Never an Accident

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Jessie in SimplyBe maternity pants

It was right around two years ago that I found out I was carrying around an unsuspected visitor in my abdomen. Having just returned from a vacation to the Outer Banks where I was in my best friend’s wedding, in the weeks prior I had: drank wine, taken Aleve and muscle relaxers for my back problems, been in a hot tub, and probably 18 other things you’re not supposed to do pregnant. After spending a whole day in bed sleeping – which I chalked up to recuperating from the trip – I woke up the next morning after having a vivid dream, the kind I only have when I am pregnant. And I knew, right away.

I didn’t tell Mr. V until I took a test that afternoon, and you can read about the very subtle way I announced it to him here. It was a manic day anyway, and I was upset. Angry. With my PCOS, it SHOULDN’T be that easy to get pregnant. We were practicing natural family planning, but my cycles are kind of crazy, not to mention I was still nursing David when we got pregnant. Only a few cycles in, I was still trying to figure out how NFP worked for me.

Newborn Joshua

Everything about Joshua has been a surprise, from his conception to his gender – I was SURE he was a Katie – to his relatively easy birth compared to my other two. I’ve been surprised by his personality, how he is like and unlike his brother and sister, by his unwillingness to eat solids until 9 months, by the way he used mommy like a teething ring. As a third child, you may think there wouldn’t be much left to surprise me about parenting … but you would be wrong. Because when they say each child is different, whoever “they” are, they’re right.

Nothing about him, though, was an accident.


I’ve written before that I’m not sure we would have taken the leap willingly into three-child territory. But Joshua’s place in our family has been perfect. He is a laid-back, extremely happy little guy. He entertains his siblings and lets them entertain him. He naps well and often, and sleeps at night. While Libbie is an extreme extrovert and has zero attention span and David is an introvert and very focused, Joshua rests in the middle. He embraces activities with enthusiasm, sometimes playing with cars for half an hour and sometimes listening to three words of a book before bounding away. He is mischievous in a way neither of my other two have been.

Looking at our Joshy’s sweet, smiling face, I find it hard to believe that at one time I wasn’t at all excited to hear about his presence. Joshua makes our family better, happier, sillier. I know that his existence is no accident but a gift from God, whose timing far supersedes my plans.

Joshua's One Year Picture

What I want to say to other moms who might be facing unexpected pregnancies is this: pregnancy may be awful for you, or maybe you think you can’t handle another child, or afford one. But no matter how this baby was conceived, in love or hate or with perfect timing or what you find to be the worst timing conceivable … he or she exists for a reason. You will get through it, Mom. And I’m pretty sure some day you will sit back and realize what a blessing this unexpected child is to you.

(And if you’re in an impossible situation, I hope and pray that you will consider adoption, the greatest gift you can give another couple and that child.)

three kids on couch

7 thoughts on “Never an Accident

  1. My third was an unexpected surprise, too. She arrived 12 years after my second child (15 after my first) when I was at the ripe old age of 38. You read that right. Thirty-eight. I sneaked a peek at my chart when I was at one of many specialist appointments and saw the three letters “AMA” noted. I panicked at having yet another medical condition on top of migraines, hypertension (non-pregnancy related), sickness, etc., etc. and asked, “AMA?? What on earth is THAT?!” “Oh, that’s just advanced maternal age.” I sighed in relief and then cried. “Advanced…” Sigh. Number Three changed our lives completely, but we cannot imagine life without her. My surprise turns 10 in October.

    By the way, your children are absolutely beautiful.

  2. I have been there for sure! Now two years into having four, I still can’t get over how grateful I am that my IUD did not do it’s job. Gus is everything I never knew I wanted, and when people ask me if we just kept trying for a boy, I like to smile and say, “No, he’s a perfect gift from God.”

  3. We are expecting #3 this February and this post is so spot-on. I love how a cousin of mine once put it; yes, the pregnancy was a surprise, but also planned (by God).

    • Ooh, I didn’t know you were expecting again. Congratulations and my best wishes to your family. So true – what is a surprise to me is never a surprise to God!

  4. Love this! I’m pretty sure that I was the unexpected 3rd child. My parents did a good job of making sure I knew that I was no accident, just a wonderful surprise. Once my sister knew my mom was having a baby, she prayed every night (at 3 years old) for a sister. There I was – an answer to that prayer.

    My husband and I have chosen adoption to grow our family, and after our first little love, I believe we will choose it a second time. Still, I always wonder if God will choose a surprise for us at some point.

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