Monday, November 27, 2006

How I found out...

How I found out…

When one desires children and is joyfully looking forward to the day when God will graciously provide another member to the family, it is a very happy and surreal occasion when the news is revealed. I have said to my friends and family that when my wife was pregnant with my oldest, Micah, I went through various stages of realizing that this…was…real. If I recall correctly, I think that I called the inaugural events into these sequential stages “sucker-punches” of reality.

We found out that we were pregnant while we were visiting my parents. Stephanie and I were in total shock, we were excited, but we were in shock. As the husband and father, I am not blessed (or cursed) with the first-hand physical cues and reminders of the reality of the new child that is growing, so it is easier for me to not fully grasp the reality of this life at first.

The first sucker-punch came when we went to the doctor’s office one afternoon. I don’t remember if I was expecting anything profound, but when we were there, we were able to hear Micah’s heartbeat for the first time. I remember that once the pure ecstasy lost some of its hold on me, it felt like the blood drained out of my face. It was at this point that the reality of Micah’s little life was driven home a little further, and the responsibilities that I had for this new life began to terrify me.

While continuing on with life and taking care of my pregnant wife, I began to work through and deal with the various concerns and questions that were cropping up. I was still nervous about being a father, but I was trying to prepare for all of my new and upcoming responsibilities. It wasn’t too much longer (although at the time it seemed like an eternity) before we went in for one of the most anticipated things prior to the birth of the child – the ultrasound exam. It was in that little, dark room that I first saw Micah’s hands, feet, head, and body. And believe it or not, this was sucker-punch number two.

I have always believed (at least as far back as I have had to form an opinion on the matter) that babies are fully human from the moment of conception, even if their bodies form changes from being a mass of cells into being a fully formed baby over time. So it wasn’t the humanity of my child that was striking, but it was the fact that I could “see” his humanity. It wasn’t that he was just a little life, but he was a little life with a personhood all his own. I guess that it is hard to put it into words, but the basic idea is that the reality of the personal nature of my son hit home during that ultra-sound.

Prior to his birth (the mega-sucker-punch), there was one more time that the reality of his little life was hammered home. One day while I was almost out of the door going to work, Stephanie called me back into the bedroom where she was still laying in bed and she asked me to put my hand on her belly. Now, I do not know if I really felt Micah move before that day, but there was no mistaking it this time. I think that he actually drop-kicked me. I quickly kissed my wife and ran out of the apartment and off to work. It was on my way to work that the reality of Micah’s individual and personal will, thoughts, and actions sunk in.

All of this is to say that the stages of pregnancy (at least for me) are defined by these tangible benchmarks when I am able to experience (hear, touch, and see) the life of my child. Well, recently my wife and I found out that we are going to be getting another little crazy body in the house. In the past, I have been waiting in anticipation when she’s taken a pregnancy test (Micah, our second child, and the final test with Noah) when we found out, or I have been coming home from work to see my 1 ½ year old son Micah walking toward me with something sticking out of the pocket in his overalls (later revealed to be a positive pregnancy test for Noah). Stephanie had found out that she was pregnant while I was at work, and she came up with that fun way of telling me that we were going to have another child (even though the test was positive, the visit to the doctor the next day had a negative result…but we’ve still got Noah). This time, my wife was not short on ideas either.

We had been wondering if she were pregnant for about one week, and she had even taken a pregnancy test that came back negative, but we were still not convinced. So, on Saturday night while I was working on my Sunday school preparation, I needed some artificial stimulant to assist me in my late night studies. Stephanie volunteered to go to the store and get some groceries and to procure a special study treat for me. When she arrived home I was working and I didn’t look up at her right away, so she gave me a bottle of Mello Yello. She then said that she thought it might be an extra late night, and therefore she had bought two of them for me. She handed me the second Mello Yello… and I don’t think that I even looked closely to see what was in it. I just felt it, saw that things were awry (there was no liquid in the bottle, and there was a white “thing” in there), and then I looked at the jubilant expression on my wife’s face to confirm that we were having another baby.

God be praised! We are eagerly expecting to meet the newest addition of the family.

1 comment:

steph said...

You know what someone told me? That if you already have two boys, the likelihood of having another boy is 80%. So, I guess we'll see what we will have. Maybe, the pregnancy that I miscarried was a boy, so this one will have a greater percentage of being a girl. Well, God knows what we will have, and I am so thankful that He has seen fit to bless us with another child--boy or girl. I just can't wait!

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