My husband and I had just gotten married. Though I was certain I was ready for my responsibilities as a wife, I didn’t feel I was near ready for all the responsibilities tied to motherhood. My husband’s agreement to hold off on starting a family assured me that he felt the same. We wanted time to purse degrees, grow professionally, and enjoy each other as newlyweds. So we decided on a five-year plan–five years of marital bliss and then children. I jokingly say our five-year plan lasted about five minutes.
In early December, just a few short weeks after our “I do’s,” a home pregnancy test revealed what I already knew and feared in my heart. I was pregnant and terrified. I’ve heard it said that the best way to make God laugh is to tell him YOUR plans.
I sat in church the next Sunday feeling as though I must be one of the most unprepared women of all time to find myself in the early stages of motherhood. The readings started, and I’m sure it was no coincidence that we heard the story of Gabrielle announcing to Mary that she would bear a child. How scared must she have been? The implications of her pregnancy were far greater than mine. I was so comforted to know that the mother of God knew my fear. I also found comfort in knowing that just like Mary’s pregnancy, mine, too, was divine. This baby wasn’t my plan, but it was God’s.
The weeks passed, and in August of 2009, we welcomed Eleanor Marie to our family. As I grasped the reality of our pregnancy, I knew our baby would bring us endless joy and fill our family with an indescribable love. I knew she would fill a gap that we hadn’t even recognized. She did just that!
These were blessings we had counted on. Our pregnancy and the birth of our daughter also blessed me in unexpected ways. I grew in trust and faith as we turned our plan over to God. We have also been blessed with an amazing journey. We thought our plan was pretty good, but the path of parenthood that we have been sent down is far more amazing than anything we could have planned for ourselves. This new direction to our lives, along with my personal growth, were unexpected blessings from our unexpected pregnancy.
Our family has continued to grow. We celebrated our five-year anniversary last fall and now have three children. We have been blessed in abundance by their mere existence, by the love they have brought to our family, and by countless unexpected blessings in our parenting journey.