I pastor a church that has a lot of young couples. They are starting to have kids and are getting pregnant so when they tell me they are having a kid we get to celebrate and pray for the health of the mom and unborn child. All the pregnancy news has made me think about each of our kids when we found out each time my wife was pregnant. Remember she got pregnant five times in seven years so each kid brought with her/him a different emotion. Below are the tales of our pregnancies.
My wife and I got married when we were 21 and 24 respectively. We made a decision during our engagement that we would not use birth control. It was NOT a theological decision. It was a practical one. Our parents were our age when they had us and we saw the benefits of having young healthy parents. Secondly, we didn’t want to prevent, later try, and then feel stressed if it wasn’t happening according to our schedule. We just said let’s go with the flow. I was making $1000 per month so hey why not.
When my wife got pregnant with #1 (three months after we got married) we were filled with joy and excitement. It brought us closer together. We shared with our parents and brothers and they were all extremely happy for us and for them.
Three months after my wife gave birth to #1, she got pregnant with #2. How you ask? Well some women in our apartment building told us that when moms breastfeed, they don’t ovulate. While that is true for most women, it is not true for all, as we later learned. When my wife found out she was pregnant with #2 she cried. She cried for two reasons…(i) postpartum was still lingering and (ii) she was so tired from sleepless nights and breastfeeding that she was wondering how we were gonna have another kid.
I put my arm around her and told her everything was gonna be ok and that #1 and #2 were gonna be best friends because they are so close in age. After a five minutes of crying my wife felt better, and we were actually really excited. When we called our parents there was just silence. Shock, disbelief, all of it.
Five months after #2 was born my wife got pregnant with #3. After #2 was born we started using birth control. I won’t go into details but let’s just say…#3 could have only happened one night. This time we both cried. We sat on our sofa in our 700 sq. ft apartment with $3 in our checking account and we both wept. We didn’t even hold each other because we were both too busy feeling sorry for ourselves. #1 was 1. #2 was five months old. Diapers everywhere. Formula and breastfeeding. Sleepless nights. We cried. However the next day we were excited. Maybe it will be a boy.
This time when I called my parents to tell them the news, my mom started yelling at me.
Me: It’s true we are having another kid.
Mom: What is wrong with you! STOP MAKING BABIES and get your damn degree!
Me (angrily): What is your problem! Kids are a gift from GOD!
Mom: Gift from God? Gift from God? STOP MAKING BABIES and start studying! Chuh! Gift from God. This guy.
Fast forward 16 weeks. We go in for an ultrasound and the lady tells me we are having a son. The first person I call is my mom…
Me: Hey mom. Congratulations. You are having a grandson!
Mom: Really. Are you sure? A boy? Are you sure? The doctor said?
Me: Yes it is true. They are certain. It is a boy.
Mom: Praise God. You know in life son sometimes God has a plan from the beginning. We don’t know that plan, but he has it. You are blessed. Congratulations.
When #3 was eight months old my wife got pregnant with #4. When we took the pregnancy test and it came out positive we sat on our sofa, sighed, and stared at the wall for a few hours. No words. No tears. We were too tired to feel anything so we just sat there like two statues. This time we didn’t tell our families for a long time because we didn’t want to deal with the parents. But after we did tell them, they chose not to speak with me for awhile. They were speechless.
My wife was taking birth control pills at the time. They were the kind that if you miss one day you take two the next. Well we had just moved from Philly to LA so things were a little hectic and my wife forgot to take them a couple of times. Short story short, when #4 was 10 months old my wife got pregnant with #5. Since my wife was taking birth control pills she had no idea. So how did we find out? Well one day I come home from meeting with people (we were trying to start a church back then). The kids are playing and she is sleeping on the sofa, passed out. My wife never sleeps on the job. I tried to wake her up but it took a while because she was so knocked out.
After waking her up I told her she was pregnant. She said no way. I said yes way. There have only been four other times she was this tired. Each time she was pregnant. We went out and got a test and she was pregnant. This time we started laughing. It was too funny. We just laughed but it was the kind of laugh where you are crying on the inside. Although we laughed it later turned to stress. We had no idea what we were gonna do. The church I was trying to start had 15 people. We had no medical insurance. In the end everything worked out. When she was born…well…that is for tomorrow.