But I can't help it. This boy has captured my heart over and over again and our family is smitten with him. Smitten!!
Having another baby was kind of a big deal for me. I prayed for a year and a half about whether or not we should have a fourth child. I wondered how in the world we could afford another baby, how I would manage "morning" sickness while taking care of three other children, homeschooling and so much more.
And yet, when I was in God's Word, He consistently reaffirmed to me that we should have another baby (my husband was already on board, but I was the one hesitating because I knew much of the responsibility would be on me).
Since we were on a really tight budget, it seemed irresponsible in my immature way of thinking to take on another baby. I thought I would know if God wanted us to have another baby if He gave my husband a raise. He didn't.
And yet, I couldn't escape the pressing in that He did indeed want us to have another one. So, I decided to walk by faith and trust that the Lord would provide. Interestingly enough, He gave us that raise AFTER we found out we were expecting. (Thank you, Lord!)
Of course, the all day "morning" sickness came, but somehow, with God's grace, I made it through those months.
Then about 16-18 weeks into my pregnancy, I got a call from the doctor informing me that some blood work indicated that our baby was at an increased risk for Down Syndrome.
A few days later, I went in for an ultrasound to find out the gender and to check and see if all was going well.
I hate to admit it, but I was disappointed when I found out it was a boy. In my mind, this was the last baby and we thought two girls and two boys would be perfect. (I later found out that God's plan was a million times better than mine!)
Additionally, we were also informed about some health concerns for me and that our baby had an echogenic bowel which was a soft marker for Down Syndrome. The baby's risk at that point increased a lot more between the blood work and the bowel situation. Needless to say, it was kind of an emotional day for me, which only got worse when our little girl cried her heart out when she found out she wasn't getting a sister. (Please keep reading, don't judge me for being disappointed about the gender.)
Thankfully, two months prior to the news about the blood work and the echogenic bowel, they had just come out with a new test that was 98-99% accurate regarding various syndromes and the best part was, it was noninvasive.
I simply had blood drawn and from that, they were able to extract the baby's DNA to see what was going on.
Two weeks later, on Valentine's Day, we found out that our baby did have the correct number of chromosomes. (I believe in God's sovereignty, so by God's grace, even if our baby did not have the "correct" number of chromosomes, they would have been the perfect number because that is what God chose. Every life is important and every baby is made in the image of God.)
So, at that point, we just continued praying that God would heal his bowel. And He did. A follow-up ultrasound revealed that all was well.
I cannot help gushing about this baby. I am so glad God gave me this baby boy because he has just stolen my heart. He is the happiest, easiest going baby ever and his siblings are IN LOVE with him. They adjusted (well, there really wasn't an adjustment period) to this sweet little love without any issues and have been the best helpers I ever could have imagined over this past year.
It's really hard to sum up my love for this little one and I can't tell you how many times I have given thanks for him. Over and over, I assure you.
So is there a moral to the tale?
For one, we CAN trust God to provide our needs in spite of naysayers who say He can't. We are living proof that while we don't get everything in life we want, we certainly get all we need. God is good!
Additionally, children are the greatest blessing ever. Granted, they take a lot of work and money, but my life is the fullest it's ever been because of these four precious souls in my care.
On Saturday, not only will we celebrate one of the most precious little lives I know, but I will also celebrate God's incredible favor, blessing and goodness in giving us this treasure. And oh, what a treasure he is!!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past year.
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