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Unexpectedly Expecting

Deep down, even when I was closing my eyes to avoid looking at the outcome, I knew. I knew with every fiber in my being what it was going to say...

Birth order. photo by kmphotography

1 hour previously:

There I was. Standing in the CVS aisle at 9pm looking at pregnancy tests. I honestly never thought I'd be buying yet another over-priced pee stick again. I had four beautiful children. I was done. We had talked about being done. Yet there I was. Just staring at dozens of options. Plus sign vs. two lines? Digital? Should I buy a multi-pack? After seriously considering driving to the Dollar Store instead of paying for this nonsense, I grabbed a box and headed to the checkout counter. Added a bottle of water for good measure. 

Driving home, I already knew. While math is not my strong suit, I calculated the dates. We had traveled over Thanksgiving and I had packed supplies that I never used -- which was already two weeks ago. 

Sneaking past my husband of sixteen years and father of the four previously mentioned children was no easy feat. But managing to actually pee on the test was an even greater one. Seconds ticked by.  {Deep down, even when I was closing my eyes to avoid looking at the outcome, I knew. I knew with every fiber in my being what it was going to say ... }  My heart raced, my hands trembled. I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing. And when I finally opened up my eyes, there were definitely two solid blue lines staring right back at me. Yep. Confirmation of what I already knew.

I burst into tears.

Honestly, I'm not sure how long I leaned on my bathroom wall crying. Long enough that as my tears silently streamed down my face, I slowly slid to the floor. My tears became sobs and my sobs finally dried up into a stuffy nose and an aching chest. Long enough to know that no matter how many times I shook the test in my hand, the outcome was not going to change. 

Eventually I emerged from the bathroom to tell Ryan. As he glanced up from his book, he took one look at my face and knew sometime was wrong. But then he also glanced down at my hand, and began to smile. Which set my own tears off again. Ryan, bless his heart, was confused. And really so was I. I already loved this baby inside me. Yet, I was so mad. I found myself unexpectedly expecting. I probably slightly scared Ryan with my hormonal outburst, but he was so great. He let me talk through my sadness and my madness. You see, I had previously joked with a friend that we were in a sweet spot of parenting -- "everyone is potty trained and no one is dating." 

All my little loves in one place. photo by kmphotography

But what happens when your life's blessings get multiplied? To be honest, it took a few weeks to get used to the idea. We kept it between us for a long time --- letting the knowledge just simmer and take root. Previously, I had four fantastic pregnancies. Asher, my second, is my rainbow baby. Four times I carried all of them past their due dates with fairly easy (induced) labors. So it wasn't the idea of expecting again that was so overwhelming. Or of labor and delivery. It was the idea that our seemingly smooth lives would be changed. Unexpectedly changed. 

The confused mad/sad feeling didn't last too long. My close friends and family that we told early on were SO SUPPORTIVE and so excited (with some hilarious reactions to my news). I quickly got caught up with Ryan's and their excitement. And telling my other four kiddos really solidified my joy and excitement: seeing them so happy to be getting a new baby brother or sister made all of my doubts and confusion fade away. Our family could totally do this.

22 wks 4 days. photo by kmphotography

I am now 23 weeks unexpectedly expecting and more completely in love with this little human that I ever thought possible. Through this experience, I gained an empathy for women who find themselves also unexpectedly expecting as well. When our lives not only throw a curve ball into our plans, but that curveball is life itself, it's overwhelming and scary. Luckily, I have an amazing support group around me -- my husband, children, family, and close friends. But I often think about those women who face their pregnancies alone, with courage. 

#parishpartyofseven. photo by kmphotography

My unexpected pregnancy turned into the biggest expected blessing. It's said that the greatest things in life aren't things. It's also said some of those greatest things are surprises. Well, if you'd have told me that we'd be adding number "fiver" to our family this year, I would've called you crazy. But what's not surprising is that this unexpected pregnancy is a blessing that is beyond words. 

So here I am... unexpectedly expecting... #parishpartyofseven. I'm so happy that this time if I'm seen crying, it's most definitely tears of joy.

My family. photo by kmphotography



Follow Lori's pregnancy and delivery on our Instagram account. Over the course of the next four months, join us on her journey as she has pre-natal appointments at various Memphis facilities, including Launch Chiropractic, Fit4Mom, Sundara Wellness, The Blissful Womb, and her own OBGYN, Dr. Laura Engbreston. She'll also be highlighting various pregnancy and new mom gear, baby equipment, mom must-haves, and of course, pregnancy cravings.


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