Miracle Spigot

I must take a small step away from the story I'm currently telling about my adventures in therapy to tell you a story that runs parallel–and that was just as big and formative–and that meets up and intertwines with the other importantly. 

It's the story of the miracle of this fourth pregnancy.

When I was pregnant with Wyatt, his first ultrasound picture looked like a perfectly shaped kidney bean. So we called him The Bean.

Daphne was a squirrely blob, like an amoeba. So we called her Moeb (meeb).

When we were expecting Henry, I loved the fact that he was to be our third. This was significant because, in my favorite book Ender's Game (which I had just re-read for the umpteenth time), having a third child was illegal. Ender's parents were technically given permission, though they still rebelled in their hearts at a law that dared so intrusively to dictate their own personal family dynamic. So I called Hank my Little Third.

This one, for reasons unknown to man, decided to be called Spigot.
Trust me, I don't get it either.

But, the name came to me in one of those naming moments, and stuck. And while the image above isn't necessarily adorable or cuddle-inspiring at all, the word spigot is definitely spunky.

As is the little Spigot I'm currently rooming with.

Flash back to 3.5 years ago.

I held newborn Henry in my arms, wrestling with the agony of breastfeeding this tiny, dark haired over-eager latcher, worrying over the yellow tint of his jaundiced skin, but mostly feeling my heart explode over and over again with an overabundance of love for this tiny, beautiful creature. I ran my finger over the delectably soft and dark fuzz that tempted me from the nape of his neck.

He had dropped a lot of weight–too much weight–within the first few days of his life. He was still a respectable 6lb, but for one of my babies, that seemed impossibly small. To me, he seemed a tiny, fragile little thing that I devoured with my eyes and fingers, every inch of him a perfect wonder.


And as I fretted over this monkey creature the internal war between giving him enough time on his Billy Bed and the ever-present hunger to hold him in my arms, I noticed something different. Way back in my mind, a tiny whisper of something very, very different.

Where was that immediate desire for another?

Always, before, while I held and marveled over the tiny packages these huge souls came in, I would think about the ones to follow after. I knew there would be siblings. Little arms and legs to fill hand-me-down clothes. Cherished quilts and hand-made burp rags carefully washed and stored away in very reachable places.

Now, holding my little Third in my arms, there was no thought for the next.

Not only was there no thought for the next, there was an emptiness.

And the more I noticed it, the bigger it felt. And the bigger it felt, the more it began to consume my thoughts.

Wait...three? Am I a mother of three? Are we done?

I waited for internal confirmation, but there was nothing.

Newborn babies and tiny older siblings tend to fill up a lot of empty spaces in one's heart, so the question remained during the first six months of Henry's life, but remained on the backburner. It was odd, I'd bring it up with Bill and we'd discuss it on nights when it managed to creep into my working thoughts–but it didn't begin to bother me until Henry was nearly a year old.

Okay, I began to think. What's the deal?

I was beginning to feel aggravated by the total lack of confirmation I was getting either way. Was there to be more? I'd like to know, because I don't want to be having babies in my 40's! Was I done? Because it would be nice to know that, too, so I could stop worrying about it and get on with raising my three beautiful babies.

I prayed and prayed and pondered and prayed.

Most of the time, I was given silence. A few times, I was given a small hint of a resemblance of an answer. It was not even the frustrating but tolerable answer, "wait."

What I got was, "You don't get to know this, yet."

That's a lot different than "wait." Wait means an answer is coming, and you must be patient. My answer felt more like I could still get the answer "wait," but that I shouldn't even be asking. Not for me to ask. Not for me to know.

Being a human being, this of course made me think and fret about the issue all the more.

For two more years.

Two  l o  n   g        y   e    a     r      s     !!!

Every day, it was on my mind. In every big decision, I wondered. Would there be? Would there not be?

And as I waited for the chance to really wait, something else began to happen.

I began to be very happy with three.
I felt myself hoping that maybe there wouldn't be another.
I loved my little family dynamic. I couldn't imagine changing it.
And the more I didn't know if things would change, the more I didn't want them to. 

It felt weird, when I was honest with myself (and with Bill) about it, to admit to myself (and to Bill) that I didn't think I wanted more kids.

I always thought I wanted at least 10.

And when I got married in my late twenties and we began (even immediately) to have kids, I accepted the reality that I was probably starting a little late to have 10, but certainly there would be at least 5.

And I thought so until those first few days after Henry was born. And now, 3 years later, here I was, completely content with 3.

I began to wonder if maybe heaven had just been waiting for me to realize how happy and complete I felt our family was as it was before I would get the answer that it was okay. Henry was the last soul assigned to us. We could relax.

I prayed for a confirmation of this, filled with hope that this was the answer. I had to change my strong ideas in order to be open to the real plan...Submitting the will, etc. etc.

But instead, I kept getting the same almost-answer.

This is not for you to know.

And so I began to feel annoyed whenever anyone would ask, "Are you going to have more kids?"

...to be continued...
(gotta go pick up The Bean from school)


Kristen said...

You are such a good cliff-hanger-writer!! Like seriously, publish a novel and I will be first in line.

Umm, I know the feeling of being content with what you have. I was fine with 2 kids but knew there weren't enough "kids" around so I knew we'd have another. But I dragged my feet as long as possible. Told Eric I hoped we wouldn't get pregnant for a good 6 months. Then BAM - first month in. Of course.

But we have our little Benners now and that's all that matters.

Write soon please!!