All my life I have wanted to be a mama. I dreamed of being married to a strong, handsome, and godly man and raising a family with him. There have been seasons along the way that have marked my heart and changed my life for the better: college, an internship, seminary, and studying abroad to name a few. In these places I met friends and my husband. In the early part of dating my now husband, we talked about how many children we wanted to have one day. From the beginning, I always said I’d like to have four kids. My friends and I went through stages together. We all dated someone seriously, got engaged, got married, and started having children. A few months ago, I realized I was pregnant with the last baby. I remember the excitement and anticipation of expecting our first. I remember the surprises that came with reality upon his arrival. As we slowly added his brothers to our family, I sometimes wondered if I had the capacity and grace for four children. There were times of “Let’s wait and see.” Two of the best pieces of advice I received while deciding if I wanted to try for our fourth baby was this: First, what size family do you envision at Thanksgiving? Do you want lots of grandkids/cousins, children and their spouses filling your home or just a few? Second, does it feel like someone is still missing? Or do you feel like your family is complete? My answers were “I want a full house on Thanksgiving!” and “It still feels like someone is missing.”
Monday I had the last baby. As soon as I heard his cry, I cried-as always. It’s that relief that washes over me as I hear him and see him for the first time and no longer just feel him. But it was something more this time. I was cherishing that moment as the last first moment of meeting this person you helped create and looking forward to getting to know them. There will be other firsts-first jobs, first car, first dates, first week away at college, first child married… It’s the symbol of life moving on. I also intrinsically knew that no one was missing anymore. My babies are growing into their own seasons and dreams. This week we had our last baby, but all four of them will ALWAYS be my babies. Here’s to new adventures, and knowing the same God who has always been there for me will always be there for them.