The 4th Reaction

fashion-2939989_960_720 january 2018

Ever since sharing our surprise pregnancy at age 47, my hubby and I have received quite an assortment of reactions.

He has his own stories of responses from guys (let’s just say they involve a lot of high-fives). For me, reactions from women have varied but ultimately fall into 1 of 4 categories:

1. “Wow. Just, wow. Oh, and congrats!” (A shock-awe-and-happiness combo.)

2. “Better you than me.” (I can’t blame them but, quite honestly, it’s the hardest to hear and feels the least kind.)

3. “I’m calling my doctor to be sure I’M okay.” (Understandable, as they’re prompted to reassess if their own birth control methods are, ahem, in order.)

And then there’s a 4th reaction, and it’s been quite prevalent. But, it’s the one I did not see coming and did not anticipate would warm my heart the most:

“You’re giving me/my loved one/my friend hope.”

Those words, shared by more women than I can count, have made me pause every time.

See, before this pregnancy, I wrongfully assumed that 99% of women in my age range were like me: simply not even thinking of having kids anymore. At my age, a lot of women are already planning for empty nests, caring for elderly loved ones, and kicking up retirement planning a whole notch or two. Quite often, these rites of passage come up in conversations in our kitchens, on the phone, in Facebook groups.

New babies for my age group? Not as hot a topic as when I was in my 20s and 30s.

Case in point: The other day I realized there’s literally no one I nor my hubby know who’s been in our current situation—specifically, someone who’s working, raising school-age kids, caring for an elderly relative in their home each day, AND expecting a baby at our age. No one we can call to ask, “How did you DO IT?!?” We know we cannot possibly be the first folks ever in this situation. We just don’t know anyone personally. (If you do, we’d be grateful if you refer us.)

So, this 4th reaction from so many women has been wonderfully surprising for me, both generally speaking and given my own journey. Not only has it debunked my assumptions, but it also has stretched my gratitude for . . .

. . . being a hopeful chapter in many other women’s stories. Becoming an unexpected source of encouragement for others who persist on the journey to motherhood is humbling. And so is learning that they’re now praying for my health and a safe delivery.

. . . the reminder not to take blessings for granted. Like, a fiercely devoted husband who tells and shows me he loves me every day. Two healthy kids with quick minds, caring hearts and willing hands to help us love a new baby. And, yes, a new bundle of joy who happily dances in my tummy.

. . . the gift of a whole new tribe—women with renewed hope in the possibility of everyday miracles. Their hope, in turn, revives my own faith in God’s power to create odd-defying miracles in our lives each day.

I never expected to be pregnant at 47. I never expected to give others hope in the process. And, I never expected to be surrounded by so many prayers as a result. But, man, oh man, am I grateful for it all.

Your Turn:
How have you grown because of the unexpected reactions of others?

8 thoughts on “The 4th Reaction

  1. Tiffany Fox

    Karin – thank you for sharing this blog. You never know how sharing your blessing, testimony, etc. with bless others. To the question you raised at the end of your blog – I remember sharing that being in the valley of depression is very real and had been real for me on Facebook. I was totally surprised by those who said they were or had also dealt with depression and were blessed by my comments and testimony. Little did they know how their remarks blessed me. I would not wish that valley on anyone but it has given me my own, personal testimony. Now I know why grandma sang those hymns and shouted so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stretch&grow Post author

      You said it all so well, Tiffany. We often really don’t know upfront how sharing our toughest challenges with others can be a blessing – or how the blessings will return to us tenfold, too. Sending my biggest hugs of gratitude to you always!


  2. Valerie Russell

    Dear sweet cousin, I was surprised at your announcement but not shocked. You were nurtured in a household of Love, overflowing love. It’s only natural that God would want to multiply His Kingdom in the richest environment. Your parents are God’s handpicked role models. I always loved visiting your home. As for your age, your Mom was “ageless” and so are you. Your Dad’s and Kevin’s early gray locks … I see as a sign of wisdom, NOT aging. You know that this pregnancy is God giving this world another gift and using you and your husband as the vessel. I am so happy for you and family. God bless! Go forth and multiply (hehehe – this little one will need a playmate)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stretch&grow Post author

      Valerie, I’m literally wiping happy, grateful tears away after reading your sweet note. Thank you for all of it especially the love wrapped around each word. And my hubby says “thank you” – for agreeing with him about going one more round after this baby (and he’s completely serious … as I give him the side-eye action 🙂 …). Love you much, xoxo


  3. Taryn Hagwood

    How inspiring your blog is for me. I think I reacted in each category, but after I know that God has a purpose for you & your sweet family. He never gives us more than we can bare. I will let you know if I encounter anyone in your similar situation. My grandmother did birth her 13th child at 47. So, it is not unusual to me. Being a mother/baby nurse, it is refreshing to see women in their 40’s & 50’s blessed to share a dream alot of women take for granted, motherhood. Continued blessings & prayers to you & your family.🙏💖👼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stretch&grow Post author

      Taryn, I always, always appreciate your gentle, loving encouragement more than I can fully express. Thank you a million times for reading – and a million more for planting that positive word for me. Love to you and all the Hagwoods, xoxo



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