It’s hard to believe that we’re quickly nearing the end of this very special pregnancy. I think back to last fall, when my eyes kept adjusting to the pink lines on the home pregnancy tests (I took 2, remember?). In shock, all I could think was, are you kidding?!? I have more than enough “life” on my plate already! Working as an entrepreneur, being a wife and a mom of 2, caring for dad in our home, volunteering . . . AND I’m knocking on 47! Continue reading
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.
How have you grown because of the unexpected reactions of others?
My hubby and I are ardent planners. Over the last 19 years, we’ve come to value having a roadmap for our journey together. Buying a one-story home we can easily maneuver later in our golden years? Yep. Having two kids, 3 years apart so “they could play together?” Uh-huh. Career moves that let us balance work and family time? Check-check.
But, are we also learning flexibility because plans can change in a split second? You bet. My mom’s sudden death. My brother’s bout with cancer. Moving my dad in with us after a fall in his home. And so, so much more. We get it. Continue reading
Granny Sykes was a hoot.
Born in 1905 in North Carolina, Effie Burt moved to Virginia as a young woman. She met and married my grandfather, David Sykes. Some years after he died, Granny Sykes moved in with our family when I was about 13 years old. My parents cared for her until she passed away at age 96 after a brief illness, the day before my 31st birthday.
Granny Sykes was strong physically and cognitively. Read her Bible daily. Made the best bread rolls in the world. Completely unafraid of snakes, yet she jumped when she saw a frog on the ground. Said with her Southern touch, “Toady frogs can jump on you. A snake cain’t do that.” She’d actually chase down snakes. Even nabbed one that ventured to our front doorstep one summer morning. She was about 80 years old at the time. And the snake was longer than our garden hoe. Continue reading