First off, i should tell you that Gage was one of the first people to know. i felt safe telling my secret to that fat little boy & i whispered it in his ear within days of finding out myself.
A perfectly enunciated word - a rare thing - "Baby" he said to me, as if understanding the situation completely & affirming it with that one word that so described himself and the little one to come.
The date of my first midwife appointment finally rolled around. i could feel my fundus - & that gave me some comfort, but i was looking forward to hearing that precious whooshing heartbeat telling me that all was well.
i wondered how different it would be with a midwife rather than a doctor - midwifery care has never been covered by our healthcare until this year, so it had never been an option for us. For the most part, it was the same. i weighed myself (up 7 at 13.5 weeks!), we went through my long history... and finally, i asked her if we could hear the heartbeat. It was a little muffled, but there it was... right around 145bpm. Sweet comforting sounds of life. i held it together & we walked out of there - & i picked up the phone to call Cai. i had promised her that if we were able to hear a heartbeat, i'd phone right away & say so.
"It's a yes." My voice quavers.
"It is?" her sweet high pitched voice matches mine.
As i hang up the phone, i cry. Those 2 times being told there is no heartbeat taught me to never, ever take this moment for granted. Each week is a gift - each pregnancy another fragile leap of faith - and this little one has made it into the second trimester.
That night, Neil called a family meeting. In a way, i wish that we would have told each of the children separately - to give them a chance to react on their own. Mollen and Charter were beyond excited, leaping out of their chairs & patting my belly & talking to the mini person inside. i could see some storm clouds in Peyton's face though & i couldn't put my finger on what was bothering her. She said all the right things, but i could tell there was something on her mind. Later on, i found her by herself - & we got talking - & the tears came - & i found myself having to guess what was wrong... Did it hurt her feelings that we told the bigger girls first? No. Between heaving sobs, she finally got out what needed to get out.
When Gage was about 6 weeks old, she had picked him up after being told to leave him be. She tripped while holding him & they both went sprawling on the floor. For weeks after that, she'd had nightmares - & now, a year & a half later, she still brings it up sometimes when she's feeling insecure.
"What if i hurt the baby? i don't mean to, but they're so little & tiny... what if i hurt the baby like i hurt Gage?"
Sweet tender girl.
It is a bewildering, beautiful thing, *family*. Each person so changed by the other members & each one so intimately and profoundly affected by each addition.
May God prepare each & every one of us in these months ahead as we prepare to morph and change again - & welcome this little one who has already made it's little mark on this family.