Rabon, Party of Five?!

Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot has happened since October when I last updated this blog (holy cow that’s a long time). When I last wrote, Abigail was 3 months old, Jonathan was just starting preschool and I was trying to figure out how to have two kids.

Since then, Jonathan has graduated preschool, where he loved every second of being with other kids and learning all kinds of cool things. He is headed to Kindergarten in NINE DAYS. That’s a milestone in parenting that seemed really far away, but here we are, buying school supplies and filling out forms for his first year of elementary school. We’re like… adultier adults now. Life will now be shaped by school days and schedules. He’s been counting down the days for over a week and each morning he tells me how many days until he starts. I’m really excited for him. The school we were able to enroll him in is super small, and they have the smallest student:teacher ratio in Douglas County. He’ll be in a mixed K/1 classroom, which I think he will love because he always gravitates towards older kids. I feel like it’ll be a great fit for him, and that he’ll be able to be challenged and known well with such a small class.

Abigail just turned a year old on June 27 and is such a joy. She’s got 12 (with two more coming in) teeth, walks everywhere, and we’re starting to dabble in pigtails so she’s looking SO big. She loves all food and is known to steal some of anyone’s that she can get her hands on. True to her name (Abigail means my Father’s joy), she has Stephen wrapped around her little finger and definitely knows it. If I ask her if she wants to send her dad a picture at work, she turns the charm up to an 11 and poses for maximum impact. When he walks in the door after work, she will stop literally anything she is doing to show him just how excited she is to see him with a huge smile and near-run to the door. She is starting to open up to being with other people more, which is fun to watch. She loves her baby dolls and making all of us give them kisses. She loves to dance to country music (especially as Jonathan sings along to it) and is just so fun.

The craziest and most unexpected thing yet happened back in May, when we found out that our family was going to grow even more!

To say that we were surprised would be an understatement. We had left the door open to have more kids – we didn’t feel “done” as they say you someday will when your family is complete. But, because we had had such a hard time getting pregnant with Jonathan and Abigail, we had decided not to intentionally “try” again, but just not to prevent. Trying for almost 2-2.5 years each time left me feeling depressed and defeated and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go back to that place again. I spent literal years of my life feeling inadequate and unfulfilled, and my husband, my kids, and myself deserve better than that. We felt very strongly that we wanted Jonathan to have a sibling, and that it truly was part of God’s plan for our family. Abigail has been the perfect answer to that prayer, and if we ended up with just those two amazing kids, we would be content.

I honestly thought (and was mentally preparing myself for that conversation) that we would ultimately have to make the hard decision that it was time to shut down the possibility of having more kids. I assumed that it would take a few years to get pregnant, if we ever did. By then – in my late 30’s- we would pull the plug on the chance of our family growing further. I knew that although people do it every day, I didn’t want to still be having kids into my 40s.

But then, God. We can, without equivocation, say that each of our children have been 100% in God’s timing and never in ours. It’s funny to look back at when you were young and thinking of the timeline you foresaw for your life. I always pictured marrying young (early 20s) and having kids (2, roughly 2.5 years apart) starting in my mid-20s, being done by 30. Well, as Thomas Rhett sings, “You never know what’s gonna happen. You make your plans and you hear God laughing.” Stephen and I got married at 25, started trying for kids at 26 but didn’t actually have our first until I was 29. Abigail was born when I was 33 and here I am, soon to turn 35, and having a third, totally unexpected, but wholeheartedly cherished and hoped for child. It’s surreal, guys.

Despite the huge amount of sucking in the waiting portions, I take a lot of comfort in and honestly find it so cool now that God’s timing is the way things worked out. Because when He provides, He does so abundantly. I started working full time on May 1 of this year, which included full (better) benefits. We found out we were pregnant on May 11. My prenatal care, labor & delivery, and anything else that comes up will be covered by the best plan we have available instead of the high deductible plan I was on just a few weeks earlier. I now qualify for maternity leave as a full time employee, a benefit that the company just improved upon in a big way a few months ago. Working full time has put us in a great place financially (thanks to my amazing husband’s budgeting wizardry) and when this baby comes we’ll be in an even better spot. I am truly so thankful.

Perhaps the funniest part of all of this has been the reactions of our family and friends when we told them. We’ve gotten a lot of “are you serious” and “holy {expletive}” and “WHAT.” Frankly, all of those things crossed my mind in that second that I saw that second pink line (big thanks to King Soopers for letting me ClickList pregnancy tests, by the way. I wasn’t sure that was a thing you could do but you can and I’m a fan). I had this moment of “oh I should think of a cute way to tell Stephen,” but then I realized I was too shocked to do anything other than immediately grab him the second he came downstairs and show him the test. He asked if I was serious, to which I was like “yes, apparently I am.”

We visited the doctor a couple days later to make sure everything looked okay and see how far along we were since my cycle dates were unreliable so close to just having a baby, and they found the baby right away. They found the heartbeat right away. Which, if you’ve ever had a first appointment where they didn’t, was a HUGE relief. We were told we were 7 weeks along and everything looked good to go for a December arrival.

Honestly, I never saw it coming. Basic biology said it was possible, but that’s never really helped us before so I didn’t have any expectations. Some days I still don’t believe it’s really happening. But here we are, sitting at 18 weeks, starting to feel kicks each day, and just over two weeks from finding out the baby’s gender. A sweet surprise to be sure.

Now we’re looking at joining the ranks of those with a third row in their car to accommodate all these children we’re going to have and trying to figure out what the reality of having two kids under two will be like, in addition to a big Kindergarten boy. Life really is a crazy thing, guys. There are seasons of intense heartache, and seasons of the greatest joy. I am blessed that I have the best human in the world beside me for each of them because just as much as he led, guided and loved me through pain and grief, he’s here to celebrate our new addition and dying to feel that first kick from the outside. After seeing him with our first two babies, I just can’t wait to see him with our third. I’m glad God made me wait to marry him, because as the Jim Elliot quote goes, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”

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