Foreword to Another New Life

Today we heard our new child’s heartbeat for the first time and I am having trouble describing what went through my head in that moment. Joy. Relief. Hope. Fear. Excitement. It was a mixture of all those things, but those words seem to be only snatches at what was going on.

It’s funny because we have been here before—the heartbeat, the pregnancy, the baby—and yet there is still this feeling of awe. I still have to ask myself whether all of this is real. I know all the real world explanations for what’s going on here. I have experienced this before and yet it still feels like something imbued deeply with an almost magical quality. When EA was pregnant with Jim, I used to say that he felt like something we picked up after a jaunt to Narnia. It feels that way again yet different at the same time. There is a person growing inside of EA. It’s ridiculous.

Even though we have been here before, I do not feel like a seasoned veteran. I have watched our happy, healthy two year old ramble through the house and wondered aloud, “How did we pull this off last time?” I know that we’ve gotten him to this point (and I also know that there is a whole, whole lot more to go), but I couldn’t exactly break down for you how it worked. We’re going to be doing it again. Plus, this time we can’t double team the kid. We have to play man-to-man. It makes me antsy but a good kind of antsy.

As a consumer and commenter on pop culture, there is this temptation for me to talk about this new life in the context of sequels. But this child isn’t a sequel. He or she will be something completely new and different, which is good. As wonderful and awesome as Jim is, I don’t want a sequel to him. As much as the world needs a Jim, it will need whoever this baby becomes. I look forward to all the different ways in which our new child is wonderful and awesome. Plus I also look forward to how our baby will be similar to and interact with his or her older brother. One of my biggest prayers is that they will love and protect each other through everything. I know that has been a huge blessing in my own life.

I am scared and excited to see what happens. Scared because there are no guarantees in life. Previous experience has taught me that. Plus, raising a child is an enormous responsibility. The absolute last thing that I want to do is to screw this up.

But I am still excited more than anything else. I look forward to seeing his or her eyes for the first time. I can’t wait to hear them squeal in delight, to hear them laugh. I can’t believe that I get to watch another life discover the world. I can’t wait to see the way that a new child lights up a room. I look forward to his or her rambling commentaries on the world.

And I can’t wait for these experiences even though I know things are going to be difficult. Even though my idea of parenthood is slightly less idealized than it was the first time around, my enthusiasm isn’t tempered. Even though I know that there are going to be late nights and crying and a seemingly impossible amount of poop, I look forward to EA and I experiencing another adventure.

So please keep us in your prayers. Pray that EA and this wonderful gift will stay healthy and safe. Pray that God will give us the wisdom and patience to raise both our children to be compassionate individuals that love God and love everyone they encounter. Also, not as big picture important but it matters nonetheless, pray that we can get Jim potty-trained by spring because we’d really prefer not to change the diapers for two kids.

And Baby—that is what we are calling you until we know whether you are a boy or a girl—if you ever come across this, know that you are loved. Though you are so small and inside your mom, though the only thing that we’ve heard from you is a heartbeat and the only thing that we have seen of you is a fuzzy picture on an ultrasound, you are loved more than you could ever imagine. I hope that is something that you know all the days of your life. We can’t wait to meet you and there are a lot more people that love you who feel the same. We are blessed that we get to be a part of your life.

Numbers Can Lie

Multiple Endings