I thought my family was complete. My children were all in school and various activities. They were maturing and becoming quite independent. Life was simpler than it used to be. One day I notice I was feeling rather nauseous. I hadn’t felt that way for many years, but it was familiar. Could it possibly be?
Yes, I was pregnant. What? Shocking. Unbelievable. Not the plan. I have to start over, again?! My children were 9, 11, 13, and 16 years old and we were expecting again. I was going back to diapers and middle of the night feedings. This was going to be a HUGE adjustment for all of us. How would we add another child to our family and our home?
Many things had changed since I was expecting #4, our only daughter. Furthermore I had forgotten lots of the little details of being pregnant. When I went to my first OB appointment I was informed that I was an “old” mom. When our daughter was born I was 27 years old, now I was . . . . . 36! I was asked if I wanted to explore genetic testing of the baby. No, I did not.
At my next appointment, the nurse handed me a little plastic container and asked for a urine sample. “I did that last month,” I said. She replied, “Yes, and you will do it at every appointment.” I really had forgotten soooooo much. By my third month appointment, the baby’s siblings started taking turns attending the appointments so they could hear the baby’s heartbeat and hear about the progress.
Hubby and I took a one day Lamaze refresher course. Most of the other couples there were very young. We went on the tour of the hospital and its new Labor/Delivery/Recovery room. The hospital where we had delivered three of our four children had made significant changes. I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t believe I am doing this again.”
I did not own any maternity clothes. A few friends shared some with me and I shopped for more at rummage sales and garage sales. What about all the baby equipment? Where would the baby sleep?
We did some dry walling and painting in the basement and set up a room for #2 and #3 sons. Daughter moved into the former boys’ room, which was painted purple for her. Her former room was repainted for the baby. Daughter and I made new curtains for 2 bedrooms. #1 son carried the old crib from the attic to the new nursery. The crib and a highchair were the only baby equipment we still had. We shopped at more rummage and garage sales.
When I was expecting the other children ultrasounds were rarely used. If they were used, they were not entirely dependable. They were about 50% accurate at determining the baby’s gender. Now every expectant mom had at least one ultrasound. I had two this time. The technician was 90% certain we were having a boy.
During the eighth month I developed pre-toxemia and was restricted to total bedrest. Within a week I seizured and lost consciousness. Our son was delivered hours later via caesarean section. He weighed less than 6 pounds but was healthy. I awoke three days later to a beautiful red headed baby, who has been an incredible joy and blessing to our family.
A bonus is defined as an unexpected extra, a dividend, a plus, an advantage. I have met many families who had a bonus child. They are all thankful for their bonuses despite many adjustments. So are we.