Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Big News, OR, Just Call Me Halle

PSA: Please swallow that sip of coffee and make sure you are sitting down before reading this post.

Ok?

Good.


So, our family's big news is that I have unexpectedly found myself EXPECTING A BABY!

I'll just wait and let that sink in a bit. If you need to process a while and come back later, that's cool.

***

Since we can't all sit down over a mug of decaffeinated tea, I've tried to anticipate some of the questions you might be having so I can share the whole scoop with you.

OMG! OMG! Anna, is this really true?
Yep. I wasn't so sure myself, but I have the sonogram to prove it.

How far along are you?
13 weeks.

Unexpectedly? Don't you and Tim know where babies come from by this point?
Well, yeah. We decided to stop using protection when Jack died on the off chance I could get pregnant at age 41 or 42. When nothing happened, we figured that was it. Nada. Over. Four years later, we got quite a surprise. Our chances of conceiving were less than 1%, and that's if we were trying. We were not trying. 

Didn't we all just wish you a happy 46th birthday last week? Won't that make you 64 or 65 when this baby graduates from high school?
Eep.

So, how did you discover you were pregnant?
My breasts started hurting and my period was late. Doctor Google told me it was likely peri-menopause. After a couple of weeks, I went to the dollar store and bought two pregnancy tests. Those lines showed up within seconds, and I just started to laugh! BTW, if you are 46 you will need READING GLASSES to read the instructions on a pregnancy test.

What did Tim and Margaret say?
Tim was like, "Oh really? Cool!" which made me think that he would have been just fine had we jumped on the third baby wagon a decade or so ago. Margaret was concerned when she noticed I'd been to the doctor twice in a row. She was afraid I had cancer, so I was pleased to tell her that I had something growing inside me, but it wasn't what she thought. She is thrilled!

Is this a miracle? It seems like a miracle!
Kind of feels like that to me, too, as long as miracles can be joyous and scary and tiring at the same time. Tim might claim it is also a result of immaculate conception due to a dearth of bedroom activity. Believe what you wish. I also know that many people would like positive pregnancy news in their own lives, and I want to acknowledge what they are going through, even as I share my news with you. 

Does this mean you are replacing Jack, everything in your life is going to be perfect, and you are going to stop mourning your boy?
Aww, c'mon. I know none of you would ask me that. 

But aren't you one of those moms who enjoys her kids most when they are well past the baby and toddler years?
Definitely. I really dig 9 year olds. That's why I'm going to need some support. Baby whisperers/cuddlers welcome!

What about the baby pool? Target tantrums? Car seats? The uh-oh game? Nasal aspirators? Tiny nail clippers? The croup? Do you mean you are really going to do all of that again?
Gulp.

Are you aware that BEFORE you got pregnant this time you weighed what you weighed when you were SIX MONTHS pregnant with Margaret and that it's a lot harder to get your body back at 46 than it was when you are 29 or 31?
Thanks for the reminder.

Don't you think it's a little weird that your own mom DIED at age 46, but you are bringing new life into the world at age 46?
Completely weird, symbolic, and interesting. I keep smiling and asking myself, "What is our creative, loving God up to with this?"

So, will you be able to know if the baby will be healthy? What about you? Aren't there lots of extra risks for both you and the baby because of your age?
There are lots of possibilities. Here is some excellent info about that

How are you feeling?
After 12 weeks of nausea, I'm feeling much better! I am super hungry and feel best while in the act of eating, so I eat a lot. I am not sleeping well because of my damaged shoulders, but otherwise am doing well. I feel a great sense of peace and am hoping to continue what has been a season of radical trust for me.

Are you going to keep writing? Public speaking? Hanging out on Facebook?
Absolutely! When I became a mom almost 17 yrs ago, I would have LOVED the community found on the internet and through sharing our messy stories. Speaking to groups is my passion, and I hope to do more of it than ever. I also am guessing this adventure will provide a whole lot of blog fodder.

Cool. Does that mean we can vote on baby names, like we did for the title of your book?
Ha! Ha! I'm not sure about that. But when we find out the gender, I'll be sure to let you know so you can start making lists. 

Okay, Anna, one last question:

Does this mean Halle Berry was TELLING THE TRUTH that she just somehow got pregnant at 46?
I guess so! Do you think she'd ever come over for a playdate?

It takes a village friends, and I could not be more grateful for mine here at An Inch of Gray. THANK YOU for being on this journey with me and thanks in advance for your prayers!


273 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Anna! I am thrilled beyond words for you...... and praying for ENERGY. Just took care of my 2 grandkids age 2 and 4 and am pooped. God is so GOOD. Praying for you today and always. Love the questions and answers!

Love,
Janet

Stefanie said...

Such exciting news! Makes me happy! :)

Anonymous said...

Many blessings...

Anonymous said...

I promise you this will be the best decision you never made...our unexpected baby (at an "advanced maternal age" ack!) has been one of the greatest blessings in our lives...Much love.

Paula said...

Wow! Just wow! I am crying tears of joy for you and your family. If I could write (like you!) I would be able to express how this makes me feel... your are just an amazing person and I suspect God was just waiting for the timing to be perfect. This just makes me so happy. I will be praying daily for a smooth pregnancy, safe delivery and a healthy baby!!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! A puppy and a baby?! You're going to have your hands full, but I am thrilled for you all.

Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Nikki Frank-Hamilton said...

All I can say is "Amen!" "Hallelujah!" and "God is Good!" Wishing you the best pregnancy, ever. I hope that you can enjoy the ride. I am so happy for you all!!!! You got this Anna!

My Inner Chick said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God is amazing, isn't He?
Soooooooo Happy For you guys!!!!!

Jennifer Miracle said...

Anna!!! So very happy for you!

A couple of things: First, you said you enjoy older kids a bit more. I have a 6 1/2 year old boy I can trade you for, when the baby comes. He is potty trained and knows EVERYTHING, way more than you could EVER POSSIBLY know - so he has that going for him ;)
Second - you will begin to feel like a medical miracle because all of the doctors and nurses will constantly refer to your "advanced maternal age" ALL OF THE TIME. You begin to feel like a cross between a T-Rex and Methuselah.

Enjoy this new turn of events for your lives. God is good <3

Michelle M. said...

Congratulations!!!! You and your little one will be in our prayers as you journey on this exciting adventure. (Also: thanks for the PSA. I might have been cleaning coffee off my laptop otherwise).

Steph said...

Omigoodness! I am tearing up with joy for you and your family. I wish I lived close to you (so I could first meet you:) and could babysit! It is a precious miracle. God bless you all!

Magoop said...

Yay!!! We had our own unexpected blessing when I was 42. I was older giving birth the last time than either my mother or my sister were when they became grandmothers (and both were married adults before conception as were their children). I am so happy for you! And no-- your new little one could never replace Jack; making space for a new little person in your heart won't leave less room for Jack, but might edge out a little of the sorrow of losing him. <3

Agent of Change said...

Oh Anna... My favorite line in this post is ""What is our creative, loving God up to with this?" Because it is exactly what I thought when I saw the picture of your beautiful family. Sending love, hugs, and some happy tears... Woohoo!! <3
Barb Bittner-Jones

owlfan said...

Congrats! Best wishes for an uneventful pregnancy and an easy delivery. Now this makes me worry a little about our lack of birth control usage at 49... But it will be what it will be.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your family Anna!! This post made me cry happy tears!! I am so excited for this new journey for you and your family. I definitely believe Jack was behind this "miracle".

Martha said...

We are so excited for you Anna! The Leone family all found out in one big announcement from Mark as he saw the picture on Facebook then with a great big voice he announced the news to the family last night. Anna screamed with delight and RAN up to her room to text everyone. Anna's reaction was absolutely priceless... it's a sign of her deep affection for Margaret. We're very excited and rejoicing with your family!

Anonymous said...

tears, smiles, tears !!!!!!!! so happy for you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I had something similar happen and after getting over the shock of it really happening, I felt I had been given a miracle. BTW, after sharing my story with friends, I started hearing other stories including that of a good friend who became pregnant with twins at age 47. Go figure.

Brian's Mom said...

I just burst into happy tears for you! It gives me hope. Not for a baby at 62 but for beauty from the ashes. What a beautiful blessing Anna.

Lori said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful miracle!

Anonymous said...

I am so, so happy for you and your family! Congratulations!!
P.S. Your book was amazing and so beautifully written!

Anne said...

Oh, tears of joy. I had wondered what you meant about the significant changes up ahead this year at the end of your 46th birthday post. I would not have guessed this! So, so happy for you. I am 46 too and thanks for the reminder that is definitely NOT the time for us to stop using protection yet!

Chi said...

The other day, I was randomly thinking of you. I'm currently very pregnant (33 weeks) but couldn't get the idea of you expecting another child out of my mind. I figured it was crazy pregnancy thoughts, but at the same time knew you and your family would be a great home for any future baby.

Imagine my surprise when I checked your blog and read the news!

Congrats! Take care of yourself. This is such a blessing.

Idena said...

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!!!!! I found out I was pregnant with my final child the month I turned 40, and I remember the worst part were all the questions, especillay "do you know you'll be XX years old when the baby does whatever?" Yes, thank you for helping with the math.

But you know what? It was the best best best thing that ever happened to me. Ever.
Congrats again!

Anonymous said...

that's AMAZING Anna. pure joy. or you know, until it becomes super-REAL, and then mostly joy. ;) AMAZING.

Anonymous said...

I work in the (very secret) world of infertility and pray that you would be forthcoming…

Juliet said...

Could not stop smiling for you. Best of luck with this beautiful pregnancy and baby.

LISA A said...

I got pregnant for my 3rd time when I was 39. She has been the biggest blessing in my life and the life of others. My youngest at the time was 17, and I was scared, bewildered and thinking am I crazy to be going through this all again at this age and when I was almost home free. So glad I did. She was born on April 20. I love all of my children, but having a child late in life was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am so happy for you all. Maybe it will be twins, I think the odds go up as we age. :) I will not bite my tongue. he he! I am so excited for you, I cannot wait to see that sweet face.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hooray! Hooray! Funny how something so tiny as a jellybean (for now anyway) can be so hugely exciting. Thanks for sharing this incredible news with us.

Jenn said...

So here is something I find crazy...I saw a mention from Glennon and Momastery about your blog and news. I was just curious to find out what the excitement was about. And then, I read a mention that you had lost a son and without any explanation, I suddenly wondered if you were the woman I had read about a few years back, whose son passed away in a tragic rainy day accident. Now, what's bizarre is that I have unfortunately read too many stories of moms and loss, but something in your story years ago resonated with me. It broke my heart and made me value my son so much more. And I have often thought of your Jack when I look at a creekbed, and when I was looking to buy a home and saw an unprotected waterway...and here you are...healing...celebrating birth and recovery and hope. You and your family are amazing, beautiful and so strong. Thank you for giving me a wonderful story to share with my mommy friend who is bereft at the loss of her infant son right now. Thanks to you and your family I can provide her a wonderful testimony of faith, love and recovery. I'm so excited to follow your journey again!

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna. My heart is full of joy for you! You should know there is a woman (me) in Richmond, VA reading this at 5 am with tears of joy streaming down her face. I could not be more happy for you!!XXXX

BeenThereDoneThatMom.com said...

What a blessing for you and your family. I wish you all good health and happiness for decades to come. Be well.

Japolina said...

I.am.so.happy.for.you

Elizabeth said...

Anna I'm so happy for you and your family. You will all be in my prayer .

Susan said...

Wow! Congratulations! Just think, you'll be able to use all the cool baby paraphernalia that has come on the market since you last had babies in the house. The strollers now are nicer than my Subaru!

I'm very happy for you, Tim and Margaret.

Alicia said...

How amazing! Congratulations !

Anonymous said...

So happy for you! I have read your blog for such a long time and just think the world of you! I was always hoping you would adopt or have another baby because you are such a real and awesome mom. It shows through your writing. Thanks for being an inspiration to this mom of 4. My youngest was a huge surprise and is a blessing to our family.
Stacy Young- Birmingham, AL

Anna Banana said...

Man, I hardly ever comment, but I have to on this one. It is a wonderful miracle! God's plan is God's plan, but despite statistics, I have 3 aunts who had babies in their late 40's (yes, older than you), and the results were 3 beautiful healthy babies. So happy for you (all the happiness, none of the stress...I like it that way).

Decomom said...

Congratulations! ! I had tears of joy running down my face as I read this (and I'm sitting with my son at the orthodontist, so #awkward!)
Miracle! Will be praying for you and praising for you. Congrats again!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Congratulations! You know I am thrilled for you. I love all your questions, made this a very enjoyable read. I broke down crying when I got to the question about your mom dying at your age. Very symbolic and God is amazing in where He can bring us after horrific events in our life. I can't wait to meet your little one......((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

I am so, so incredibly happy to read this! Congratulations to you and your family!

P.S. Your book was amazing. So beautifully written.

Janet said...

Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you and your family. That is one lucky baby to get you as a mama.

annie said...

My daughter and I have followed your story for many years. I am so happy for you and for your family. What an enormous blessing. You are included in our prayers for a happy, healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby.

Emily m said...

Anna wow!! I was thinking and hoping this was going to be your big news! So so happy for you. Like, can't stop thinking about it and smiling kind of happy!! This new baby will bring so much joy and love to your family. Always praying for you...

Karen L. said...

So happy for all of you, Anna! Will pray each time I read your blog for a super pregnancy, delivery and just the child the Lord wants y'all to have born to your lovely family. Congrats big time!

Anonymous said...

I have loved your blog and have related with feelings of grief after I had a stillborn 5 years ago. Now, I just got a positive pregnancy test at the age of 42. I have been terrified these past few days. Your calm faith and the comments of so many others have given me hope that this pregnancy will go well and after that, I can be an older mother. I am still nervous but trying to be more excited than fearful. Thanks to you and your readers for great comments.

Anonymous said...

This baby is obviously a very very special gift, a soul picked just for you from Jack. He will be with you all the way, whispering in the babes ear and connecting you all so deeply and beautifully. Love always wins, and grace bats last.

Dee H said...

Ya know I am just thrilled for all of you. I'm crying and smiling and I don't even know you! Have been following this blog for years and also read your fabulous book. Blessings to you my sweet girl.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I have not been on this blog for a long time so to come here and get this news is just amazing!!! Congratulations!! And I had a good laugh (and cry) over your Q&A post :) My good friend was told, after miraculously having her first baby at 39 (after 10 years of trying) that she would never get pregnant again. A few years later her sister died of cancer, and she finds herself pregnant @ 43!! She now has two amazing daughters keeping her young and making her insane all at the same time. She is now 49, her hubby 62. YOU CAN DO IT!! Btw, I just ordered your book, can't wait to read it. xox Anna from Poland

www.robinbotie.com said...

So excited for you. I'm looking forward to the further adventures. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am absolutely thrilled for you...(and as an almost 46-year old) I will continue taking BCP until I'm at least 50-ha! Best of luck--NoVa mom Jen

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Anna! Really pleased for you and the family.

Wishing you all the best, as always. What wonderful news.

Love from the UK.

K x

Maggie May said...

Congratulations to your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Best News EVER!! So excited for you guys! And your daughter will be such a huge help to you!
Such an exciting time!

Heidi said...

I thought of your blog and your beautiful family today and then just now on Facebook saw your big news. Congratulations!!! Prayers for a healthy pregnancy.

Tiffany Klett said...

My children are 15, 14 & 21 months! I had my 3rd 2 months before my 42nd birthday. We were not trying either. Our older boys LOVE their baby brother & the feeling is mutual. He has brought great joy to our world!❤️❤️❤️ Congratulations! It will be wonderful. The temper tantrums at Target & being back in the baby pool still aren't that fun but they are worth it! There really should be a special club for moms like us!

Anonymous said...

What a blessing! I'm excited to be a (small) part of the journey with you!
Mary from PA

Alison Gerson said...

Anna,

Congratulations! Our stories are almost identical. My son, Owen, drowned at 8 years old (in 2008) on a family rafting trip. I have another son, (11 at the time of Owen's death, 19 now), and at 46 years old I found myself pregnant-also a surprise (at the same time as Halle!). I thought it was perimenopause, too! I gave birth to Elliot in November 2013 (at 47 years old). I also wondered how I would parent an infant/toddler again. (We're looking at preschools now for him and all I can do is laugh.)
The grief is still present, not quite as acute, but it's there. I still miss Owen every second of every day, but those days are now filled with joy and laughter and a future. I hope the same for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I saw a post about your amazing news on Facebook and clicked the link. I read about the loss of your sweet Jack and downloaded your book to kindle. I read your words late into the night and every chance I got today and just finished your book an hour ago!

You see, I lost a son myself. My son was diagnosed with melanoma at age 13 and died one month after his seventeenth birthday. Like you, for a long time I didn't want to live any more. 19 months after my son died, I discovered my husband of almost twenty years was having an affair.

Between Jarrett's death, the affair, the divorce and my sudden plunge back into full time teaching, I am not sure how I survived. Like you, there were God Winks along the way that carried me through.

And strangely enough, I, too, had a strange encounter with a bird that looked prehistoric.

Reading about your experience--made me feel less crazy!

It has been almost ten years since I sat on the edge of Jarrett's bed as he took his last breath. We still live in the same house where Jarrett lived. I am married for the second time and I just turned 46 October 8th.

Laying next to me, while I read your book was my baby, Jack Henry. He is seventeen months old and a true blessing. Jack has been so good for my soul.

I know your sweet baby will bring you just as much joy!

So congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your heart for those who may have to face the unimaginable themselves one day.

Caringbridge.org/visit/jarrettboston
Instagram-michellebostonsheehan
Or-east_tugalo_design

Mrs. E said...

I missed this post. My daughter had to post it on my FB page to let me know. I want to do a happy dance for you---and we have never met. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

So very chuffed for you all!!!!! Very very touched to read your happy news!!

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog for quite a while off and on. I had a few minutes today to check in and can't believe the news! It's almost like a movie. Wow! Congratulations to new beginnings and sharing this baby with all off your family - even the members who can't be with you in body. peace be with you!

Anonymous said...

This is from God Himself - there can be no doubt! What a fabulous surprise! I am exactly your age Anna and I would love to have another baby. You are soooooooooooo blessed (and now you know there are those of us who are happily envious of you). All Gods blessing and mercies upon you, Tracie

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! So happy for you and your family. :)

Jennifer said...

Wow. Anything is possible with God. What an amazing gift Anna.
This has given me hope. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm realizing
that God might not be done with me yet. He is good.
Praying blessings over you, Tim, Margaret and this precious baby.

WeeHermione said...

Congratulations!

Lorenne said...

Such fantastic news!! I was dumbfounded to read about it all— I'm 46, too! I've wondered so often what it would be like to have another baby after my daughter died. I will be riveted to your experience! Wonderful things ahead!

Katy said...

I am so late to this party but my mouth dropped open for a full minute when I landed on this. the Holy Spirit prays for us when we are stricken, and is the giver of all comfort and new beginnings. So happy for you! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I've been out of the loop for a bit and was just catching up on your blog .... WOW!!!!!! I'm so incredibly thrilled for you all :-) :-) :-)

quailene said...

You dont know me but I have followed your blog off and on for awhile. Im so happy that today was an "on" day! Congrats a million times over. You made my day, er, week, er month, er....you get the idea. We also have a late in life, long awaited miracle. We joke that we will be the parents using walkers at his high school graduation. My husband has been called grandpa twice now. It took us 10 years to have our first and then we had another miracle 2 years later. Then it was another long dry spell (almost 8 years) before our little caboose finally came along. He was born right shortly before our 20th anniversary. It was an adjustment to start over after we were long out of the baby stage, but a welcomed one. It has been SO fun to have a little one again and to enjoy all those "firsts" again. And its been fun for my older kids to be much older siblings. They have been a huge help and get just as excited as us to enjoy the magical experiences of childhood. Congrats again!

Salvimom said...

Oh my Goodness! I haven't been on your page in awhile and I am soooooo happy to read this wonderful news! FELICIDADES! CONGRATULATIONS! May God continue blessing your family forever and always. Even though we've never met and I merely stumbled upon your blog shortly after the tragedy, I feel like I know you and I cannot believe all this time has past! I always think of you and my children and I still hold your family in our prayers. Wonderful, joyous, blessing! There are tears in my eyes. Prayers, love and hugs from Seattle, WA.

Ury

Anonymous said...

Wow. You're brave. At 46? No way I would do that. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This is amazing news. I check in on your blog occasionally and my favorite post Is what to do for a grieving family. Someone needed it today and I found myself here and my jaw is on the floor. I am firstly in disbelief you are 46. But most of all I am so happy for your family. I am sure Jack is looking down on you smiling.

Sending lots of prayers for a happy and healthy pregnancy. This is one lucky baby on the way.

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