The littlest

There was Sassafras.

And then there was Pearl.

When we arrived home after almost six weeks in Africa, we were fortunate that I was able to stay home with Pearl for the first four months. It was hard on us financially but completely necessary to help with bonding and attachment.

In that crazy and hard first few months, a statement straight out of Bizarro World rang forth in my kitchen:

I wanted a baby.

Um yeah, cray cray.

I had a baby

(well, a toddler). And a four year old. And hey, that toddler had some pretty intense needs. So okay, yeah, it took me a while to figure it out, but that wanting of a baby had more to do with my grieving Pearl's babyhood than it did actually wanting a baby.

Life was crazy, y'all. But so were we. So the vessel of "let's have a baby" left the harbor...and the crew abandoned ship pretty doggone quickly.

I blame the laundry pile.

And eventually, well, The Captain and I kind of just forgot about the intense effort of it all. "Trying..." sure. But not at all like with Sassafras. We were pursuing life with all we had, loving our girls best we knew how, and easing into our new normal. We were trying to figure out the issues of this one and the issues of that one, and then mama decided that there wasn't enough crazy in the house so I went back to school. Again.

What? I like the learnin'.

It was in the middle of the most ridiculous statistics class known to man, just at the perfectly worst possible moment in my brain's life, that suddenly there were too many days on the calendar, that my mama health app started honking about lateness and such.

As if

, I scoffed.

When I finally broke down and took a test, it told me exactly the opposite of what I just knew to be true: Sweet Love was on the way. She was Joshua, or maybe Jacob, or maybe something else very manly, because, in fact (my body and brain told me)

this baby was a boy

.

We let the girls send out a cute video to family, then we slowly leaked word to friends as we were able. The sense of shock that covered us was, I tell you, indescribable.

Matter of fact, there are still some days I look down at that sweet baby and am amazed that she is here, absolutely in awe of His timing for her.

A wretched sickness and difficult pregnancy finally gave way to Sweet Love's Birth Day. Although we had anticipated physical issues and had a few different plans set in place, my favorite was the one that took root.

Reality was a thousand times better than my best hoped-for plan

, because at the very last moment the doctor invited The Captain to help deliver his third daughter. That she took her first breaths in her daddy's hands, that he was the one to place her on my chest, that together we cleaned her off and encouraged her to see her new world, and all on her mama's birthday...

It was without question one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

Our littlest, our Sweet Love, has been the most precious little shock of a blessing to The Captain and I thus far. We adore her timing, we love her sweetness, and we treasure the sweet bond of sisterhood that she shares with her Sass and Pearl.

Even if it is her fault I drive a minivan.

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