Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Conception Confessions

Our Diocese cancelled all trips to go to the March for Life due to the winter storm DC was getting.  Smart move, but sad for all the students here who wanted to go and march.  Sarah sent me this video on the day of the March, and I was a snotty mess after watching it.



I looked down at my (already!) growing belly and thought about how grateful I was to be on my personal march for life for 9 months.  Sad to report, I think it was the first time I was thankful for this pregnancy.  This one was our biggest surprise yet (not a mistake, but definitely a surprise).  We are truly stumped as to how it happened, as we use the Marquette Model of NFP and didn't take any chances at all during the month this bambino was conceived.  Phil jokes that he's not sure who the father is, because we seriously can't pinpoint how this pregnancy occurred.  (Maggie's pregnancy happened in a similar fashion, so maybe it's a girl thing?)

As Christmas was drawing near, and I started to wonder if I could possibly be pregnant, I would remind myself that there was no chance in hades.  But the days went on, and I kept thinking maybe I should take a test, but then I wouldn't want to "waste one" on what would obviously come up negative.  I finally told myself I would take a test on Christmas Eve, which was in a few days.  Then the next morning, while driving the kids to school, I saw the sign in front of our church which read:

 "Blessed is the fruit of your womb"

 I knew I was pregnant.  It was a sign, a literal sign!  The next morning, after tossing and turning all night, I took a test at 5 am and it was positive.  Still thinking there was no way that could be right, I took another test, and again, positive.  I blinked back tears and tried to think of how to tell Phil (he always gets super excited about the news, and I wanted to surprise him) as he walked into the bathroom, saw me shrug with teary eyes, and gave me the biggest hug and congratulations.  He's pretty fantastic like that.

I just couldn't wrap my head around this baby.  SEVEN kids, that's like practically unheard of around me (right, Michelle?).  My mind started running logistics.  Where would the baby sleep?  How would they all fit in my car?  How could we afford another three more years of daycare?  How would I physically handle this pregnancy at my "advanced maternal age" (36 going on 37)?  I cried a lot because I was scared and had stupidly settled on the thought that 6 kids was our family size.  I thought we were "done", even though I hate when people use that term.  I was open to life in theory, but using NFP to make sure I wouldn't ever have to carry a new life within me.  I was tired, I was selfish, I was scared.  Still am, actually.


Yet somehow, with time and prayer. we adjust and grow and the grace is there to get us through.  After praying for the people who marched for life, and unborn babies, and scared mothers and fathers, I realized how lucky I am.  My husband is a rock, my kids are all thrilled to be having another baby in the house, we have a house and jobs, this baby will share a room with Maggie and we just upgraded to a minivan that will seat me + 7 kids.  God has trusted me enough to allow me to mother another baby with a soul for all eternity.  It's pretty wild that I was chosen to do this, God certainly qualifies the called.  I am getting excited to meet this little babe, and am offering up my morning sickness and physical pains for the aching of so many hearts who would do anything to have a baby of their own.  Blessed is the fruit of my womb, indeed.

42 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I could have written this post, with the exception of using Marquette. We haven't tried that method. But, the feelings, the anxiety, the hubby's reaction etc. I am 38 years old and my 8th baby is 4 months old and my oldest is 12. I can relate. :-) You've got this and your whole family will be so blessed with this new addition. Congratulations!

    Jenny

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    1. Thanks Jenny, nice to hear from other mamas who have walked this path before me!

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  2. Congratulations! I could have written this post, with the exception of using Marquette. We haven't tried that method. But, the feelings, the anxiety, the hubby's reaction etc. I am 38 years old and my 8th baby is 4 months old and my oldest is 12. I can relate. :-) You've got this and your whole family will be so blessed with this new addition. Congratulations!

    Jenny

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  3. God is so good

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  4. You may be stumped but all the people who have for years been praying for Maggie to have a sister certainly aren't going to be shocked if #7 turns out to be a girl. ;) But really, congratulations again. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be open to life and sharing. Every time I read an honest pregnancy post it makes my heart a little less scared of the unknown plan for our family size.

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  5. Oh Colleen I'm so happy for you, and I understand your reaction completely. A baby welcomed in surprise and even with a few tears is no less welcomed. You're such an amazing mother. (And now you have me sweating over Marquette, which we're 2 months into, haha)

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    1. We've used Marquette for about 5 years (with one pregnancy in there) and it's always been reliable until this time!

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  6. Loved this post. Loved the honesty. We are all excited to see what this little Martin will look like!! All your kids are so cute.

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    1. Quite a compliment coming from a mom of some of the cutest kids ever!

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  7. Thanks for being so honest. I was going to ask you if the baby was conceived on day 11, but it sounds like you have no idea. Seven kids is a lot, but just one more than six :).

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  8. Just recently at a shoe store, a young clerk (not being rude on purpose) made a comment at how "weird" it was for me to have had a baby in my 40's and that it was my fifth. The middle aged man working next to her replied in a heartbeat, "But it's a cool weird!!" I never heard it put like that before :) He continued on about his pride of being one of nine from a family of Italian Catholics. I went on and told him how I, too, am one of nine, from Irish Catholics. He was so genuinely happy at the thought. Which made it such a unique and pleasant experience to hear a total stranger praising the situation rather than calling it odd. I think this is awesome for you and your family.

    God will provide. (I know you know that.) I didn't have maternity coverage with Miss C and she was a c-section. God provided with the most awesome NFP doctor who really gave us a break. Two weeks post partum, I ended up in the hospital with postpartum pre-eclempsia. Never heard of it AFTER a delivery. The bill for 36 hours was as much as what we just paid for my surgery and 4 day hospital stay. I was sick from the extra bill. (Our deductible was twice the bill amount so it was all out of pocket.) But God provided!! On a whim, I filled out this "charitable request" form through the hospital and the hospital wiped our second bill clean!! God is great. It's hard to trust and hope, but He does provide :)

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    1. Wow, what an inspiring story, thanks Patty :)

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  9. Apparently God really thinks you need this baby! ;) And now when I wonder if I could be pregnant, even when we're very conservative, I know I'm not totally crazy. (For the record, not currently expecting!) I'm so happy for you, and I know this baby will be so loved by her older siblings. (Yes, I'm guessing it's a girl this time!)

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    1. You can ALWAYS be pregnant :)

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  10. Congratulations! so so happy for you.
    this is a great reflection.

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  11. WOW! Congratulations! If it helps, it was partially my fault...I thought you had ONE more in you ;)

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    1. Well at least you didn't think I had two more ;)

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  12. I am amazed at all you do as a working mother with such a large brood!

    I have faithfully visited your blog for years now, and I love the peek it gives me into a large family. I only have two here on earth, am approaching my late 30s and am divorced. So sadly, I won't have the large family I'd always hoped for. But I love to see yours, and am happy you will have another baby.

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    1. Your story is what whips me right back to reality and reminds me how lucky I am. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  13. Our youngest/sixth was our true "how did he get here" surprise. We thought we were being conservative (sympto thermal) but learned we can NEVER GO PAST DAY 6. NO MATTER WHAT. If we are serious about avoiding (we had used day 8). We did Marquette after him for a little
    While and same thing applied, even if monitor was low after day 6. We are just way too fertile. ;) sounds like you're adjusting better to the news than I did at the time and you're baby is very blessed!

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    1. Yeah, we've already discussed that Day 6 is the stopping point for the future. (You could have told me that months ago! :)

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    2. I know those algorithms can work after so many cycles and some people can have a longer cycle so feel that not using phase 1 days can be a waste. But our baby came from an earlier ovulation than expected on the cycle we used day 8 (past those 6 postpartum cycles) so we have to be extra strict now.

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    3. Part of it for me is that my cycles have shortened as I have gotten older and in way more fertile!

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  14. I had the same feeling when I found out I was pregnant with my fifth. Thank God for supportive husbands who continue to be open to life.

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    1. Right? We'd be a mess without them.

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  15. Thank you for sharing this. This was a perfect read for the times in which we are living.

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  16. I wish I could hug you right now. The honesty in this post is beautiful and stirred up so many memories for me, both with Margaret's pregnancy and Benny's. With Margaret I played ignorant for over a month, sure that every pregnancy test was wrong and for a billion reasons I just couldn't be pregnant. And then I saw her on that screen and was overwhelmed that God granted us a "bonus" baby after so many long years waiting. With Benny, I was less surprised, but even recently looked back at the chart and cannot figure out how he happened. But man, I'm so glad that he did. While surprising, not completely unplanned because slowly, slowly, God had been preparing my heart for him. I could identify with many of your feelings and thoughts and teared up reading. You're right, Phil is a rock and your kids are amazing. God made a good choice making you mama again and I know you are gonna be just fine. Sending you hugs and prayers every day, my friend.

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    1. I wish you could hug me right now too :) I know you can relate, my BBF, and I know once I have this baby in my arms, I won't be able to imagine life without him (because you know it's another boy...)

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  17. Maybe it is a girl thing! While it does not matter, I still would love to sit down with an NFP instructor and have them tell me when/how I got pregnant. I had a feeling I was pregnant and I even told Pete, he said it was impossible. After 7 years of being very good at NFP, we have NO IDEA how I got pregnant (well we know how,but . . . you get the idea!). I cannot tell you how much I cried about this pregnancy!! I took 4 pregnancy tests (all positive) and even tried to convince myself that I *could* be going through menopause (you can get a false preg. test at the beginning of menopause!). And, how I told my hubby . . . . he was in the shower when I took the preg. test . . . I ripped the shower curtain open, shaking and holding the test in hand and said, "I cannot leave Thomas in China!" It has taken me MONTHS to find peace and joy with baby #6. I know when I hold her, I will just be so happy and over joyed and this surprise gift from God. But, I can totally relate to EVERYTHING you wrote!

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    1. You definitely had some added stress with the fear of losing Thomas! God is calling you to great and wonderful things, Katie!

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  18. Oh, and the fun thing about "advanced maternal age" is that you can find out if the baby is a boy or girl at around 13 weeks pregnant (if you want to!). Welcome to the club ;-)

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  19. Susan was our surprise baby using the Marquette method. Didn't know it at the time but sperm can live up to 5 days! So I feel I can safely say that after checking my charts, it was his fault. lol. I'm still so happy for you and I love seeing how much siblings just love more siblings. Clark is already asking me about our next baby! 😳

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    1. Yes, I think Phil's little guys live even longer than that!!

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  20. I know all too well the feeling of a surprise little one and all the crazy emotions/feelings that come with it. But, I also know that God is good and each one is truly a special gift from Him. I can't wait to meet the newest Martin and see all the blessings this little one brings to you and your family.

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  21. Understand the feeling, but feel jealousy at the same time. I wanted to have the 2nd one, but still no luck yet... enjoy! our journey with the first one... Letspackteddy

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  22. Congrats on your pregnancy!

    I must say, the March for Life video really bothers me...all of Obama's words are taken from speeches deploring gun violence -specifically the 20 innocent first graders gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary due to lax gun laws and a lack of mental health services in our country. Although his words are easily transferable to right to life movement, I feel this video does the equally as important victims of gun violence a disservice. Their lives and the call to end gun violence is so important; Obama's speech was indeed moving, and it was meant for them - the children of Sandy Hook and the 90,000 victims of gun violence each year in this country.

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