were made to feel like you and your eternal companion owe ANYONE any sort of explanation or justification for this decision.

Power to you, my friend. I adore your sweet family and am ecstatic that you're bringing another sweet little one into your home. ❤

Nancy said...

Oh Kara. I love you. I have so many moments where it doesn't feel like courage at all. Doubt and worry. But I love you for seeing the me I want to consistently be. Thank you. So glad we found each other in this big world of people!

Nancy said...

Thanks Becca. I know I only technically know you through Megs, but I feel like I know you much better, and I adore adore you. Thank you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers!

Nancy said...

Oh Mandy. That was the kindest and best comment ever. You have been through so many hard things and yet you still just pour support and goodness and love into others. I love you and your example of courage so much! Thank you friend!

Linn said...

I just had a quiet moment to come here and read and I feel changed after the last few moments. After I saw your post on Instagram and before I could read this, we had family scripture study. And these words from Alma 43 jumped out at me, "And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God." This. This is you.

I could feel how grateful the Lord is for those, like you, that are willing to be courageous and act, because they love Him more than they love a logical answer or an easier life or knowing the end to a story.

You are something else Nancy friend. Even with the worries and concerns and possibly not feeling brave, you are willing. And I don't believe our God asks for much else.

Sending so much love and so many prayers from someone who adores you.

Marilyn said...

A boy, a boy, a boy! You already know, I hope, how happy this news makes me. I know it seems easy for me to be excited and thrilled for you from afar. I won't be the one to face anyone's mean comments or to get up at night with fussy babies. But it's just like everything I see you do: for myself, I always worry and second-guess, but with you, I think, "how could she possibly be worried?" It's not to minimize your feelings, of course, because I can totally empathize with those. But just—it's so utterly clear to me that this was meant to be. That you are a wonderful, thoughtful, sensitive mother who absolutely adores her children, and who this most lovely of babies will be so grateful–eternally so—to have the joy of coming to. As I said, it may be easy for me to say it—but no less true, for all that. The angels (one more strong this week) are shouting for joy.

Lynn said...

I'm in Shannon's ward and found this via FB. You've captured how I felt at learning that #5 was on the way, more than a quarter century ago. I love how excited your friends and family are for you. And I love the Alma quote in the comments. Blessings upon you, my sister in Christ.

Nancy said...

Oh Linn! This made me cry! I'm just always SO aware of my faults and weaknesses, but I DO want so much to be what you said here. I want to be someone who will just do what my God asks. So much I want that. Thank you so much Linn.

Nancy said...

Well . . . I wrote this post a month or two ago and just kept thinking "boy" as I wrote (this all the "him"s) but to be perfectly honest, yesterday was a very early ultrasound and all I really got was a "75% sure it's a boy" :). But I love reading your vote of confidence and certainty that this is obviously right. I actually think sometimes we can see the simple clear things of others situations better than we can our own (since we muddle our own with all our frettings and worryings).

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for stopping to leave this sweet comment Lynn! I love that 25 years hasn't dimmed these feelings and emotions. I hope I'll always remember them. And yes, I've been amazed by the love and support I've been showered with.

Danielle said...

I am a friend of Shannon's and just want to thank you for writing this! We are expecting #7, this makes three beyond what we had planned. 😀 No matter how much we know this baby is supposed to be a part of our family, it is hard to filter out all the shock and negative comments, sometimes even from myself. Especially hard are the ones from my own extended family. I feel so inadequate to do this again, it is sometimes hard to hold onto the knowledge that this is God's plan for us and it is right, especially through all the negative given to someone with a large family. I am also grateful for the comment from your friend weigh the scripture from Alma. That fits so well! Thanks again! And congrats on another little baby!

Nancy said...

Oh Danielle, I don't even know you but I love you! Probably because I know all those feelings you mentioned so well. Once in awhile -- when I'm not letting myself be bombarded by all the non-elevated earthly side of things -- I know there are huger and more beautiful things happening here -- in connecting all these people's existences to my own at this time and in this setting -- than I could ever believe or imagine. And that there are connections and things I promised and hoped for since long before coming here happening. But it is overwhelming and hard in the midst of so many negative voices (sometimes, lime you said, even our own). I'll celebrate with you someday in the next life when we see the amazing beauty and significance all clearly and are overcome with gratitude that God lead us to it and helped us through it.

Love, The Lanes said...

LOVED READING this! I am starting motherhood at a very old age for a utah born women.
You are an example of what's its like to follow the Liahona. The whole reason I think God gave it to Lehi's family is because they needed that ray of hope and light as the wadded through the static. Symbolically, child are our Liahona too. They stir us through the wilderness of whatever stage they are in, as we enter the promise land, we truly can reflect on all they taught it, and how grateful we are to them, that we are who are, because of them.
I've only been married 2 years and I'm pregnant with my 2nd. My husband and I don't have a number, as we have decided that we don't want to limit the Lord in blessing us. He knows our capabilities and blessedly, HE KNOWS WHAT EACH OF YOUR CHILDREN ARE CAPABLE OF. We forgot that little people grow identities too. I am, largely influenced by my mother who had 8 kids, the 8th coming when I was 10. Having a little brother changed me as a 10 yr old. The nurturer in me blossomed. What a blessing it was to feel that in my youth. MY parents still joke that I raised that baby.
My step son had some serious progression happen when he finally received a sibling. His compassion happened. His protective nature appeared, and I can only think that" For behold it is my work and my glory to bring to pass the eternal life of man." God grew in light when we were created it continues when we create and it magnifies HIS WORKS.
I don't think Satan will ever truly comprehend that power and knowledge, thus that what reminds me that he has no power over our good intentions.

Okay, I'm rambling... Congrats.

-Jenny,
I am really good friends with Tessa's Husband GB, we grew up together and thats how I came across this blog.

Thanks for sharing.

Danielle said...

You know, I bet our paths have crossed a few times, and will probably again and we won't even know it. I lived next to Shannon in Riverdale before she moved to Texas and currently live in your nephew, Adam's, ward in Ogden. And our pediatrician is your brother. 😊 I am very grateful for the experiences that led to us knowing this baby was to be a part of our family. We started finding out through special experiences when my last was 6 weeks old. It took me awhile to be ok with it, especially the pregnancy part. I don't have the easiest ones and it was hard to put myself through it an 8th time. But there have been many blessings, despite the hardships and we have been promised she will be a blessing to our family that we never could have imagined. I am anxious for her to get here! Now to survive the next 2 1/2 months!

Washington Neil Family said...

Ahh Nancy. I wonder if everyone that reads your blogs feels like they are your best friend, or at least they wish they lived by you and could be your friend. You share so much, so willingly, that your vulnerability makes you accessible, real and relatable. I went back to a previous blog of Mette's birth, which was so special and scary and reminded me of some of my own, but also the pictures and the closeness to the veil reminded me of how sacred that experience is each time. I am grateful you share. Grateful for your desire to be open to God's will, not knowing how it all works out. Blessed be the baby number nine who Heavenly Father chooses to be in your family!

Beautify Pacify said...

Oh dear, you're amazing, I'm so happy for you! Don't let the possibility of potential mean comments or surprised reactions tamper too much your calling and your emotions. You're an amazing woman and the sweetest mum. You have an amazing family, and your decision to have a ninth baby is in total harmony with who you are: a beautiful person who is blessed with the gift of motherhood, who has too much love to keep it for herself. There is indeed so much love and light around you! You know what? I believe you do have this magical golden ball of light. Sending you lots of love! Val

Nancy said...

I'm sure we probably have Danielle! At my dad's viewing this weekend I was shocked over the constant "small world" connections I kept discovering.

So excited for you to start discovering all the promised joys and blessings this little girl is bringing you!

Nancy said...

Oh my goodness Jenny! I loved your comments and insights SO much!! Thank you for commenting!

I especially loved what you said about God growing in light when we were created and that expanding and continuing when WE create and further his work. I feel like there is something so big there for me to think on and I felt the same thing today at my dad's funeral as my oldest brother (11 kids in my family) talked about my dad starting that gift of eternal increase and progression right here in mortality. Thank you! And love to you!

Nancy said...

Alisa! You always say the most genuine and uplifting compliments! I confess I read this several times. It was beautiful and too too kind. Thank you my cousin!!

Nancy said...

Val! Oh I didn't realize how much I've missed your voice until I read this comment just now!! You just . . . somehow you feel and understand things I didn't even know how to express when you read my words. Your last words about me having that golden ball of light made me cry. Thank you so much!

Carol said...

Oh Nancy, more power to you. I admire your faith and definitely your courage. I admire your reliance on the Lord. You are amazing to me. I don't know how you do it but I admire YOU!

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