It's been about ten days since we got the official word on our positive pregnancy. I still pause throughout the day to revel in the joy that we will have a new addition to our family this summer. I have to say, it's been hard keeping my joy from bubbling up to the surface publicly. This secret-keeping thing is hard! I can keep secrets when they are serious, or when they must be prayed over. However, it's the exciting secrets that are hard ones to keep.
I actually had a flashback to age eight, when my parents told my brothers and me that they were pregnant with my sister. I so vividly remember the conversation. It was a weeknight. We were eating spaghetti and meatballs. My parents were seated at opposite ends of the table, whilst Ben, Dan, and I fought over who would get the last piece of garlic bread. I remember my parents being particularly quiet.
Mom: Your father has something he wants to tell you.
Dad: No, your mom has something to tell you.
Ben: Tell us what? Are we finally getting horses for in the barn? (Side note: Prior to my parent's announcement of a new baby for our family, my brothers and I spent weeks cleaning out the barn with the promise of two horses and a pasture being held over our heads by our parents).
Mom: No, you're not getting horses. You are going to get another brother or sister. I am pregnant.
Neither one of my parents looked overjoyed at this proclamation Instead, they sat at the table, quietly, still in disbelief that they would be adding a tag-along-kid to the Meckbach clan.
I, conversely jumped out of my chair and proceeded to do cartwheels in the kitchen, screaming at the top of my lungs! At last, after years of being beat up, tortured, and teased, I would get to have a younger sibling to smother-mother. Both Dan and Ben seemed less than amused. In fact, Ben, being thirteen, was able to connect the dots that yes, his parents, actually did have sex. Gross. Dan, on the other hand, demanded that this new baby be a boy; if it was a girl, he was having no part in it. And, he insisted we better still be getting the horses.**
I remember my mom tucking me into bed that night. She talked about secrets and how this new baby was going to be a just-for-our-family-to-know secret for a while longer. I promised not to tell ANYONE, not even my bus driver, or my grandmother.
Well, I was able to successfully keep the secret for nine hours (while sleeping). The next day, I announced to everyone at Loyalsock Valley Elementary School that my mom was pregnant!
The next night, after getting multiple congratulatory phone calls, my mom sat me down and asked me if I had told anyone that she was pregnant. Yikes. I was caught. I told her that I did and waited for some kind of punishment.
It never came. I think my mom realized that the secret of a new life added to our family was just too big for an eight year old future-older-sister-to-be to keep.
And so here I am, twenty years later, attempting to keep my own secret.
Tomorrow, we head down to Shady Grove for our first ultrasound. I am excited to for once, actually see something in my uterus! For months, I have been staring at an empty uterus on the screen, looking at a literal void that I so figuratively felt. I have a feeling that I will be talking to the screen, similarly to the way I spoke to the Expectant Mother Parking Sign: Take that!
We will also be finding out whether we have one or two babies. I have been praying that God would help us get a handle on this situation. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be disappointed at finding out I was pregnant with one baby. It is hard now, however, because we know there is a chance that two babies are growing inside of me. It is difficult to control our expectations when we know way more about embryos and the reproductive process than we should.
And so the reminder hits me once more, that God has so perfectly carved for us His plan for our parenthood. He knows what we can handle and what is best for our lives, right here and right now. Even in our unknown, He is there and He knows all.
**Just in case you were wondering, we never did get the horses. But to this day, my sweet Carolyn is a way better gift!