Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4 kids...really??

Remember my plan of only having 2 kids….and my plan of not having 3 boys….and my plan of not having babies close to 35 yrs. old…Well, let’s just say sometimes life just turns out better than you can plan for.
The summer of 2010 (I was 34 yrs. old); Michael and I decided to try during the months of July and August to have another baby.  That was it…we gave ourselves 2 months and if we weren’t pregnant, then too bad, so sad.
We didn’t get pregnant, so we started school…and then basketball (same old story, new year).  Towards the end of February 2011, I prayed (ok, begged) that if a baby girl was not in God’s plan for me, then could He please change my heart.  I didn’t want to long for something that was not what God intended for me or our family.    I was so happy with my boys, and I needed God’s help to be content in my blessings.  I began planning our trip for Disney World.  We were planning to go during Spring Break of 2012.  I was excited because Cooper was all about The Mouse at the time, and I just knew he was going to love it.  It had been right at 6 years since the big boys had been, so Carter didn’t remember his first trip. 
Fast forward 3 weeks from ‘the prayer’.  Spring Break 2011.  That Thursday, March 12, we were at home, and I was obsessing over focusing on Disney stuff on the internet.  I had just about figured out where we wanted to stay.  I stopped to go and cook a late breakfast and got a really strange feeling that I should take ‘a test’ just to be sure.  I can’t really explain why I felt the need to take one right at that moment, but once the thought was in my head, there was no avoiding it. 
I didn’t tell Michael what I was doing, but as the faintest of all faint lines appeared (so faint, in fact, that I wasn’t even sure I could really see it), I started to panic.  Four kids, its way passed the summer deadline, I’m planning Disney (I quickly did the math….really?? Disney with a 3 month old!!!) and I would be 35-almost 36-when this baby would be due!  This was not in my plan! You would think I would learn, right?  Anyway, I ran in to tell Michael the news.  He was relatively calm, and I think he was actually confused as to why I was so baffled. 
By the fourth time, one might think it becomes old hat.  No big deal, you know what to expect, your older and wiser…lol.  I am here to tell you, at least for me, every time feels like the first time. 

I spent the next several hours re-planning Disney for the summer.  I decided I would rather go pregnant than with a new baby. 
Over the next few days, we alternated between excited and wondering if we were absolutely insane for having another baby.  I scheduled my first pre-natal appointment, and my doctor went over all of the essentials.  Due to my ‘advanced maternal age’ I was asked if I wanted an NT scan.  This is a test they do right around 12 weeks to make sure everything is developing as it should.  Well, with all of my obsessing researching, I had read that sometimes they can tell you the baby’s gender with about 70% accuracy at this scan, so after a lot of thought, I opted to have the test.  Besides, it was a chance to get to see the baby.  It’s a good thing I’m not an ultrasound tech…I think I would give myself an ultrasound every other day.  Anyway, at 11 weeks, 5 days, the doctor said she was about 75% sure it was girl.  More importantly, the baby looked amazing.  They did a very detailed scan of the heart, brain, lungs, etc., and everything was developing exactly the way it should.  They combine this scan with some blood work and that came back great as well.
We decided not to tell anyone about the ‘girl thing’ yet…not even our moms, which I would later get in trouble for.  A few more weeks went by.  I went in for a routine dr. appt., and I asked if there was any way we could have a quick gender check ultrasound.  We were leaving for Disney the following week, and I really wanted to buy something for the baby while we were there (obviously, patience is not my strength).  Unfortunately, the tech was busy that day, but said I could come back in a couple of days. 

The day before we left for Disney, I had the quick u/s, and was told that it was, indeed, a girl.  Thrilled might be an understatement. I sent a picture of the u/s to Michael and our moms.  Sigh, it was amazing! 
This pregnancy was very similar to the others except I had a couple of episodes of spotting, which always proved to be nothing, and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes for the first time.  Other than that it was smooth sailing.  I had to be monitored more closely in the last trimester because of the GD, but everything always came out perfect.
We scheduled an induction for Nov. 14.  My doctor didn’t want me to go over 38 weeks because the GD can cause some issues.  I had really been hoping I would go in to labor on my own this time, since I had been induced with the other 3, but I was also glad to have an end date in sight.  It was also the very beginning of basketball season, so it was nice to plan it around that.
Well, the night of Nov.8, same night as Michael’s first scrimmage of the season, I began having contractions.  By the time he got home, close to 11:00, they were getting stronger, but still not very regular.  I was up all night, and by 3:30 that morning I knew I was ready to go to the hospital.  By the time we got there at 4:00, it was getting pretty intense.  Epidural please!  Well, I figured out why it was so intense.  As soon as I got my epidural, I was already at 9cm.  A little after 7:30 am, on Nov. 9, 2011, Clara Grace Jackson was put into my arms, weighing 5 lbs. 13 oz. 
What a little miracle baby.  The boys were so excited to get into see her.  They were smitten from the minute they laid eyes on her.  And, at that moment, the Jackson family was complete.
Thank you, Lord, for knowing the details of our lives.  Thank you for having absolutely perfect timing and thank you for loving me in spite of my impatience and doubt. 
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139: 13-14
Clara-What a miracle you are.  You are so loved!  We are blessed to be a part of your life and can’t wait to see where God takes you and how He uses you for His glory! 

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