I didn’t get there in time to leave comments. And it’s too bad, because I have a few.

What is it that makes people make comments about the (past your second) pregnancy? Because I’ve been reading a lot about that. Me, I’m on number two, so everyone is giving me the “Oh, YES! It’s time for the next one!” And often, the addendum, “Bet you are hoping for a boy!”

Well, no. Actually, I am praying for healthy. That’s it. Healthy. Gender is negotiable, and I suppose health is too. With the support we have around here, God will get us through it. But gender’s not even on my top five list of concerns. Nope.

If I’m ever pregnant with number six, though, I hope I have the grace to consider the joy, as Michelle does. I hope that I don’t turn red in the face, as I could feel myself getting just reading about, on the one hand, the question about whether she knows about the Pill and what causes that (which aren’t exactly new to me, so why the red face?), and, on the other hand, the open sharing of how that’s all “taken care of” (tubes tied, vasectomies, etc.) (because that’s not exactly a new topic or a new development in our standard everyday parlance of societal conversation either).

Do they really want to hear about how much we love our children? Would they possibly understand how awestruck I am whenever I hold a newborn? How fascinated I am by their sweet smells and ultra soft skin?

Or would they rather hear of my love of the Church and my trust in her wisdom? How being open to new life with every procreative act has deepened my intimacy with my husband? How my respect for myself and my sexuality (and also my respect for the dignity of all people) has matured through the use of NFP? How I have discovered that in all the world the only institution that has stood solidly and consistently for centuries against behavior that hurts both the individual and society is the Catholic Church and that to ignore her teachings on human relations is foolish and destructive?

Or do they want to learn about how I love my vocation of motherhood? How with every child I become less selfish and self-centered? How I have learned to surrender all my thoughts, words, desires and actions to do what is best for the family (and by extension, all of society) not just me?

I’ve asked my MIL many times how she did it with six kids, and I’ve wondered if I would ever be asked the same. And, contemplating my fears about this pregnancy (which have as much to do with my own sad level of patience as anything else), I heard a whisper the other day. With every cross, My grace. With every blessing, My grace. With everything I ask of you, My grace. I carry through the valley, dear child, and I give you joy. Lean on me.

So, Michelle, my biggest salute to you for saying “YES!” to God with style, and for treating the barbs as opportunities. I am so very, very happy for you (as I am for all the others of you who are expecting). These babies are blessings. Scared though we may be, unprepared though the birth may find us, unpaved though the road may sometimes be…this is God’s blessing for us.