I had never heard the voice of God quite like I did on a cold night in February 2008. You might not believe me, but bear with me here. I walked into a CVS Pharmacy to pick up a prescription and had this crazy urgency to pick up a pregnancy test. I thought that I was going crazy, but I headed to the family planning aisle. I had no reason to, though…so I thought.
I bought the test and headed home. I processed this bizarre purchase out loud all the way home. “You are a fool.” “What are you thinking?” “Don’t be silly.” “Greg will think you are losing your mind.”
Once I got home, I secretively slipped into the bathroom, removed the package, and peed on the stick. What I saw next took my breath away: two very vibrant pink lines indicating that I was indeed pregnant. I grabbed the instructions again because there must have been a mistake. There was no way that I could have been pregnant…right? I was on a pill and nursing. I re-read the instructions to make sure that I allowed proper time for everything, laid the stick just right, hadn’t tainted it before the process, etc. Nope. I followed protocol. I was shocked, but not as shocked as I imagined my husband would be in about five minutes when I worked up the courage to tell him.
I walked out of the bathroom, peeked into my baby’s bedroom to make sure he was sleeping soundly, and found my husband. He was watching TV, so I asked if we could chat back in the bedroom. I sat on the bed, and he stood. I strongly urged him to have a seat somewhere. With a confused look on his face, he sat on the floor.
“Honey, I’m just going to go ahead and rip off the Band-Aid here. We are pregnant!”
Insert stunned silence. To this day I wish that I had a photo of his face.
That night we stared at each other a lot. My tears were unstoppable. My husband put his head in his hands. For the most part we are planners, and this was so not planned…by us anyway. God always knows what He’s doing, and His plans are perfect.
That night my husband went to a pharmacy and bought two more pregnancy tests just to make sure (by the way, he thought that I was pranking him with the stick I used from our first pregnancy). Sure enough, after taking another test that night and one in the morning, those two lines hit us with our reality.
We had a baby, and we were going to be having another one. They would be 17 months apart. Yikes!
I called the OB/GYN the next morning.
“Uh, hello. Um…this is Lyndsey Hulen. I’m a patient there. Um…I think I’m pregnant. I mean, I KNOW I’m pregnant. Well, I need to make sure. I have a baby, so I have been there recently. I’m just not sure how this happened. Okay, obviously I know how it happens. I mean, we weren’t planning on this.”
The receptionist interrupted me because I was like a runaway train.
“Ma’am, you know, not all pregnancies are planned. Babies happen.”
But not to me. I had charts, planners, calendars, and books for our first baby.
She was right, though. Babies happen.
It was a happy accident.
I wish that I could tell you that being pregnant (in the summer, nonetheless) while wrangling a baby was easy, but it wasn’t. Thank goodness for splash pads, pools, and Sonic Happy Hour.
Our next surprise was that our daughter, Josey Micah, arrived a month early, just like her brother. Yes, if you are doing the math, my oldest two are actually 16 months apart, not 17. She was a healthy and beautiful baby girl, whom her 16-month-old brother adored immediately. One bonus in this “having babies on top of each other” was that our oldest, Colton, was so young that he really didn’t know what hit him. He was intrigued by her.
That next year (and the couple following), was a whirlwind of nursing and changing diapers (lots of them)! To be honest, that’s all I really did. I survived. Like the Survivor reality TV show, I had an isolated location (my house) with grueling challenges (nursing a baby while reading to a 16-month-old). Unlike the TV show, however, I never got immunity from those challenges, and I was never eliminated. Even in my weakened, sleep-deprived state, however, I was somehow always victorious. I’ve told many people that having twins would have been easier.
While my first child had multiple scrapbooks and a baby book, detailing his every milestone, my poor daughter got next to nothing. I didn’t record much, and I sure as heck don’t remember much. I did take photos, though, and gosh, I loved to dress her up in all the pink, all the ruffles, and all the bows.
Fast forward to today, and we are doing more than surviving: We are thriving.
At the time when I was juggling two babies around, I couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel. There were some rough days. Now I look at my nine-year-old and my soon-to-be eight-year-old, and I’m glad that they are close. Sure they fight like any other siblings (and believe me, she can hold her own), but I would say they play together more often than they fight. Though she might not say it out loud, Josey adores her big brother, and cares for him deeply. She is always thinking about him. Whether we are at the grocery store or the doctor’s office, if she is offered a sucker or a sticker and her brother isn’t there, she always asks for extras for him.
While I have learned many things about motherhood in the nine years I have had children (now we’re up to three kids…and done), those first few years of having babies so close together taught me the most.