I was thinking about where to start this story and I felt really strongly that I had to start it at the beginning -- when the news that Baby #4 was on the way rocked our world. We had just returned from Colorado after spending the 2009 holidays with my husband's family. We went to a New Year's Eve party at my wonderful friend's house to welcome 2010. It was one of those parties that just makes you happy. Good friends, good margaritas, good food and happy kids running around the house. Over the last year or so, I had been heard saying (several times actually) that I really wish we had had just one more child. But, with job loss and our three kids getting older and easier, Brad and I had pretty much decided that we were done. I remember thinking that maybe it didn't matter when I stopped having kids...I'd always wish we had just one more.
At that party my friend shocked me. She told me that she saw us with another child and when she did our numerology for the coming year, it foretold a possible child. Well, I thought that there might be a possibility that I was pregnant. But, I had tested a few days before and it was negative. (Thus the heavy consumption of margaritas.) You can imagine that that freaked me out a little. How did she know?! I continue to tease her that she scares me just a little with her psychic abilities. On January 2nd, I took another pregnancy test to make sure and it was positive. I was floored. It really wasn't probable that I could have been pregnant, if you know what I mean. I have said that this baby had to work really hard to come into this world. I was really shocked and unsure about having four kids. I mean, who has four kids??? We would be one step away from denim jumpers! But, as much as I was freaked out, I was also really excited. A new baby...my fourth. The one that I could finally bring into this world the way I wanted. We were finally confident about how we wanted to parent. So many hopes and dreams for this little one.
ETA: I just wanted to say that we have friends with 4 (or more) kids that have amazing families. I've never even thought twice about the size of their families. It was when we were faced with the reality of four kids that I took on what I believe is the prevalent attitude in our culture which is that that's too many. I think even my friends with one child would agree that there is this attitude that two children is best. Three is ok especially if your first two are the same gender. But only one or four or more? Not so accepted. I actually had a dentist say to me after finding out I was pregnant with number four, "Where I come from, we call that a litter." I didn't respond then so here's what I wanted to say, "Where I come from we learned not to say rude things to people." Ahh, that feels better. I've been holding that in for a year. :P