Here’s the big news: we are pregnant with #3! Our oldest, Timothy, will turn 3 in April, and baby #3 will be born at the end of June! Nathan and I will have been married 3 and 11/12 months by then. That’s a lot of threes!
The week before my brother’s wedding in October was a nerve-racking one as I waited to take a pregnancy test. Post-partum charting is much more difficult than people led me to believe, and while we wanted to space our children farther than 18 months apart, we knew there was a possibility we were pregnant again. That week we were just playing the waiting game before being able to find out for sure.
My good friend was in town for the wedding (since it was her sister marrying my brother) and I was crying to her that I was pretty sure I was pregnant again and I wasn’t ready. I sobbed to her that so many other moms have this “mothering” thing down and it’s just not coming easy to me and now I’ve got to do it all over again. I just wanted a time when, like it seems with so many other moms, I was wanting to get pregnant again versus having one thrust upon me. I was obviously not at peace with motherhood.
Then came the day of my brother’s wedding. The priest began Mass saying, “The greatest tragedy on this earth is to not become a saint.” That was a good starting point for my mini-journey toward peace as I was reminded that that is what marriage is about: getting each other to heaven. Then, during the wedding vows, I heard my brother and new sister vow to “accept children lovingly from God.” Those words rung in my ears. I hadn’t accepted Lily so lovingly at the beginning, so I renewed my own marriage vow and promised to love this potential new child I might be carrying as a gift from God.
And then I started thinking about my Confirmation saint, St. Bridget of Sweden. One of the reasons I picked her as my patron saint was because she was a mother. She had 8 children, some of which also went on to become canonized saints. Even as a 13-year old going through Confirmation, I somehow knew that motherhood would also be my path to holiness and that I wanted to raise more saints.
And I realized that although I’m a supporter of NFP and all things Catholic, I was still holding on to a “contraceptive mentality” that we had to be able to have enough space and money and leisure, and having too many kids just wouldn’t be a part of that plan. I was “open” but I still wanted to be selfish. I had never wanted to be one of those large, crazy homeschool families but I am realizing more and more that that’s what we will be turning into. And I’m becoming OK with that now. Because my marriage is my path to holiness, and accepting children lovingly from God is my vocation. It’s what is going to make me into a saint, even though it won’t be easy. So I’m making peace with that.
The night of the wedding I went home to take a pregnancy test that turned out positive. And this time around, although I am still scared of how it will all work out, I am thankful. Thankful that God has believed in me enough to grant me the opportunity to raise some saints. Thankful that so far I have two beautiful, healthy children and an amazing, supportive husband. Thankful that I am making peace with this exhausting, diaper-filled way of life with 3 kids under the age of 4.
And thankful because I am starting to fully realize my purpose in this life: to raise saints and help my husband get to Heaven. In this, my vocation, there is peace.