Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lucky's Story, Part 2

This is a long story. It does not have a happy ending. I don't know how many parts it will have or how often I will feel like writing it. But I'm writing it anyway in the hopes that getting it all out will help me. If it helps someone else in the process that'd be gratifying too.

Finding out you are pregnant at 38 when your youngest child is almost 6 can be quite a shock to the system. We made a chart and discovered that there would come a year when we'd have one kid in elementary school, one in middle, one in high school, and one in college. That was a heck of a realization. We laughed a lot about that one.

I was really starting to come to terms with how our life was going to change. We already knew we needed to move, but this baby was a good kick in the pants to get started. We had talked about it for so long, but never made any actual plans until I just decided it was time to "fish or cut bait." The move was on! (and the storage unit was rented!)

I had an incident near the end of April with some bleeding, but we went in for an ultrasound and everything checked out. We went back for our "official" ultrasound on April 28th (Benjamin's 6th birthday! Another laugh!) and things looked good. We were given a due date of December 6th, but I chose to just hear "December." All three of my babies had been late so far, and I saw no reason to think this one wouldn't be too.

Because of the bleeding issue I had had, I had told my mother we were pregnant before I had originally intended to. My mom came up to be with me and got to see her first ultrasound with me. We were both excited, especially when they told us that everything looked good.

We were making plans to tell other people and trying to get the timing right. It was important to us that the kids know first (or nearly first) because they were old enough to understand the process. We had a number of family events going on in late April and early May, but we didn't want to piggy back on one of those, so we waited.

Frances had a dance recital coming up and we knew Ken's dad would be coming to see it. It seemed like a great time to be able to tell him in person. Ken and I talked it over and decided that we would tell the kids the Thursday before and allow them to tell Papa.

I was nervous about telling the kids because I had no idea how they would react. I was pretty sure Frances would be excited. I was also fairly certain that Ben would be mad. He's told me more that once that he doesn't like babies because they "make too much noise." Henry was a toss up. As the middle kid he's already been usurped as the baby and he was used to having siblings around.

I set up my phone to capture video and set the kids down for an interview.

"Frances, what is your favorite part about being a big sister?" I asked.

"I get to play with my brothers." she answered. Then the boys both reached over and hugged her.

"Henry, what is your favorite part about being a big brother?" I asked.

"I get to take care of Ben." he replied. And Ben reached over to hug him.

So far, so good.

"Benjamin, what do you think your favorite part about being a big brother will be?"

At this point my phone stopped recording, but I remember the pause as all three of them tried to figure out what was going on. Frances' eyes flashed to her brothers and then to my stomach. They got really wide. "Are you pregnant?" she yelled?

And then all three started in with the excited questions. I got out the ultrasound picture to show them and they laughed at how silly it looked. I got out my app I had been using to track my pregnancy and showed them their their baby was the size of a Lego mini fig. I also showed them a comparison of a baby's hand at birth and their baby's hand at that point in time. They were looking at the app and noticed that I had nicknamed the baby "Lucky."

That was meant to be an inside joke between Ken and me. The baby was conceived on or about St. Patrick's Day, so I jokingly used the nickname Lucky. After the kids noticed it, it stuck and that's what they've called the baby ever since.

Friday morning as we were all getting ready for school and work, I noticed that the kids had dug out their infant hand print casts from the buffet behind them. They were excitingly talking about Lucky. I even went so far as to tell them not to tell people yet. I explained that family needed to know first and then they could tell people. I was still expecting at least one surprised phone call from a kid who couldn't keep a secret.

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