I've heard it said before that you couldn't really love this many children. And I remember being pregnant with my second child and wondering how in the world I could love another baby as much as I loved Stephen. I was (and still am) so completely in love with him and worried that I didn't have enough love left for another child. Silly, huh? But not all that uncommon of a fear. When I really thought about it, I knew that it was silly, but fear doesn't always make sense. I know I was surprised at how much my heart grew when I had the first baby. What I didn't know is that it would happen with every baby.
I've been noticing with each new addition to our family that my love for that baby surprises me. I just didn't know I could love yet another baby so much. I wasn't very excited about this last pregnancy. I was excited at times, but there were lots of times--which I kept completely to myself--that I thought I had stepped beyond my capabilities this time. There was no way I could do this. Everyone likes to point out that 40 is kind of old to be having a baby and I'm 40 now. Yes, I'm more tired and grumpy at times than I was at 22. Nearly everyone I know that is my age is done having babies. I was looking enviously at couples who can go out on dates without bringing a baby and couples who can just hop in the car without car seats to buckle in and wondered what in the world I was thinking having another baby.
Well, first of all, I don't think about it. We don't plan to have another baby and we don't plan not to. We leave it to God to decide when to create life. I won't argue that with anyone. You can disagree all you want, but it's ultimately our decision and we are happy with it. Unlike many in our culture, we see children as blessings and we would not want to reject any blessings God wants to offer us.
So Ezra was born and it didn't take long to see that I could indeed love this baby as much as any of the others. It's such a wonder each time that God would see fit to bless us with the responsibility of raising this precious new life. Just like each of my other children, I fell in love with Ezra just because he exists. Because God made him.
Often times, I am more endeared to a child because he or she will exhibit behaviors like Roger. I love Roger and so those traits that remind me of him just help me love that child even more. And now I'm seeing that when Sam does something that reminds me of Mitchell or Clark does something that reminds me of Stephen or x does something that reminds me of y (insert any two of our children's names for x and y) it makes that love grow even stronger. And then I love each one more because they all remind me so much of each other in so many ways.
I'm so glad now that I had this baby. I have no regrets at all. I continue to be amazed everyday at all the new things he is learning and doing. I love it when he smiles just because he sees me. I love how he was kicking his toy just to make me smile yesterday. (It's one of those things that makes noises when he kicks it, but he only kicked it when he saw my face--I would smile and cheer for him each time. I guess he likes that better than the song and such the toy rewards him with.) I love it when he squeals and says "hi" sometimes when he sees someone he recognizes. Yes, I have to get up at night to feed him. Yes, I often have to do things with one hand because I'm holding this big chunk (he doubled his birth weight today at 10 weeks). Yes, I need to load him in a carseat every time we go somewhere. I can't go on a date with Roger unless we bring him. Labor was excruciatingly painful. I could go on listing all the sacrifices a woman makes as a mother, but I think you get the idea. He is so worth every minute of it. They all are.
I swear I can feel my heart swelling and getting bigger and bigger all the time (and no, it's not a health issue due to my "old age".)
And would I do it again? In a heartbeat. (Remind me of this if I get pregnant again.) And the answer is YES, you really can love that many kids!
(Roger, I'm sorry to have once again sucked all the testosterone out of our blog.)