When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child I was scared. Our son was just six months old and we were still adjusting to the fact that he had Down Syndrome.
Would this child also have some sort of special need? How would I be able to truly care for both of them? Surely someone is going to be neglected. Will I love another child more or less?
We had talked about having more children, but it was always way down the road, like after Mason learned to walk, and maybe once he was potty trained. But here we were with a baby who still couldn't roll over at six months, and another one on the way.
That pregnancy was filled with ups and downs emotionally as I anticipated the arrival of that little girl. There was relief when we found out all the prenatal testing came back negative. But, then there was also guilt over feeling relieved.
When I arrived at the hospital on the day I was to be induced, they admitted me to the same room where Mason had been born. All the memories came flooding back, and when the doctors arrived for the delivery, I made sure they knew to examine my daughter closely for any signs of anything that might not be normal.
And then that moment came when we welcomed our baby girl into the world.
It was just as wonderful and exciting as the previous three times. We loved her with the same love, rejoiced in her precious life, and waited excitedly for the day we could bring her home.
Today our baby girl is seven months old.
We've had seven precious months of watching another life grow and develop. Seven months of watching our oldest girls wonder and exclaim over her. Seven months of watching our son with Down Syndrome adore his baby sister.
My fears have been lifted.
Mason is quick to comfort Jennavieve when she cries. He scoots himself over to her and carefully lays his head on her tummy. He brings her toys when she has none. They have started 'talking' to one another, copying sounds and squeals.
Yes, it's challenging having two babies who can't walk and some days I grow sad over the developmental delays in Mason when I see his younger sister quickly catching up.
I wouldn't want it any other way.
My children are learning to love and serve others.
I am learning to love and serve and to rejoice in the little achievements of my children.
Most importantly, I'm learning to desperately depend on God.
And as I depend on Him, I find joy and wonder even in my most challenging moments. Not because it's easier, but because He is becoming greater and more precious to me.