Friday, December 15, 2006

Experience Makes a Difference

"Are you excited?" is the comment that I get asked most often. Not in a derogatory way, but because they are excited about this 4th baby growing inside me. And I am. It is not the same delusional excited I had with #1, #2 or even #3. Makensie, our oldest was was not even 3 years old and Gabby was only 20 months when our 3rd baby was born. So most of my time was still consumed with diapers, feedings, naps and snuggling time. The latter being the most rewarding. The girls were just getting old enough to really enjoy arts and crafts, we had our daily "school time". When Brian was born, it quickly became apparent to me that I was in over my head most of the time. My husband had taken a job with a traveling construction crew and we only saw him on the weekends. I now had 3 little ones and only 2 hands to hold onto them with. It was very overwhelming and tiring for me. Which is why there is a 4 year gap between baby #3 and baby #4. I am excited, however this time instead of thinking of all the time we will have snuggling and caring for a precious baby, I also know what the near future holds: This little one growing up too fast, learning to walk and having to see him tumble, learning to talk and hearing for the first time how he doesn't like me anymore because I've mad him mad. Having to spank him for the 1st time for his sins. The incredible responsibility of raising, training and praying for our children. There are many rewards to having children, however it isn't all fun and games. My heart has never ached as deeply as having to watch our little ones try and fail, being hurt and let down by friends, or to be injured. I want to protect them and keep them safely at my breast as they nurse and sleep, yet that time is so short.

We only have 10-11 weeks left before this new little guy gets here. By this time with our oldest little girl Makensie, I had the car seat buckled in, bag packed, crib set up, the nursery decorated, diapers bought, names picked, toured the hospital, was taking Lamaze classes, had a birth plan, had little socks in the dresser and designer clothes in the closet. Not this time. Each time I haven't been less excited, just more prepared in my head and heart for this addition to our family. We haven't agreed on a name yet, I know where the car seat is and it isn't in the van (which was a recent purchase in so we would all fit in one vehicle), I also know where the cradle is and that it, the car seat, swing or my chest will be the new home for our little man for the first couple of weeks before moving him to the crib. I do need to start picking up diapers, I've seen the hospital before, I usually deliver so quickly there is no need for a birth plan, the plan is just to make it to the hospital. The Lamaze classes, honestly were pretty much just a date night rather than something really useful. We will be converting our school/arts and craft room once again back into a nursery. After the Holidays I'm sure we will start getting more prepared, but if the nursery isn't decorated, he won't know, if he doesn't have the designer outfits we splurged on with our first, he'll never know, if he doesn't have the newest toys, he won't know. But he will know that we love him and are so excited, proud and blessed to have him as part of our family.

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