Thank God for surprises, part I

I can finally talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while: I found out I was pregnant a few weeks ago. Since we had just had three babies in three years, we definitely didn’t feel like this was the right time for baby #4. Honestly, I felt like I’d checked the “surprise pregnancy” box last year — we rose to that challenge, learned more about NFP after our conversion, and now we wouldn’t ever be in that situation again. Whew!

When I saw the two pink lines, I thought I might pass out. I didn’t want to mention it on the blog since I hadn’t told family yet and, honestly, that’s probably a good thing. There would have been a lot of whining. Probably more than one post titled “I’M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS!!!!”, maybe a couple called “Morning sickness…AGAIN.”

This has been a factor in the recent spiritual dry spell. The unlikeliness of the circumstances that had to play out for this baby’s existence made it an obvious candidate for the take that “it must have been God’s plan!” But constantly nauseated, my energy level suddenly slashed in half, I was pretty cynical about that notion. Of course I recognized that this new little son or daughter is a great gift and immense blessing…but the timing I wasn’t so sure about. I already have three children, and my oldest is only three. We’re still paying off medical bills from our last baby. Because of my history of DVT and the clotting disorder, my veins really need a break. Speaking of which, I don’t look forward to the daily anticoagulation shots in the stomach and the semi-weekly hematologist visits. I was just getting started with finally losing weight. And, umm, I was kind of trying to write a book here.

How could it possibly be a good thing to have a baby right now? Is it not a bit of a stretch to say that “it must be God’s plan” when the circumstances are so very far from ideal?

That’s what I’ve been thinking about and praying about a lot these past few weeks. Just over the past few days, I keep feeling drawn to two stories over and over again that have given me a lot of peace and resolution on the issue. I’ll share them in part two of this post. In the meantime, despite my worries I am truly happy to announce our fourth little blessing, and would appreciate prayers for our growing family.

Part II is here.

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Enter the Conversation...

119 Responses to “Thank God for surprises, part I”
  1. Creative Clayer says:

    Congratulations! And prayers. I know I would feel similar to you but for different reasons if I were to have the same news.

  2. Kerry says:

    how very very wonderful!!! Congrats to you, Jennifer. You are such an inspiration. Whatever plans God has for your family, they are good.

    I was just preparing a pro life letter to the editor of my newspaper (bashing the abortifacient Pill and IUD) and then clicked over to see your update. Thanks for the “fuel” for this letter.

    You rock.

  3. breagha says:

    Congratulations! I am learning so much about my Catholic faith (new this past Easter Vigil) and reading your blog has helped. Thank you for serving as such a great example of acceptance and reliance on God. I’m still learning to trust more fully :)

  4. patience says:

    Congratulations!

  5. Carrien says:

    Congratulations!

    I’m firmly in the “every baby is a gift camp” so I’m quite thrilled to hear it. With great sympathy for all of the physical, emotional, and financial distress it causes as well.

    I will be heartily praying for you to be healed of the clotting disorder. And to bear with grace the next several months.

  6. unselko says:

    Be assured you will have our prayers.

  7. TRS says:

    Oh… can I have that pregnancy then?

    I’m 38… struggling in a relationship with the man I thought might be my husband… hmmm… dying to have a marriage and children.

    It keeps happening to everyone else!

  8. Christine says:

    Oh it will be hard. No doubt about it and with 3 little ones already…it will be very hard. However, life does move on and those 4 little ones do grow up.

    I was just at our open house for school and there was Jen…she had 4 little girls in 5 years. The 3rd on is in pre-school already.

    I had 4 close together and it was hard but I wouldn’t change it now. The kids are so close and have so much in common.

    I will pray you will have a healthy pregnancy. This baby will be with you forever and ever and ever someday. What a blessing.

  9. Maureen says:

    Just wanted to say congrats to you and I admire your fortitude in the face of lots of baby-related challenges. It’s easy to be open to new life in a Catholic marriage when you want to get pregnant, or when circumstances make welcoming another baby straightforward. It’s so much harder when there are genuine reasons that a bit of a break might be nice. Staying faithful and hopeful in these times shows your real strength and it’s inspiring to me. I’m just (hopefully) emerging from a long spiritual dry spell and finding new energy for growing and nurturing my faith. Your blog is one of the resources that is enriching my faith at the moment. Thank you. I will pray for you and your family. Not just a prayer for your new baby and the challenges that will bring, but also a prayer of gratitude for what you have created here.

  10. Amy says:

    Congratulations!!! Many prayers coming your way. If there is anything I’ve learned in the last 10 years with kids, it’s that my plans are just so much dust – I just cling to the fact that God must know better than me, despite what I might feel about that, LOL.

  11. Redtabby says:

    Courage, Jen. With the grace of God, you can do this.

  12. Veronica @Toddled Dredge says:

    Congratulations. I hope all goes well.

  13. Kiwi Nomad 2008 says:

    Congratulations Jen! All the best for the coming weeks and months as your new little one grows.
    Margaret

  14. Sandy says:

    Praying for you and your family. May God give you rest and health throughout this pregnancy. May His grace sustain you and give you peace.

    Congratulations on this new blessing.

  15. Jeana says:

    Congratulations!

    This is where trusting God’s plan and timing moves from philosophical to practical. It will be interesting to see how He works everything together perfectly. He always does.

  16. Abigail says:

    Happy St. Monica’s Feast! Happy, Happy News on Baby # 4!

  17. Sara says:

    Congratulations, Jennifer! It’s hard to believe, sometimes, but God’s timing is truly the best. Everything may not happen the way you think, but it will change you for the better! God bless your family (even more).

  18. Soul Pockets says:

    Four is a great number!
    I can relate to what you have been feeling. I only know you from your blog but I am going to guess your family is a perfect place to bring another one of Gods gifts into. Many prayers are coming your way!

    Congratulations!

  19. Kacy says:

    I don’t care what the NFP literature says about breast feeding preventing pregnancy, it’s simply not true. I’ve heard of too many couples having surprise pregnancies while trying to follow this rule. Anyway, congratulations, and you have my prayer support.

  20. Fr. D says:

    Congratulations Jen. My mom had my five older siblings within six years. I came along 3.5 years later and I’m forever happy to be here. Be not afraid!

  21. Heather says:

    except her oldest was 13 and she thought she was DONE. She had just had a book published and another one due, her husband was starting his own business, and this and that and all those other things. The thing is children are a blessing from the Lord and this little boy would change their lives, would get her into photography (her absolute true and perfect calling–she is incredible). God knows exactly what is best for you, for your family, and in our weakness He is STRONG. (I can say that knowing what you mean about all the health issues–I get deathly ill each pregnancy) enough so that moth my doctor and my husband, after much prayer, insisted that I no longer have children and I regret that decision daily.

  22. Anonymous says:

    When our #3 was on the way we were in the same boat as you. We weren’t ready mentally, physically or spiritually. It was very difficult. Now I can’t imagine life without him.

    When our #4 was on the way we were in the same boat as you. We weren’t ready mentally, physically or spiritually. It was very difficult. Now I can’t imagine life without him.

    Sound like a broken record, don’t I?

    Take it day by day if you have to. Minute to minute if you must. I will pray for you and your family. Know that this difficult time will be a faded memory before you know it.

  23. nellakat says:

    Congratulations! You and your family will definitely be in my prayers. I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time and I want you to know how much you’ve helped me in my own faith journey! God bless you and baby #4!

  24. Sarah Mosley says:

    Wow, congrats!

    I too have 3 kids 3 and under. The first two are Irish twins and the third is thirteen months apart from the second. My youngest is 11 months. I’ve just reached the point in the past week or so where finding out I’m pregnant would no longer occasion the end of the world for me.

    I will pray for your strength and health.

  25. Amy says:

    Congrats on baby #4. Children are truly a blessing under all circumstances (even on bad days lol!).I wish you luck and good health. Amy (mom of 7)

  26. Yvonne says:

    Coming out of my lurking status to congratulate you! I, too, had a surprise 4th seven years after our “last” baby (ok, it was 15 years ago) but still…..anyway, he was welcomed warmly by all, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. Prayers for you and your family, as well as the new little someone.

  27. CJ says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to hearing more of the story.

  28. el-e-e says:

    Oh, congratulations, Jen! I know that you will handle this little surprise with grace. Another little life to hold, how wonderful!

  29. Tausign says:

    Congratulations and blessings to your entire family. Again your witnessing is testimony to a truly spiritual life. I’m placing you in ‘the prayer corner’ for heaps of grace.

    These surprise ‘gifts of life’ are always another braid in our lifeline to heaven…just no doubt about it.

  30. nicole says:

    Congratulations! I will be praying for your health, as well as baby’s.

  31. Fran Shea says:

    Congratulations!! I come from a family of 8 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything – your kids are super lucky! Who needs sleep anyway?

  32. Ouiz says:

    Oh, my goodness… CONGRATULATIONS!

    I can sympathize (somewhat) with your situation. I had a 3 1/2 yr old, a 2 yr old, and a 10 mth old baby. I was begging God for a break.

    Instead, I got pregnant.

    I freaked out, thought, “there is no way in you-know-where I am going to be able to do this!!!!”

    I was resentful and sure that NFP was one big joke. I was embarrassed because people KNEW my stance on NFP, and my Catholicism, and here I was looking like a participant in a freak show with 3 little ones and another one definitely on the way.

    That baby, by the way, was Christopher — a VERY easy-going baby who now, at age 6, keeps us laughing.

    Please know that I will be praying for you all through this pregnancy!!

  33. lp says:

    Hope everything is going well so far! Many, many congratulations, and of course continued prayers.

    (And can I mention how impressed I am that you’re able to blog so coherently through those first couple of months? :) )

  34. Misty says:

    Hi Jenn. I found your blog a few weeks ago and I really feel as if I have found a kindred spirit. I’m looking for fancier words but really I just love you! I was a little shocked myself to read your announcement. Wow! I will be praying for you and your family and looking forward to updates.

  35. mom v many says:

    I know your pain(morning sickness), and confusion(huh?! Again!?) and free-fall (but God, I was already in a direction!)
    We have 10, ages 8-28 and sometimes it’s been hard, people may get harsh, you will walk ahead of this but you will never walk alone…..
    Big Hug!

  36. J.C. says:

    Congratulations!! I will definitely pray for you and your growing family–God bless!

  37. majellamom says:

    Congratulations!!!!

    I love to hear baby news…God is certainly blessing you (and challenging you, of course!) and while it will be difficult, God will give you the graces to do what you need to do.

    I have a good friend who has 6 children 6 and under (3 are adopted, so she didn’t have to go through 6 pregnancies) and when I feel overwhelmed with my 2, I think of her…

    She recently told me that when she feels overwhelmed, she thinks of a couple she knows who had two sets of twins in one year (yikes!)

    We all feel that way sometimes, no matter what our circumstances. I just wanted to let you know that you will definately be in our prayers, and I am excited to hear all about your new baby!

  38. Thia says:

    Prayers.

  39. Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years says:

    Congratulations!

    In a million years, the book, the health issues, the naseau, the doctors–everything–will have passed away.

    Except that new life. He will continue. Forever.

    The Lord bless you…

  40. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, our prayers are with you!

  41. Allison says:

    Congrats Jen! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and have printed quite a few of your wonderfull entries to share with others.
    This baby is definitley a blessing; of all the true “surprise” babies I have ever known there is something special about each of them that they bring to every family. I hope you do not receive anything but joy and goodwill with your announcement. Many prayers for you and your family. Allison

  42. Paula says:

    Congratulations! I will be praying for this pregnancy to be easier on you, and for everything to go well. I am pregnant with my fifth and my midwife comes for my first appointment today. I can relate to a lot of what you have been feeling. The first year is so hard for me with not getting enough sleep that sometimes I can’t fathom why God would give me more children, but I know we will fall head over heels for this little one too. I can’t wait to read part two!

  43. Memphis Aggie says:

    Congratulations!

  44. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Congratulations Jennifer.

    If I’ve learned one thing over the past few years, it’s that God’s timing is rarely ours. But if we accept His path and look for His best, He always lavishes it.

    I pray this little one will be a lavish blessing to your family.

  45. Susan Thompson says:

    Congratulations! And bless your heart! I’ll pray for you regarding your health and spiritual needs and energy levels.

  46. Can I Change A Life? says:

    Congratulations! This is great news! I do get it about the morning sickness. Mine was so bad I was hospitalized for it. Fortunately, I didn’t have your other difficulties. I will be praying for you.

    My parents used the rhythm method, and it actually worked pretty well for them. They had only one totally unplanned pregnancy, and that was me.

    If they had not been faithful Catholics, I would not be here. Neither would my daughter.

    In my “Cafeteria Catholic” days I used birth control. I’m left now to wonder about the generations that are not here and never will be because of my decision.

    I am eager to read Part II. With your blog, you are a blessing to so many. Thank you.

  47. SuburbanCorrespondent says:

    Oh, honey, you are going to be so happy and you are going to have such a sweet little family! This is the hard part – I must admit that every time I go through the morning sickness, I have second thoughts about babies and NFP and welcoming life. So you’ll just have to borrow my perspective for a bit and believe that it’s true – the more, the merrier!

    God bless!

  48. christina says:

    Congratulations! If you don’t get that warm of a response much as you let peopple know I’ll say it again… Congratulations! I sit here pregnant with my fourth (due in five weeks)while my 10 month old plays at my feet, my 2 /12 year old and just turned 4 year old sleep. To say that I was shocked is an understatement (I too wanted to give my body a break as I ruptured my uterus delivering my 2)…. but I believe with my whole heart that this is God’s timing. Again, Congratulations :)

  49. Elizabeth says:

    Many blessings on your newest blessing.

    Wow, I better get crackin’! You’re almost keeping pace with me! ;-)

  50. razzler says:

    Oh, heartfelt congratulations! You are definitely in my prayers.

  51. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience says:

    Every blessing, Jennifer…
    He is always good and you are always loved. Seems cliche, I know, but granite truth.
    Our fifth left us off kilter, queasy, scared.
    And now, the joy.
    No, never expected so much joy.
    And so we’re back to: He is always Good and we are always loved.

    Hang on to truth, my friend…
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  52. maggie says:

    Congratulations!

    I thought I would want my kids super close in age since that’s how I grew up, but I am so done being pregnant I can’t even IMAGINE having a 3rd any time soon! So I am eagerly awaiting part 2, full, as I’m sure it is, of wisdom on this subject!

  53. Jessica says:

    Congratulations! I know how hard it can be when a pregnancy isn’t quite what you expect (I cried so very hard when I found out how high risk our twin pregnancy was), but I think God is big enough to hear and hold your tears and fears, and still bring you safe through to the joy. I pray this may be the easiest and healthiest pregnancy (and baby) you’ve ever had.

  54. Kate says:

    Congratulations, Jen!

    And may I suggest, this might be a good time to add a paypal button to the sidebar? If I’m going to have to wait longer for that book, I’d like to be able to drop a few dollars in the tip jar now and then in thanks for all the thought-provoking posts you’ve written that have inspired and strengthen me and others!

  55. Kate says:

    God Bless you and your family, Jennifer!!! God truly blesses those who are faithful and trust Him, even when we’re not so sure the differences between blessings and crosses :)lol
    We’re expecting #2, the kids will only be 17 months apart. Some moments I am overwhelmed with joy and some moments I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter, though, does it – “My Grace is sufficient!”
    Praise God for the beautiful gift of Life, and Congratulations!!! Lots of prayers heading your way :)

  56. cheryl says:

    You’re in my prayers Jennifer.

  57. Mahsheed says:

    Congratulations Jennifer–you are truly blessed!! I’ll keep you in my prayers that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy. The spacing is perfect, your children will grow up to be close and loving siblings.

  58. The Sojourner says:

    Congratulations!!

  59. Anonymous says:

    Jen,

    This wonderful news makes your previous post about the cheeseburgers all the more poignant. Cheeseburgers were the only thing that tasted good to me during my first pregnancy — so I can appreciate what a sacrifice you were willing to make for your little friends!

    You have been such a blessing in my life — thank you for the honesty and grace you share with us in every blog entry. I send you my most heartfelt congratulations and will keep you in my prayers. How blessed you are!

    Mary

  60. Suzywoozy says:

    wow! congratulations… and i know that you WILL see (or already have seen)God’s hand in this.

  61. Maggie says:

    Congrats Jen! How beautifully you and your husband are responding to God’s call to be open to life! I will pray for you and your family in these coming months!

  62. Pansy and Peony says:

    Congratulations. I am so right there with you!!! It was refreshing to read your post because I know emotionally exactly what you are going through, although I do not have the same health ailments.

    God bless you and congratulations.

    ~pansy

  63. Audrey says:

    Praise the Lord!

    Get the baby’s guardian angel praying for you too! The more prayer warriors the better :)

  64. Aimee says:

    Hooray! Congratulations and my prayers for the health of you and your little one growing in secret wonder :) God bless you and your family.

  65. Big Tex says:

    First, congrats!

    Second, prayers for you and yours, especially in light of your difficulties.

    World domination through procreation.

  66. Kris says:

    Congratulations!! Even though the circumstances might seem less than ideal right now, God has a plan.

  67. Joy of Frugal Living says:

    Congratulations! I hope this pregnancy is safe and healthy for you. I’ll be praying for you.

    Jennifer

  68. Anonymous says:

    Jennifer,

    I’m coming out of lurk mode to ask you where your pay pal button is? I will be keeping you in my prayers, but it’s always nice to do something in this realm to help out.

    Katherine

  69. november says:

    “Big sis” Jen,

    Thank you for being so forthcoming in sharing your anxieties about having another baby. As another only-child who is no where near marriage and having a family (seemingly) but still fraught with the occasional anxiety around being called to have a big family, I am blessed to read of your honesty in your struggles to walk faithfully with our Lord. Your life has been a testimony to God’s goodness and has indeed strengthened my own faith.

    I wish you all the best with baby #4! Despite all the circumstances and the apparent bad timing, I am confident God will provide for you and your family richly and abundantly. I can’t imagine the love that will overflow into your home with this new addition!

    Congratulations to you and your family!

  70. Sarah L. says:

    Congratulations! You will be in my prayers. It will be interesting to follow along with you this pregnancy as I am also newly pregnant with #4.

  71. Genevieve P says:

    Congratulations and also empathy and prayers. I discovered I was pregnant with our 4th when our twins had just turned 1 and the oldest was 2.5. She is almost 1.5 now. It was extremely unexpected (I really don’t know how she was conceived!) and frankly unwelcome. But she is such a great joy and the delight of our whole family. Her middle name is Theodora (which means gift of God) because she was such a lovely unexpected and undeserved gift! It hasn’t been easy (though not really harder than my twins’ first year) but there has also been much grace. And God gives strength. But I don’t know how I’d feel if I became pregnant now–though in a few more years I’d love another!
    This is my first comment–I’ll probably go back to lurking now–sorry for such a long comment, I just wanted to tell you I understand, at least a bit!

  72. Mary Poppins NOT says:

    Prayers, and blessings. I have been there, with a very unexpected pregnancy six years ago (number 6), and then, just recently, with number 8, after thinking I was too old to have any more babies. Apparently God doesn’t think so, and this new one will be here in March. God can not be out done in generosity! Bless you for your generous openness to life! Joy awaits!

  73. Beth/Mom2TwoVikings says:

    Congrats and many prayers here too. Found myself in the same position Fourth of July weekend. My oldest is 4 though. LOL However, last week at 12 weeks, that little angel went on to heaven before we got a chance to meet him/her. God IS in control. God’s plan WILL be fulfilled. Lean on Him. He’ll get you through.

  74. La gallina says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! Isn’t it funny how when God changes us, he REALLY changes us. We ended up doing all kinds of things we thought we never wanted to do — AND LOVING IT!

    Love and prayers to you and your family.

    AND to TRS — Peace, blessings and prayers to you too, longing for a family of your own.

  75. Milehimama says:

    Oh, Jen, congratulations!

    Our first few babies are less than 18 months apart, too. I was pregnant 5 times in five years (one baby died before birth)!

    Hang in there.

  76. Anonymous says:

    after reading this, I am wondering if the “planning” part of NFP is a chimera.

    hpd

  77. Lady of the Lakes says:

    My prayers are with you!

  78. foursure says:

    Many Many prayers being sent your way. Congratulations!!! and Peace to you and yours.

  79. Multiple Mom T says:

    Oh, Honey, have I been where you are!! We had 10 month old preemie triplets, 2 on Oxygen and 2 on feeding tubes, when I found out I was pregnant. Needless to say I was MAD AT GOD. How DARE He bring another life into our chaos???

    Catie is, and has been for the past 5 1/2 years, a complete blessing to us. God knew, way more than we did, how much we needed her and her personality and life.

    Congratulations, and may God bless you as He has blessed us. What he has give to you, He will equip you to deal with, I promise!

  80. Gina says:

    Congratulations and God bless!

  81. Beth (A Mom's Life) says:

    Congratulations! Will certainly be praying for you.

    Can’t wait to read Part 2

  82. Nicole says:

    Congratulations Jen! You will be in my prayers.

    Nicole

  83. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! I’m so grateful for your blog, and though I’m looking forward to the novelized version, I suppose I can stand to wait a year or two or more.

    Take care of yourself, and all of us will be praying for all of you!

    chris

  84. Lydia Cubbedge says:

    Congratulations! You and yours will be in my prayers!

    I had my first almost 6 months ago and she keeps us busy, but she also more and more convinces me that children are always a blessing. God must love you very very much!

    Feel better soon.

  85. Jennifer F. says:

    I am so overwhelmed by all these wonderful responses! Thank you so, SO much!!

    Also…for those of you who asked about a PayPal tip jar, your kindness blows me away. I may put up some sort of tip jar where you can donate to a crisis pregnancy center in my name if you would like to give a gift. I’ll think about what exactly to do, but just wanted to say that I was blown away by your kind offers!

  86. Rocks In My Dryer says:

    Jennifer, congratulations! I’m so happy for you. My fourth pregnancy had me gaping in wonder at the two little pink lines, so I understand how you feel. And now? I wouldn’t trade my little “wonder” for anything–she has been my pure delight, the sweet little blessing I didn’t even know I needed.

    I will pray for you.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! I had my first four children in 4 1/2 years. There were 15 mo. between #1 & #2, 20 mo. between #2 & #3, and 19 mo. between #3 & #4. It wasn't easy, but I made it through. (I have six children today!)

    I began reading your blog a couple months ago. I am a Protestant, but my best friend of 20 years is a Catholic. We've had many conversations about the differences between Catholic and Protestant teachings and beliefs. Circumstances in my life have caused me to reevaluate what I believe about the Church. Your blog has encouraged me to search for truth and given me a lot to think about. I also identify with you since I was in your shoes about 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my fourth baby. You have great faith in God and a great attitude about all the work and exhaustion involved in being a pregnant mom of three small children.

    God bless you, Amy

  88. Christine the Soccer Mom says:

    Jen, I just read this today…congratulations! I’m very happy for you, and I also understand your anxiety. Be assured that you’re going onto my intentions list in my Missal.

  89. RedSalamander says:

    Congratulations on little blessing #4! I only have three myself; but my 3rd was a complete and utter surprise and since I could pinpoint the ONE day that month when she possibly could have been conceived, I knew she was God’s idea, not mine! She was the EASIEST of all my babies and such a joy so clearly He knows what he is doing. Anyway there are a few BIG families in my neighborhood — one with 5 kids, one with 7 kids, and one with 8 kids, and they all told me that anything above 3 is a wash. “If you can handle 3, you can handle 7 — you just set a few more places at the dinner table!” is how one put it.

  90. Wendy says:

    Congratulations and God bless you! I had my 4th when my oldest was 4. I also have problems with nausea, weight gain, veins and pregnancy, but my veins are not nearly as bad as yours. I remember the feeling when I saw the second pink line: how can I do it?

    I just want to say how grateful I am now for that baby. I can’t say it was easy.

    If, at that time, I could have picked a time for pregnancy, I would have said “not now”.

    But if I had the choice with what I know now: who she would be, how our family would be affected, how I had to grow, I would do it.

    I’m glad I let God make the call.

    You will be blessed with so much joy from this child!

    I would also ask you to rethink using the pay pal button as a donation. Pray about it. Maybe this is how God would like to provide for the medical bills.

    You have been a blessing to us, we would also like to care for you.

  91. The Koala Bear Writer says:

    Praying for sure. Congratulations! I have one, and am still not sure when I’ll be ready for number two. :) Yet God does provide, so I can’t wait to see what he has in store for you. For example… friends of ours have two, expecting a third. She’s a SAHM. He’s working on his doctoral thesis, has a part-time job. Money is tight. BUT… he can apply for parental benefits from the government (thanks, Canada!) that will help them with the bills. So the baby is really coming at a good time for them! God’s plan is amazing.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and best of luck, Jen! I’ll be praying for you and your family.

    –Elizabeth B.

  93. Jon says:

    Congratulations.

    What you mentioned about the challenges that come with this new child remind me of a history of the Catholic Church in modern Ireland. It also reminded me that, while children are always a blessing, they are also a curse a disturbing amount of the time.

    Jon

  94. heidi says:

    Obviously, Congrats. I’ve been following along for awhile but not said anything, even though you seem to mirror my thoughts but voice them more succinctly.

    This is an area my DH and I struggle. We believe in NVP and we had decided to just let God plan our family. WE’ve just had our 4th child in June and we just don’t really know where to go next. It’s hard to NFP when certainn things haven’t returned. It’s often in my thoughts – what if I turn up PG again?? The mere thought right now sends me into a panic, but I always come back to something I said to my husband once “Either you Trust Him, or you don’t. Decide.” Trusting is often a scary thing because it feels so vulnerable, an no one likes to be vulnerable.

    Anyway, I have a tendancy to ramble, as you can see.

    Thanks, once again, for voicing my thoughts and making me think.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Jen, congrats and hang in there, all at once. Just wanted to call your attention to a new anticoagulant that should be hitting the market in ’09, should the FDA fast track it.
    It’s an oral – I assume you’re on Lovenox, if you’re getting shots now – so hopefully this might offer some relief for your clotting condition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivaroxaban

  96. Jodi says:

    Congrats and may God shower you & your family with many comforting & peaceful graces!! I had 3 kids in 4 years (on purpose) and I know just how crazy daily life can be with lots of young blessings running around.

    I love your site! It has given me so much to think about as someone who has recently returned to the Catholic faith. THANK YOU. BLESS YOU.

  97. Katie says:

    Congratulations! You and your growing family will be in our prayers :)

  98. patjrsmom says:

    Prayers for you and your growing family! May God continue to bless you in many *surprising* ways!!!

    God Bless,
    Jane

  99. Shannon says:

    Congratulations, and all the best to you and your family. I know it can sometimes be hard to accept that this is God’s plan for you and that God knows best, but I’m sure this will all work out eventually. It might be very trying for a while, but I’m confident that you will come out of the other side of this better and stronger than you ever have been before.

  100. Courageous Grace says:

    Congrats are in order! It seems like just yesterday you gave birth to baby #3. You are going to be in my prayers every day for the next nine months. God bless you.

  101. Someone Being Me says:

    Wow, congratulations! 4 is a lot to handle but at least you have all the gear. When are you due?

  102. Melissa says:

    congratulations! I’m telling you it’s the diet. it gets me every time ;)

  103. Renee says:

    When I found out I was pregnant with #4 I was surprised I thought fertility was suppose to decline. Now that baby is 7 weeks old… we’re in a routine I couldn’t imagine not having him.

  104. elizabethe says:

    Hi Jen,

    if you don’t want to put up a paypal tip jar, you should see if you can do what many other bloggers do and have an Amazon link where if people click through to Amazon from your site and buy anything at all you get a small commission. You recommend plenty of books, so it would be a natural fit for your site. People want to give back for all you give to them — which is not nothing, to say the least!

  105. lyrl says:

    I’m used to seeing surprise pregnancy posts over at the Ovusoft boards, where the focus is on the woman’s charts. It’s always a learning experience, both about common mistakes (so hopefully I’ll be able to help others avoid them in the future), and about accepting that “trying to avoid”, even when all the rules are understood and followed, doesn’t mean pregnancy won’t happen!

    So of course my reaction upon reading this is wanting to see your charts :p. But I think by sharing your experiences, you are offering your readers a much deeper learning experience about accepting fertility. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

  106. lyrl says:

    Oh, and ditto to the other posters on offering ways for your readers to support you. I really appreciate the lack of ads on your site, but something like Veronica’s “I recommend” sidebar to Amazon, or the CafePress sidebar at a leftist blog I read would probably be welcomed by your readers.

  107. Suzanne Temple says:

    For me, it was numbers four and five. I had checked the “unexpected blessing” box with number four and been a good sport, but he wasn’t yet four months old when I found myself looking at those lines again with shock.

    I won’t say it was easy. I struggled and was overwhelmed, but not for too, too long. The most difficult part was over within a year and I learned some important lessons and I am a better person for it.

    Also, those two are such a joy! (I often say I’d love them just as much even if they weren’t my own) Their sweet personalities pulled me through one day to the next and before I knew it the baby was going on three years old and I didn’t want it to end. We prayed for a new baby and are happily expecting number six.

    Life really does get easier as the family gets older, even just by a few months or years. My body is tired this time around, but overall this pregnancy is so so much easier than those last two. I have help, support, love, experience, and five sons eagerly expecting their new brother. We recently got everyone out of diapers. I’m so glad it’s not over.

  108. Suzanne Temple says:

    One last thing, we’re now adding you to our list of expectant moms we pray for daily. Congratulations!

  109. matthew archbold says:

    Congrats. When we announced our fourth, my in-laws actually said “OH NO!!!!!!!!” And then they told us they were happy.
    Congrats.

  110. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin says:

    I’ll have to start paying closer attention to your site now. See, if you do find a crisis pregnancy center you trust, I’ll just have to add it to my the Blegroll.

  111. Jenny says:

    Hi Jen,

    We just got our computer up and running in Va after our move. How happy I was to see this post. You and your family will be in my prayers. My 4 year old prays for “all the mama’s with babies in their tummies” every night.

    Jenny

  112. Kathryn says:

    I also have a clotting disorder and do the anticoagulation shots in the stomach, your right it is no picnic. I’ve had 9 kids though, and some have been just like this one for you a total “how did this happen” surprise! I white knuckled it through the rough spots and Grace was on tap form above and I can honestly say I would relive each and every high risk pregnancy. You’ll feel the same way too when all the morning sickness passes and the shots become old news again. My hematologist was not pro my being pregnant so going to see him was never easy to adjust to. I’m praying for you and if you ever find this comment buried underneath so many wonderful well wishers your welcome to email me anytime since your the only other blogger I know with this disorder, I figured I might be one of the few who have commented on your blog.
    Kathryn
    petekathryn@embarqmail.com

  113. mercifuljuliana says:

    Jennifer,

    Congratulations! I am relatively new to your blog, and I’m really enjoying reading it. My name is also Jennifer, but I post under “Juliana,” my Chrismation name.

    I also have Factor V Leiden (with protein C resistance). I’ve had 4 DVT’s. My husband and I adopted our son (so far, our only child). I am a convert to the Orthodox Church.

    God Bless!
    Juliana

  114. Anne (aussieannie) says:

    A hearty congratulations to you Jennifer! Offering memorares for a good pregnancy and a blessed birth and baby!

  115. Pipsylou says:

    Congratulations! ;)

    I must say, I am thoroughly convinced that NFP is as good a path to pregnancy as any! My husband was trying to convince me but I was stubborn. You and your husband are the 4th couple just this year I’ve heard of who have gotten pregnant using NFP!

    I am so excited for you! And exhausted! And excited!

    I love your blog!

  116. Catherine says:

    Congratulations on the new pregnancy, Jennifer! I will remember you and your health issues in my prayers. In all your spare time :),you may want to look into classical homeopathy as a possiblility for your clotting disorder. Homeopathy is a healing modality that has the capability to heal otherwise incurable conditions, as has happened in my family. Check out http://www.impossiblecure.com. Peace and God bless!

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