The babies are TWO.

My sweet little babies that once laid perfectly still … all three fitting on one swaddle blanket. Grunting and making fists and fighting against new eyes to see a tired world that was new and bright and so very loud and brilliant to them.

Now, the same swaddle blankets get carried to and fro on the same carpet they used to lay sweet and simple on. Those blankets are lovingly called “blanshies” by the teeth and lips of a lispy toddler. The same arms that used to so obediently wrap under those “monkey blankets”, as we used to call them, now reach for counters, open doors, put on their own boots, dump cups of water to wash their own hair, sometimes swat at a sibling and within the same breath reach for mama and say “hand.”

I guess those swaddle blankets are conditioned perfectly with love, season and trials for our new baby.

When we were given those perfectly rolled Aden & Anais blankets the first time around … I remember holding them close after being washed in Dreft and just thinking about how good they felt to me.

For me. Not really three babies that I hadn’t even met yet.

The first pregnancy was like a tiara for me. It was all about how special it was to carry life. The honor and miracle that was blessed upon my body and our marriage. It made me proud and slow and happy and nervous. Scott and I would talk about the future like two blind men that hoped they would one day see. We couldn’t feel, taste or touch any of it…

It was all about my vision as a mama. His hopes as a papa. How they would fit in our life.

As I sit here, 22 weeks pregnant with our fourth child – I am full of every emotion under the rainbow. Full of gratitude for God’s grace on our family. Exhausted from telling the same three kids to not do the same million things every day. Bored with laundry. Tempted and joyful to pick out new baby bedding (and relish in the fact I only have to BUY ONE!) Guilty the dishes sit. Happy we have food to eat. Sad from watching a commercial. Happy from watching a commercial. Afraid. Excited. And thinking about life in the present and life in the near present…

I realize, this time around… as I sit on the couch with my mid-afternoon snack dreaming in mind…(I mean, aren’t snacks one of the perks of carrying life??) this pregnancy… I have so much more than an empty, un-swaddled swaddle blanket to embrace.

I have a complete vision of what is at the end of the rainbow. Love. Long nights. Joy. Frustration. Poop. Vomit. Giggles from a chubby belly. Awkward first smiles. Wobbly sit ups. Ambitions of a new life. The secrets of a human spirit unfolding right in the privacy of your own messy, chaotic but wonderfully woven together home. The pit of my heart feels confident this time. Nervous, yes. But confident – even more.

I know so much will be different. And probably some the same. But one thing is different for sure, already: This pregnancy isn’t all about me. Or Scott. Or our plans for the future. I get it. This baby is for US. Our family. Those babies – the ones that call themselves “Ninny” (Quinn AKA Quinny now comes out Ninny) , “Arper” and “Geeshie”.

This baby is for them. This baby is already swaddled in love…because since they are TWO…love comes easy to them.

(Do a million other things like leaving the refrigerator door shut or not climbing on top of their play kitchen come easy? No. But the loving sure does.)

And for that…Baby H. – you are coming into this world with (hopefully) freshly washed but very lovingly used swaddle blankets. I hope you like them.

PS, Baby H. is simply Baby Hackman (no cool “H” name in the works). We got to see Baby #4 a couple of weeks ago at our 20 week ultrasound. All looked great and we were full of joy to see our little babe move and wave and look all cute on the big screen. Such a luxury this time as we don’t have a million ultrasounds like we did with the trio. And as for the gender…your guess is as good as mine … we decided to give our unborn child complete privacy and chose to “look away” during the genital screening. Come on, it’s only decent.






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