For the last six months or so, my kids have been asking for a baby brother, and it just melts my heart. How sweet that is to ask for another person to love and play with! They specifically want a boy “to make things fair” since the girls currently outnumber the boys in our family. When they ask, I tell them that God sends babies, and it’s up to Him if He wants us to have a baby boy. They don’t realize that their parents are a bit older than most of their friends’ parents and that another baby is unlikely for us. If I were a bit younger, I’d be hoping for that baby right along with them. Rose is two and a half now, and sometimes I find myself longing for a little baby to snuggle on my chest. But I’m also tired.
When I was expecting Rose, my doctor never seemed to let an opportunity pass to bring up my age. I wanted to tell him that I come from a long, direct maternal line of healthy women having healthy babies later in life. My great-great-grandmother had 13 children (all girls!), giving birth to her youngest at the age of 51. My great-grandmother gave birth to the first recorded triplets in Syracuse, although one of the little girls died after just a few minutes, and then had my great-aunt Betty nine years later when she was well into her thirties. My grandma (one of the triplets) had five children, all but one of them born after her 35th birthday. In fact, she had my uncle Ed when she was 47. She always said that when God sends a baby, you accept a baby as a gift. Then there’s my mom. She had her fourth child, my sister Emily, just a couple of weeks before her 40th birthday. All this means that I know it can be done, and I trust that I would have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
One night when Rose was an infant, I was rocking her to sleep and, at first, thinking about how tired I was from taking care of an infant, a three-year-old, and a five-year-old all day. Then I started to think about two of my cousins, who had each recently buried a young daughter. All of a sudden, it hit me hard how blessed I was, and I realized that there were much, much worse things that could happen in my life than having another baby in my forties.
My children will probably continue to ask for a baby brother, and I will continue to smile and tell them that the decision is in God’s hands and mean it. I may not be asking Him for another baby at this point in my life but if He wants to surprise me, I will accept His gift as my grandma did.