Perhaps this post would have been more effective while the Olympics were still on. I admit that this concept dawned on my while the games were still on...but I had other things on my mind at the time.
Anyway, while the Olympics were on, there was a little piece on how close some of the races were. In multiple cases, the difference between first place and fourth place was less than a second. It's crazy how the difference between a gold medal and going home empty-handed could be so slim. That poor fourth place guy or gal worked just as hard...and yet only has memories to take home. No one highlights a fourth place finish...no interviews, no newspaper headlines, no offers for "Dancing With The Stars". But first place and a gold medal, and you're all over the place! You become a household name and a "golden child".
I hate to admit it (and yet I'm okay with it), but I think I'm treating this fourth pregnancy as...well...a fourth pregnancy. I realized the other day that I took pictures of the tests from my first, second, and third pregnancies, but neglected to do so with this fourth pregnancy. I did cute things to show my husband with the first three...but simply woke him up this time. With the first pregnancy, I had planned to wait a few weeks to tell my parents, brainstorming different ways that I could creatively announce it to them. I ended up calling my mom during that first pregnancy to ask for prayers when the spotting started, and have yet to experience that big revelation moment with them. I now share pretty much everything with my mom on nearly a daily basis--she knew the night before I took the test that I would be testing in the morning. My announcement was "well...I'm calling first thing in the morning...so you know that that means...will you pray for me please?". We told my father-in-law on his birthday about the first pregnancy, but then never got around to telling them about the second or third pregnancies until it was too late. This time, we played it safe and told them after that first amazing ultrasound. With the first three, I started to share the news with my good friends so that they could share in our joy. Now, I'm much more cautious. I've only told my church friends who can hold me up in prayer (and of course, this wonderful community). I spoke with a good friend--one of my bridesmaids--on my birthday who asked point-blank if we were trying again. I eluded her questions and just told her that I was trusting God's plan for our lives--which is the legitimate truth--but I'm just not ready to share this with her yet.
Perhaps later on down the road, I'll wish that I had the cute little momentos of pictures of pregnancy tests or memories of creative "We're Pregnant!" announcements. But for now, I'm okay with just my own special moments with my fourth pregnancy. I loved my first, second, and third babies, but I love my fourth baby just as much. I don't care if there aren't any headlines or pictures or highlights--this pregnancy is still just as precious to me. If anything, my experience with the first, second, and third have helped me to appreciate this fourth pregnancy even more. I don't care if this child ever earns a medal--I love him or her just as much as if they were standing high on the podium. Even if this is my fourth pregnancy, this child still has a special place in my heart. The love, awe, and sense of wonder is still the same, no matter if it's my fourth or first.
My blessing today was pretty amazing! This morning, I flew from Arizona to Colorado Springs for a conference, with a short layover in Denver. My mom happened to be flying from Sacramento to Albuquerque, also with a short layover in Denver. Our flights came in within five minutes of each other, two gates apart. It was a quick visit, but it was still so absolutely wonderful to see my mom--even for just twenty minutes. Since we spent the holidays with my husband's family in Montana, I haven't seen my parents since their visit in September. And although it's still too early for me to show, this is the first time that my mom has ever seen me pregnant. We may have looked silly to other travelers, but before boarding my plane (again, two gates apart), she put her hand on my belly and we prayed--thanking God for allowing our paths to cross and praying that He continue to care for, protect, and bless this next generation growing inside me. And how cool is this--within minutes of finding each other (I should also mention that we realized our travel plans were coinciding last night when I talked to her), we discovered two pennies on the ground. She took one, and I took the other. It's amazing how God works in mysterious ways!