With the doctor advising me not to lift more than 20 pounds, we purchased a few new stools and an umbrella stroller to help me manage Sweet Pea throughout the pregnancy.
There was no way I was putting the baby at risk. I would follow whatever rules the doctor gave me.
Sweet Pea took to the adaptations well, for the most part. Although she missed her mommy carrying her, more than words could express. It took several weeks of “Mommy, dance!” or “Mommy, hold me!” for it to sink in that, for the time being, we couldn’t do those things.
But she loved the idea that a little brother or sister was coming. Every time we inquired about her choice of a name for the new baby, she insisted on “night night.”
The first time I felt her, I was reclining back on Sweet Pea’s bed, pillows propped behind my back. I was reading Sweet Pea her third bedtime story of the night. As usual, her tiny little body was tucked underneath her quilt, and “puppy” (her lovey) was nuzzled underneath her chin. I was halfway through reading the page, when there it was. A tiny little tickle as though a finger had just swiped the inside of me.
I paused the story, memorizing the moment I first felt her.
I knew it’d be the first of many, and I was floored that this part of my experience was finally beginning.
I walked around the rest of the night with one hand on my tummy, waiting at all times, should she say hello again.
We found out it was (likely) a “she” around 16 weeks, and it was confirmed around 20. Sweet Pea was going to have a sister.
The word conjured up lots of images in my mind. Tea parties, matching outfits, dress-up, and girl talk. All the things I’d always dreamed of having when I was younger. Things I never got to experience, because, I had two brothers. Sure, I loved them (still do), but there was always a longing in my heart for a sister. I even resorted to asking Santa for one several Christmas’ in a row, to no avail.
Although Santa hadn’t heard my plea, God did. He had placed those dreams in my heart so long ago, because, He knew that someday He’d fulfill them. Only, it wouldn’t be a sister of my own. It’d be better. I’d have the joy of watching two sisters do all those things, and the overwhelming privilege of calling them my daughters.
I immediately began picturing myself 7 years down the road, snuggled between their twin beds, in a big oversized recliner, one on either side of me as we read “Anne of Green Gables” together.
I’d braid their hair. They’d giggle. Then they’d fall fast asleep, knowing they had each other nearby.
I was so pleased God chose for me another girl.
The same appointment where they verified her gender, we were given an incredible gift. The technician was just finishing up her measurements and snapshots, when suddenly she switched the wand she was holding for another. Up on the screen, just a moment later, was the most precious little sleeping face, hands folded together, up against her cheek. She looked like an angel.
It took our breath away. We both gasped, unaware that we’d be getting a 3-d glimpse of our girl at this appointment. But the technician was pleased with her position and went for it, granting us the sweetest souvenir.
We took it home to Sweet Pea and introduced her to “night night.”
I can’t explain the joy I felt at finally getting to go into a maternity store. Even if I didn’t have plans to buy anything, I’d always stop in, just for the sake that I could. The worker would always ask how far along I was, and I loved being able to answer. When I did try things on, I was delighted to find out that they had little pillows that wrapped around your belly, so you could see how the top would look in the coming months. Just more little details of joy that I didn’t want to take for granted.
The monthly check-ups with the perinatologist continued, along with my regular OBGYN.
The fibroids were behaving themselves, and baby girl was making sure she took the majority of the blood supply. Her growth was on track, and her organs were all present and functioning as they should. Things were going really well.
In June, we had plans to go to California. I was nervous about the long car ride, since I was now 7 months along. But I asked my doctor for permission, and she blessed our trip and sent us with my records, just incase anything should happen. She ordered me compression stockings, and advised I wear them on the long car ride. I did.
California, June 2015
He was outside with Sweet Pea when his phone rang. I was getting ready for the day in the bathroom mirror when he suddenly appeared at the doorway.
“They want to interview me tomorrow at 10.”
Even though it was a phrase, he said it like a question.
We’d been wanting to move back “home” to California for quite some time now. This was where I grew up, where we met, and where the waves and sand were for my ocean-loving hubby. In the past year, a few opportunities had presented themselves. And we knocked on several doors, though God hadn’t opened any of them. I’d begun to wonder if all my wishing to be back were in vain, and if I should just get over it and accept where I was at. Sometimes it’s so hard to know if the longing in your heart is from God, or you.
But my husband had recently finished his master’s degree in Special Education. He was ready and excited to begin a new chapter in his life, that of a new career.
A few weeks prior, my mom had called me.
“I have to tell you, the head of the district is in our small group at church, and she made me promise to tell you about some openings.” This lady had remembered interviewing my husband last November, but regretted not being able to hire him since his degree wasn’t yet completed. Now, after learning that he’d finished, she’d enthusiastically urged him to apply to the new openings for the coming school year. So he did. But, we hadn’t heard back.
“Take it!” I said. We’d had plans for a maternity photo shoot at the beach the following morning, but that could wait. This was more important.
Thankfully, he’d packed some dress clothes for just such an occasion. We suited him up, filled him with kisses and well wishes, and off he went.
I watched the clock, anxiously aware of the nerves he must be feeling, all the while praying them away.
He returned sooner than I expected, but the smile on his face let me know it must’ve gone alright.
Less than an hour later, they called to ask if he preferred elementary or secondary.
Five hours after that came the official call. I followed him into the guest room where our things were, and we paced the floor together. Eventually we both landed on the floor, heads only inches apart, so I could hear the offer too. Tears formed in his eyes as he realized all his hard work over the last 2 years of holding a full-time job, full-time school, and balancing the responsibility of being a present leader for his family, was finally paying off.
God was granting us another dream come true.
We were finally getting to come home.
Continue reading the story here.