Thursday, April 11, 2019


I laid in bed next to Judah, as I have for six and a half years, and wondered if tonight was when his baby brother would come. 

We are less than a week away from Silas' due date and ten days away from being done with work for a few weeks and twelve days away from needing to schedule an induction. 

I had walked three miles and climbed eleven flights of steps yesterday, my app said.  And as I laid there with Judah while he fell asleep I felt the cramping ebb and rise and somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, “no, not tonight”.

And that’s when I knew.  I had been looking around for the work left to do before Silas comes.  I had washed all the laundry and I had swept and mopped the floors and contemplated scrubbing the baseboards.  I had sorted through papers, bought diapers, arranged medical leave, called all my clients.  I did my eight year old daughter’s hair, teasing her that Silas wouldn’t come until it was done.

Everyone has advice.  Be open.  Imagine openness.  Have sex.  Drink raspberry tea.  Walk, exercise, do yoga.  Eat dates, eat spicy food.  “Don’t worry”, as if that’s even remotely possible.  Almost six weeks ago my little sister had her second baby and first daughter and we talked at length about trusting our bodies, about trusting our babies. 

I have learned to trust Silas – and I learned that last week when a doctor tried to tell me my littlest boy had flipped back to breech.  I knew better.  Because after ten months of this, I know him.  I knew he was snugly head down because I could feel him.  But the doctor wasn’t sure.  When I was right, I internalized the truest lesson about trusting my good baby. 

I am not sure yet if I trust my body or not.  But last night when I laid down next to Judah I knew last night I didn’t want it to be “the night”, not because I’m not ready to meet Silas, but because I knew this was the work I had to do. 

I could use the physio ball, get my hair cut, get a pedicure, go on walks, download the meditation app, shave my legs, pack my hospital bag and be completely ready.  But if I didn’t work to get my mind and heart ready, he wasn’t going to come on his own. 

In May of 2018 I turned 30, graduated top of my class in my graduate program, passed my licensure exam, was offered jobs in different states, and came home to my true love.  Over the summer we consolidated houses, I sold my first home, I enrolled Judah in kindergarten, and I started a new job.

We had had a negative pregnancy test a few weeks before the new job started.  And on day two of the job I cut my thumb open on a disposable razor and I spent the morning in UK’s Emergency Department getting my first set of stitches and being told I was, in fact, pregnant.  I went to the doctor that afternoon and confirmed we would be having a baby in April.

In the last year, Judah and I went from a family of two to a family of six with a seventh on the way. 

Since then we have combined and merged our household in a seamless way that’s made Tony and I a better team and better parents.  We’ve worked through a diagnosis with our youngest boy, learned to coparent in a blended family, and three weeks ago now we got engaged.

Now Silas is coming.

We have a bassinet and hooded towels and diapers and tiny onesies and gripe water and swaddles.  I have a goal and a plan to have an unmedicated birth for at least half a dozen reasons.  And so I feel a certain amount of anxiety as my due date approaches.  Yesterday I finally came to peace with an induction scheduled for 41 weeks and preparing mentally and physically for enduring Pitocin without medication.  For my sake and for Silas’.  I felt a certain amount of peace in knowing that if he doesn’t come on his own he can come on a pre-planned day so all our kids are safe and settled and I can knock out my teeth cleaning and Judah’s ENT appt and one last date night.  I still hope he chooses to come on his own. 
But after last night I know he’s waiting on me.

Not on the baseboards.  Not on the dental appointment.  He’s waiting on me, his mama.  To let him know it’s safe and good. 

Yesterday on the phone one of my favorite clients told me that Silas knew how the world was and he was choosing to stay where it was safe.  She’s a victim of horrendous abuse and trauma.  She is solution seeking and we are good and gentle with each other.  And she was right.

The world we are bringing this fifth baby into is a scary one. 

But the family we are bringing him into is a beautiful one.

So while I think about how to ready my heart and open myself up to be ready for this experience, this is what I want Silas to know:




Four years ago your daddy knocked on my door and we sat on opposite ends of the couch and all the life that has happened since then has bridged space in a way that is healing and redemptive and sure.  I believe in soul mates because of knowing him – I believe in reincarnation because I know this is not the first time we have met.  And so as I wait to meet you, I cannot wait to get to know who you are and which parts of my soul recognize you.  Daddy described our journey as a funnel – two pennies journeying around and around towards the opening, coming closer to each other with each rotation.  Every time we tried, we got it more “right”.  Every time we tried to love each other, we came closer to you. 

You are not responsible for holding this family together.  That is mine and Daddy’s job.  But we are so grateful for what you mean to us.  The love you represent.  The unification you represent.  The gift you are to your brothers and sisters.  Especially to Judah, who has never shared DNA with a sibling before.  You are not going to be responsible for keeping this family together, Silas, but you are the product of a love that was so fervently fought for.  You are here because we believed in our love enough.  You are here because you were missing from our family.

So while you are waiting to come, I am thinking about who I want you to be. 

I used to tell Judah what I wanted him to be when he grew up.  Not his profession, not the job I wanted him to have or the degree I wanted him to pursue.  But I would tell him who I wanted him to be.  In a way, I believe I’ve been speaking this over him for seven years now.  Silas, I told your big brother I wanted him to be brave, curious, kind, strong, smart and gentle. 

I want these things for you too.  But you will not be the same as Judah.  In the same way you will be different from big brother Elijah and your big sisters.  You may share their blonde curls or their sweet lips or their brown eyes.  But you are your own.  Coming as the fifth, coming as the baby, I know there may be days in the years to come when the comparison is hard.   When your family leaves big shoes to fill or has left big mistakes to clean up.  But you are not the same. 

I hope you are curious just like Judah. And brave just like Elijah.  And kind just like Brielle.  And smart just like Lailee.  I hope that you are sensitive and gentle and strong.  But as I feel you kicking and pushing, as I wait to meet you, my prayer for you is that you are hopeful.  That you are full of peace.  That you are full of joy. 

Your name means “forest” or “woods” and while that may not seem significant, the symbolism is often of enlightenment as if someone is exploring something that has yet to be explored.  With your arrival we are building a family, which has never been built before.  And my hope for you is that you carry on a legacy of true love as we learn how to do this together.

I wish more than anything that I could be with you every single day as you grow up.  I wished that with Judah too.  That no one else would have to help raise you, that I could do it without any help. 

That’s not our story.

But I want you to know that the time I get to have with you, just you, here in the beginning is something I already treasure with my whole heart.  As I wait for you, these are the days I look forward to the most.  Learning who you are.  Looking at you and seeing your daddy.  Looking at you and seeing someone brand new and letting my love grow for you.

I trust you to come when you are ready.  I am honored and blessed that you will trust me with your life and with your arrival.  We are ready when you are.

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