I anticipated laying on the couch with my baby and taking advantage of the next three hours of quiet rest but Ira is comfy in his little seat in the sun, where I put him to eat my breakfast, and as I laid and looked at him it occurred to me that I want to remember every, single, detail of his wonderful birth. For that reason I grabbed a bulk bag of walnuts and came to the computer to record my still very fresh thoughts.
I know this new baby has been waiting to come to our family and since his conception he has already transformed our lives and changed my perspective on life, love, purpose, priorities, and so much more.
Jeff knew he was supposed to come before I did. Jeff walks by faith in every aspect of his life and I sometimes still try and take life into my own hands but this last fall after praying and pondering for 7+ months, I knew that I was ready for another baby and I knew that it was absolutely right that it happen. So when it happened on first try I knew it. And it wasn't a surprise. It was the plan the whole time only Heavenly Father, Ira, and Jeff were patiently waiting for me to comply.
I wanted to make sure the farm was operating well and that financially we were in a good spot. I wanted to make sure I had my other kids all in healthy place emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, etc.... I wanted to progress on my Holistic Nutrition certification and help Jeff continue to grow our roof cleaning business. I wanted all of these things mastered until I started narrowing in and focusing on what really makes me happy and what really brings me peace and that is the love that abides in my family. Then I realized that what I really wanted was to bring another choice spirit to this earth and love him/her with all that I possibly could.
We went to the Temple in November and at a Shopko in Canada we bought a pregnancy test so that I could prove to Jeff what I already knew and sure enough, positive. Now we had a growing baby and a secret and both of those things are really fun to share with the one you love.
And then winter came, really, really, hard and tried it's best to trample the hope and faith that I had built up in preparation for this baby. The farm froze. Our order or baby chicks came late and with that half of them were dead and another 1/3 didn't survive their first week. The pigs got butchered late and were half the size we anticipated. Our new twin calves in the barn were found dead one morning when Jeff went out to feed and when he came in to tell me I seriously thought he was joking because certainly one more fatality was going to put me all the way over the edge. The pipes froze, the laying hens got cold and stopped laying eggs, the feed bills started adding up along with the electricity bills to light the barn and with snow and frost covered roofs for days on end Jeff had no work. And so many cold nights and days we spent with him thawing water and chickens and wiping my excessive tears and calming my troubled heart. We couldn't possibly tell the kids yet about the sweet baby because mommy was a bit of a wreck and I didn't want them to associate a happy new baby with a sad and overwhelmed mommy. Although, in all reality thinking about it now, maybe that would have been a more honest approach.
Instead we played in the snow and did donuts on the 4-wheeler and drank cocoa and worked on strengthening what we had. Each other, and a growing one, and that was worth enduring for.
We made it through all of that, with a lot of patience and a lot of prayers. It was refining, now that I look back but most things in life are that way. I am learning. By February when I turned 35 and the temperatures started to rise I felt renewed optimism and excitement. My body was physically changing and I could feel the baby inside of me, proving to me that he was right where he was supposed to be. We told the kids the "secret" on my birthday by playing a game of hangman and when it was my turn they had to solve the puzzle that read, "I'm having a baby!" It was so fun to watch them uncover it and then to realize that it wasn't a joke and that our family was really growing. The kids spread the news to all they saw and the word was quickly out.
Adelle made me a countdown chart with all the days from when we told the news until his estimated due date, August 5. There were a lot of days on that chart and since then we have been checking them off as we go.
I made a pack with Heavenly Father in my earnest prayers during the early stages of my pregnancy and through those winter months that if He would bring the sun back, I would put my boots back on and endure whatever this pregnancy, baby, farm life had to offer me. And we both held up our end of that deal.
This pregnancy was an ultimate dream as far as how I felt. I ran and played basketball until almost full term when, more because of the heat than anything else, I resorted to swimming and gardening for exercise. I felt good the whole entire time. We ordered more chicks and they thrived. Adelle and I took a vacation to California for her birthday. I kept myself busy collecting eggs and getting all the extra squatting that a pregnant gal can get in. We finished the school year strong, went on a fun camping trip as a family with our good friends, spent many a summer day with a picnic at the beach, lots of pool days at my parent's, got in a car accident that totaled my car but that we were all unharmed in, planted a garden and barely weeded it, and harvested cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. And in the end did lots and lots of hiking.
Everything about Ira's pregnancy was exactly how it was supposed to be and that mentally prepared me so well for his miraculous birth. I knew, in my heart and in my mind, that Ira was supposed to come to our family. I knew that I could do hard things, after a trying winter, and I knew that my body was capable of conceiving, growing, thriving, and naturally delivering a healthy baby. There were too many tender mercies during the last 8 months to deny the plan that I had a special part in carrying out.
The freezing farm
Mother's Day 2017 6 months
My baby resting on my other baby. 6 months
California beach with Adelle 7 months
Family camping trip and Jetty Island 7-8 months
Strawberry picking 2017
4th of July party at our place. 8 months
Picking cherries from the box lifted up by the tractor
Getting hit on Hannegan and totaling the car. 8 months
Hiking, and hiking and more hiking 8.5 months