Our Third Pregnancy: The Sweetest Surprise

An Elated Family

Now I can hear you saying to me, if you have sex and don't use protection, these things can happen. This is how babies are made. My response to that is yes, of course, but with the first two we had to use fertility medication, and with my AMA (advanced maternal age -- anyone over 35 having a baby will recognize this) along with my husband's APA (don't know if that is a real abbreviation or not), we didn't think it could happen. No, we weren't trying to prevent it, but in our many years of not using birth control...you get the picture.

We hugged, cried, and talked about how having another child must not have been our decision to make after all. My husband was relieved for that reason alone, as was I -- we had received a great gift. Yes, there was fear and worry for all the reasons listed above, but oh my God -- a baby!

I had always marveled at people who just "turned up" pregnant after we had to work at it. Yet statistics show that half of all pregnancies are unplanned. In our moment of baby truth, it was thrilling to face the same surprise as so many others. And I'm thankful that our family can welcome this baby, when so many surprise pregnancies do not result in such immediate happiness.

I tried to return to my daily chores, but an hour later I took a tape measure to our guest room to see if both the crib and queen-size bed could fit. If we could just tuck the crib against the wall and use the bed as a changing station, we could keep the best of both rooms. Well, maybe we'd give the walls a new coat of paint. And find a different duvet cover. And a lamp.

We did tell my mother and aunt in a cutesy way. We had them over and presented them with a cake that read "Happy Birthday March 2004." They stared at it, and then finally my aunt yelled "I GET IT!" Then we explained it to Mom.

And so our third pregnancy began. Not quite the same as the others when our heads were prepared, but almost sweeter, somehow, because it dropped out of the blue just when we probably needed it to. With all the unhappiness in the world, what a wonderful reason to smile! Our heads might not be prepared, but our hearts are already there.

Baby Annabelle was born last February.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2004.

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