My blog has been sorely neglected this week although not for lack of interesting material. Life is full of twists and turns, joys, accidents (see my previous post), and fascinating discoveries.
No, my neglect is due entirely to the onset of a serious bout of morning sickness...Or more appropriately named '24/7' sickness. The average blog reader will know instantly to what joyful information this physical wretchedness alludes. You got it...Baby #6!
Blog pregnancy announcements (of which this is my first) are lovely because I can speak of my joy without having to suffer through many of the difficult reactions to "another" baby in my large family. There was a time when I couldn't wait to share the secret miracle that was hidden in my womb. But I find myself hesitating lately, reluctant to expose this private joy and treasure to the harsh opinions and disapproval of the world. And yet bursting with the excitement of this awesome adventure!
I know that people think they are being funny--and wise--when they offer different versions of a backhanded congratulations. But once a child has been loved into being it is only hurtful to express disapproval or try to give tongue-in-cheek sex ed lessons.
The best response to a new mother is to build up her love and her joy unconditionally. The love in her heart has taken on a life of it's own and soon it will even have a name. If she is suffering emotionally or physically as a result of this change in her life, take her hands and heart in your own and remind her of the beauty and hope that she is carrying in her own womb. She is a walking miracle and her baby's value is beyond that of any earthly treasure.
Do not allow your own words or the words of anyone else to violate her at this time. Pregnancy is an empowering time but also a vulnerable time. We are isolated for a while from the rest of the world. Our thoughts are always on our secret and there is no way that anyone else on earth can fully participate in that experience.
Do not allow your words to violate the privacy and sanctity of the intimacy of husband and wife. These moments in life are the most intimate and holy and vulnerable that a man and women will share. It has become common to casually share details of the bedroom but I think that loss of reverence for the sacredness of marital union is tragic.
To ask: "So, is this one planned?" is really another way of inquiring about the details of a couple's bedroom.
And to inquire about these secret details of a couple's life is like unveiling a beautiful secret shared between best friends and exposing it to the bright light of a harsh world. It is taking a sacramental moment and rendering it profane.
If, in the most intimate moments of a husband and wife's life, they share their unspoken dreams and discover that love overcomes fear...If they decide together that seeing another pair of precious eyes mirroring the ones of their beloved would be a priceless gift...If they uncover their secret hopes...If they discover that maybe one more baby sounds lovely and decide to open the door to another life....
Then do not steal those beautiful moments from them by exposing them to the glare of a judgmental world. Do not break the spell and cause a woman to doubt her dreams or a man to forget his tender love in the face of peer ridicule.
When an outsider looks at my family, they see strangers and numbers and noise. When I look at my children, I see their hearts and gifts and dreams. I see their unique and amazing personalities. And I see the difference they are making in this world and in my heart. My home is filled with the laughter and tears of my best friends and most treasured companions. I cannot fully describe the blessing that each of these individuals has been to me and to each other.
I am sorry for people who have been so disappointed and broken by life that they must tear down the joy of others. But each moment is a fresh and new opportunity to invite mystery and joy back into life. It is never too late to be overcome by the beauty of a rainstorm. Never too late to try to imagine something bigger than the imagination. Never too late to discover something invigorating and life-giving in a household of 8.
I happily introduce our pre-born baby to the world! He or she is the product of a passionate and pure love...Of a sacred union that is the source of my greatest earthly joy... and will be welcomed joyfully by a house full of siblings and an adoring extended family. Rejoice with us!
We want you to take that leap of faith with us and celebrate the creation of another irreplaceable soul.
There is nothing to fear.
Love is not divided but multiplied and we can't wait for you to share in our windfall!