Friday, March 11, 2016

Big Things for the Hillman Family

I'm looking back through photos of the day I first became a Mama because something pretty huge is happening in our family. We are expecting a baby! Not a delivered-to-our-door baby or an anxiously-waiting-and-hoping baby, but a we-were-told-this-would-never-happen baby. Other than a very early miscarriage when Ellie was two , It's been 12 years since I've been pregnant.  My head is a jumble of thoughts and emotions and I know you're dying to hear all about it. Here they are as they randomly fly from my head to my fingers:

1)  Now that we're over the initial shock and surprise, I'm feeling pretty excited.  I remember how I loved being pregnant with Ellie.  The eager anticipation, the miracle of her movements, feeling so close to my husband and to my Heavenly Father at the moment she was born.  Such an incredible experience and I'm so grateful that I get to participate in that again.

2) Terrified.  How can we possibly handle four children?  Our two-year-old is no joke.  I can't imagine adding another little one into this mix.

3) Our family dynamics are going to change drastically.  We're now going to having a distinct set of big kids and a set of babies.  Big kids who want to go places and do things and be in sports and co-ops and have big plans of their own.  And little kids who make messes and need to be up nursing in the night and take naps during the day.  It will be interesting.  I never planned for our family to have such big gaps in between kids, and it's always been a stress to me (maybe that's silly, but it's the truth).  There will be almost exactly 12 years between Ellie and the new baby and I'm still trying to decide that that's okay with me. Obviously God had other plans for our family and we're working on trusting Him and His plan.

4) Will I ever have time to do stuff for me again?  I feel like I've gotten into a good groove of making creativity a daily habit, and I'm worried that will all disintegrate when little one arrives.

5) Growing your own baby takes SO LONG.  We're used to babies arriving moments to possibly 24 hours after you find out they'll be with you.  Sometimes it's a matter of weeks. With Ethan it was 24 hours; Elijah was 2 months. Waiting until September seems like a joke.

6) I'm so grateful I haven't really been sick. As long as I eat regularly, I feel basically normal. Just extra-tired.

7) It seems like we had just finished working through all the emotions that go along with deciding to be done growing our family.  We felt good about the decision and were looking forward to moving into the next stage of life.  We've spent many years trying to add children to our home and were burned out and exhausted with the emotions and stress (both emotional and financial) of foster care, infertility and adoption.  I still can't quite believe this is happening, but the more time passes, the more on-board with the plan I become.  I've just realized that I've had a hard time letting myself believe it's real because we've been disappointed so many times before.

8) I don't want to be one of those stories that people tell couples who are fighting their way through infertility and/or adoption.  You know the ones, I'm sure.  I've heard so many, they go like this, "I know this couple who had one baby and couldn't have any more and then over several years they adopted two boys and just like that they got pregnant on their own! You just need to quit stressing about it and it will happen!"  Those stories are not helpful. Please don't use us as that kind of example, okay?

9) While we're definitely still adjusting our minds to the new plan for our family, my heart is pretty much all-in.  I am amazed at the way God arranges our lives.  Our boys, for whatever reason, needed to come to our family in a non-traditional way. We had to find them after many tears and years of waiting.  They are without a doubt meant to be in our family and I am constantly overwhelmed with the miracle of their arrival, just as much as I am with the pending arrival of our future little one. As I reflect on the miracles our family has seen, I am humbled and grateful.  I pray every day that I can be the Mama all these little people need and that I can help them grow into the people God has made them to be.  

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