It was Monday, March 9th. We were sitting on the sofa finalizing the playlist for our wedding on Saturday, March 14th. I was fidgety. He kept asking what was wrong and I asserted I was fine. But I wasn’t. I was nervous. I kept assuring myself it was due to wedding stress, but I knew I had to tell him. Finally, he set down the notepad and let out a sigh. “What is going with you?!”
I blurted out, “I’m late, baby. TEN DAYS late.” Then I sucked in a deep breath and held it waiting for his response. A sly smirk slowly creeped across his face and my heart was beating so loudly I was sure it could be heard in Houston. He motioned towards the table and told me to grab some cash so I could pick up a home pregnancy test. I practically bolted out the door to drive 3 blocks down the street to Walgreens. I’m pretty sure I was sweating and my knees were wobbling as I tip-toed to the check-out, test in hand. Two minutes later I walked in my back door, made a bee-line for the bathroom and ripped open the packaging. It had been a decade since my last home pregnancy test, but I was pretty sure the directions hadn’t changed much. I did my business and within seconds, the results were clear. I walked into the living room, looked at Jose and said, “Well, I guess you’re going to have to finish my beer.”
And on that day, 5 days before our wedding and 3 weeks before my 40th birthday, we found out we were expecting our 8th child. (I have 3 children ages 17, 20, and 21. He has 4 children ages 7, 10, 11, and 14. This will be our first together.)
We decided to wait until after the wedding to share the good news. We told our kids before that and by the wedding day, most of inner circle already knew, but once we broke the news via Facebook, well, that’s when the awkward comments started rolling in….
1. Aren’t you worried there will be complications?
Of course we’re worried there will be complications! You’d have to be living under a rock for 40 years to not know that women my age have a greater risk. But you know what? When I was pregnant at 19, 20, and 23 I was also worried about complications. Pregnant women aren’t supposed to have added stress, so why you tryin’ to stress me out, dude?
2. You’ll be almost 60 when your baby graduates high school!
Congratulations! You can do basic elementary school math. Guess what? So can we. We’ve already calculated how old we will be when our baby starts school, graduates from school, and what year it will be when he/she can vote in a presidential election. Age isn’t going to stop Jose from coaching soccer or me from roller skating through the park with our child.
3. Wow! Did y’all plan this?
This is not okay. Honestly, it’s none of your business if we planned this. Would you think differently of the situation if we did plan it? Would you be more accepting of it if we told you this was a total surprise, but we are embracing it? Turns out, this was God’s plan and apparently He has faith in us and we have faith in Him.
4. You must be crazy.
Maybe I am. Maybe I’m totally and completely certifiably batshit bonkers. Whatever. You’re crazy, Jose is crazy, we’re all a little crazy and life is crazy. Who cares? This is how we chose to live the one life we were given and we are thrilled about it!
5. I can’t imagine starting over!
This is the one I struggle with most. Starting over implies that at one point we actually stopped being parents. Once a parent, always a parent. My 68 year old mother still thinks of me as her baby and at 40 years old, I still need her. My grown children need me everyday of their lives and I will still parent them when they are my age. Just because I’ve already raised my 3 children, I am NOT starting over! I am continuing. This isn’t a wrench in my spoke. I’ll still be able to travel, go to concerts, and live my life, I’ll just be doing it differently now that we have a baby on the way.
We understand that your intentions aren’t to be hurtful, but sometimes perception is everything. Maybe next time you find yourself in this situation you should offer a genuine handshake or hug and offer your congratulations.
I’m sorry if I sound snarky, it’s just that I’m a little stressed out. I am still coming to terms with turning 40, having EIGHT children, worrying about complications, thinking about how old I’ll be when my baby graduates from high school, starting over gathering all the essentials baby needs, and my hormones are totally wonky.