The last Firsts

My whole life I wanted to be a mama. My interests and desires changed many times during high school and college…I mean at one point I wanted to be a DJ for a local rock radio station. But one thing has been consistent as far back as I can remember…being a mom.

God has blessed our family richly with 8 living children and 4 awaiting us in eternity. We’ve made no secret that we trust God with our family size and would take as many blessings as He would give. I thought, though, in my humanness that when the season of us having additional biological children came to an end it would be a mutual agreement between me and God. That I would ‘feel’ done and give Him permission to not give us anymore biological children. Isn’t that silly? That God would need or want my permission to do so.

Lily was 5 months old when Kerry was diagnosed with cancer. The radiation on his colon likely removed any chance of us getting pregnant again, but yet…I held out hope. I wasn’t ready to be done. I held on to my baby gear, the newborn clothes and home birth supplies “just in case”.

A few months ago I started to have some health issues that took me to my GYN doc. We tried conservative measures to treat, but the problems were ongoing. Last month I had a sonogram that revealed a number of issues that needed addressed. While I was given different options for treatment they would all mean my days of having babies were officially over. I wasn’t ready. As we prayed about the options, we felt very much like this was God closing the door on that chapter of our lives.

This week I had a hysterectomy to address my health concerns. This obviously completely closes the door on me ever giving birth again. It is sad to think of never going through a pregnancy or labor again, missing those newborn snuggles and introducing a new baby to their older siblings. As I unpacked boxes last week, I came across all of those saved baby things. I pulled out the baby blankets, onesies and tiny baby socks for the last time. I thanked God that I’d been able to use these for the children He’d gifted us with. I thanked God for the beauty of new life, for the lessons learned and whispered prayers in all those midnight feedings.

God’s goodness in giving us 8 healthy children is not lost on me. The fact that any pregnancy ever makes it to term is miraculous. All of the things that must go right to get pregnant, grow a baby and then give birth to that baby…they are incredible works at the hand of our loving and merciful God. As I sit here recovering from surgery, I am at peace. I am at peace with this chapter being over and I am forever grateful for the children I have.

I am sad too, but in a way that you’re sad when you’re leaving something you love behind, but are turning to look to the future and opening a new door. Our home and arms will always be open to any children God wishes to bring to our family through other means. We have long talked about opening our home to foster care and adoption and, in time, we will work towards that goal.

For now, we are entering a season we’ve never been in before…a season of last firsts. The last time we will experience the ‘firsts’ with our youngest child. We will be in a season without newborns, diapers and sleepless nights with a restless babe. We embrace what God has in store for us. We will continue to turn our eyes to Him and seek prayerfully what He would have us do as we raise our family. God has been gracious and merciful to us. We rejoice in raising our children and looking ahead.

PS…thank you to my friends who are in the newborn trenches for letting me hold your wee babies. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

4 thoughts on “The last Firsts

  1. That was a amazing story it made my heart skip a beat with love and joy for your family. Blessings for a great recovery.

  2. Erin,
    You are indeed a handmaiden of the Lord!
    Your faith & love of God is so inspiring.
    May our God keep you safe & bring peace

  3. Oh Erin you have so many joys ahead of you! I was sad when I knew my last was my last but now as I’m facing my last graduating high school there are so many fun firsts. The first to go to college, Our first married child, our first grand baby, our first baby dedication for a grand baby and so many more. Having adult children is so much fun when you get to switch from being the care giver to the life advice giver. And believe me it is just as sweet when you get to cuddle that grand baby for a night so momma can get some sleep! Enjoy every day but know there are so many sweet blessings still to come!!!

    1. This is such an encouragement! We look forward to what God has in store for us. It is very surreal and exciting all at the same time.

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