We have not been out of the house with Grace much in the last three weeks. I find myself far more protective of her than I was with the boys, which I did not expect. I expected Caleb to be the most protective of her, which he is, simply because she’d be “daddy’s little girl” and I would not necessarily have the same type of bond with her. Of course I knew I would love my baby, but I simply assumed my special bond would be with the boys and Caleb’s would be with his little girl.
Well, the day we brought Grace home, Jacob, our youngest son, was very sick, not keeping anything down and extremely lethargic. The poor thing would carry his blanket around and curl up in a little ball and sleep, wherever he landed, for hours. Our plan was simple and we had no other choice, Caleb took care of Jacob, I took care of Grace, sanitized and “Lysol-ed” religiously and did our best not to cross contaminate healthy baby with sick child.
We found Jacob in various places around the house curled up and sleeping with his blanket just like this during the week he was sick, poor thing...Joseph our oldest even stepped up and filled the position of hand washing enforcer! Joseph has been very loving and protective of his sister and it is very heartwarming to watch.
After about 5 days Caleb caught the bug and was sick for about a week with the same thing. I gladly slept in the living room with Grace to further avoid any germs. Our Dr. assured me at Grace’s 4 day appointment that as long as Grace was nursing and I was staying healthy she would be alright. And she was! I never got sick and neither did she or the other two boys. The drawback of being sick is that Caleb did not get to hold Grace for the first couple of weeks other than while we were still at the hospital. Additionally, since Grace’s birth he has focused his parental efforts primarily on the boys as my priority is naturally, the new baby. So I guess it is only natural that I have become closer to Grace than I expected, plus it has just been a blessing to have a baby around the house again and I’m enjoying nurturing this new little one. In fact germs and sickness aside, I am not really ready for others to spend lots of time holding her yet because I am still enjoying having a baby to hold. Not just a baby but a little girl. I didn’t always feel this way though…
Caleb and I will be the first to tell you we never had hoped for a girl. I always wanted boys, we had three beautiful ones and we were completely satisfied with not having any daughters. After all, as the oldest of three girls myself, I knew first hand the grief a daughter could cause a parent. No matter what we said though, there always seems to be the assumption from others that we needed a daughter because we had only boys. If you are a parent of all boys (or same scenario but with all girls) you know how it is-people come up to us all the time and have no reservations asking “so are you gonna try for a girl?” or remarking “you need a little girl!” as if to say there some kind of requirement about the matter. I still don’t think we needed a girl and we certainly weren’t trying for a girl, although from here on out I’m sure that there will always be those that assume we might have. For the record we weren’t trying at all, in fact after having lost little Judah less than three months before becoming pregnant again we were not ready to make any life changing decisions. I didn’t even want to be the one to make the decision. I did not want to be pregnant again I hated the thought of ending my childbearing years with a miscarriage. At one point I told Caleb that I felt like Brett Favre wanting to retire but still wanting to win just one more super bowl. So I prayed that if we were meant to have another child that God would bless us with one and that it would be out of my hands.
As I worked through the grief of miscarrying Judah and the question of whether or not to have another child I began to realize something. Why on earth did I not have the confidence in myself to raise a Godly young woman as well as I thought could raise three Godly young men? I quickly began to realize that the biggest reason I didn’t want any daughters was that I just didn’t want to deal with the stress and I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. Yet how negative my thought process had been! The only option I’d ever entertained was that a daughter would disappoint me and drive me crazy and I had never stopped that type of thinking long enough to entertain the possibility that a daughter could be a blessing or that I would have the wisdom to raise one to fear the Lord as her god. In all honesty I felt ashamed, not just because I had realized after all this time I had doubted myself but that I had also doubted the ability God had given me.
We soon found out that God would indeed bless us with another child. Right away Caleb decided that if it was a girl her name would be Grace “a free gift from God.” For some reason I had a strong feeling that the baby was indeed a girl and as you know by now our fourth child is, indeed, a little girl.
I still don’t think we needed a little girl-I think we are blessed beyond measure to have her in our lives. I believe that she is a gift out of the abundance of God’s love for us, and having said all of this I could never imagine not having her. She completes our family and reminds us everyday how much God wants to bless us.
Hi, I'm Sharon
...and these are my adventures as a mom, as a musician, and as a writer using my creative abilities to navigate this life. It is my hope that in some way my life is an encouragement to you. Come join me as I strive to embrace contentment and gratitude amidst this busy, exhausting and wonderful life.