Showers of Blessings

By Pat Jeanne Davis

Showers of Blessings

When Dawn entered my home that Sunday afternoon in January, she was six months pregnant with her first child. “Surprise!” we all shouted.

How could I say “no” to my sister-in-law when she asked if the shower could be here? We spent that morning decorating with streamers and balloons of blue and pink. Family and friends of the mother-to-be brought hot and cold dishes, many rich desserts and sweetly wrapped gifts for the new arrival. My niece was twenty-two, excited about the forthcoming birth and surprised by the shower.

I was excited too and had been so ever since I heard those life altering words back in September, “Pat, I have a baby for you.” At last, at age forty-six, my prayer was about to be answered, and I knew my life would never be the same.

I was forty years old when John and I married. We wanted children, but realized our chances were slim due to my age and a progressively painful condition called endometriosis. I had struggled with this disease since my twenties. Ultimately it became necessary to make a decision. Did I want to have conservative surgery or a hysterectomy? We still wanted to have children and I was unwilling to totally eliminate my chance of conceiving. I choose the conservative approach. The surgery involved removing adhesions. Also, it was necessary to remove one ovary and 3/4th of the remaining one due to cysts. Of course, my gynecologist thought it highly unlikely – if not impossible – that with only 1/4th of one ovary, and in my mid-forties, I’d ever get pregnant.

With the encouragement and strong urging of my doctor, my husband and I decided to pursue a private independent adoption as a means of gaining a family. There were many setbacks and disappointments for us during the next two years as prospective birth mothers changed their minds. I was on the verge of giving up – my hubby wasn’t. And I’m so grateful we didn’t.

Because, this Sunday I was awaiting the birth of the baby who would be my son. I had none of the physical discomfort of carrying him, but felt all of the joy and anticipation my niece was experiencing. Neither John nor I had a clue about caring for a newborn. But somehow I was sure we’d be perfect parents – for we certainly couldn’t have been happier or more eager parents-to-be.

No one at the shower that day knew that I was about to leave my job, had decorated a room as a nursery and bought clothes for a long anticipated infant. I wanted so much to shout that I, too, would soon be a mommy. But that would have to wait – the birth was a month away. I needed to be absolutely certain this time and keep quiet until the baby was actually in my arms. And besides this was Dawn’s day. I was happy for us both.

Johnny was born on a Sunday one month later. Now my good news was here, and his birth announced to our family. All my friends had long since raised their children – most had children in college, and one was already a grandmother. When they learned about the new little man in my life they all got together and conspired, and the next baby shower was for my son and me. Life with my son changed me. Our baby taught us what it felt like to be parents and introduced us to a love that overwhelmed us both.

The following year on Mother’s Day, our family got together for the day at my sister-in-law’s home. Dawn was expecting a second child and showing at four months. My son was walking now. The demands of an active child on me, an older mom, were exhausting. I’d been feeling ill for several weeks in a row. I considered the chance I may be pregnant. Impossible! I was forty-eight years old and infertile. But I made an appointment with the doctor the next day.

“My pregnancy test is what? Impossible!” I said, stunned upon hearing the test results. After the initial astonishment and joy of discovering I was pregnant subsided, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would cope with two small children at my age.

Before long I was showing, a little soccer ball beginning to bulge in my stomach. This time around, my niece and I wore maternity clothes at the same time. She promised me everything would be fine. “I know all about being pregnant. Forget your age,” she reassured me. I wasn’t sure her advice was exactly scientific, but it certainly was encouraging.

And my niece was right. My initial worry was unnecessary. It was a thrilling time in my life, having one child and another on the way. My pregnancy was uneventful, although I did experience the expected morning sickness, tiredness and a little edema in my ankles. I wanted to have a natural childbirth. So John and I attended all the classes for expectant mothers. Even with all our preparation though, fear arose in my heart again as my December due date approached. And then the day finally came when I went into labor. After several somewhat rocky hours and a C-Section, Joshua was born, full term and healthy at seven pounds, twelve ounces.

As I entered my life as a parent of two, I pondered if it would feel different to mother an adoptive son and a biological son. But the love I felt for both of them was the same. Johnny was our first child, and we experienced all the wonder of having a brand new baby in the house – wonder that returned in full when Joshua, our surprise blessing, entered our home. Getting to know both of them has brought great joy into my life. My prayer was answered in God’s own time and in His own way.

I don’t think anyone could have written a more unique story than my niece’s and mine, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

About this writer

  • Pat Jeanne Davis

    Pat Jeanne Davis

    Pat Jeanne Davis enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and travel. Her work appeared in Faith & Family, GRIT Magazine, Splickety Magazine, Ruby For Women Magazine, Woman Alive and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She has completed two historical inspirational novels and is represented by Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. Pat loves to hear from her readers. Visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com.

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One Response to “Showers of Blessings”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Pat, your story was very touching. Babies bring such joy to our lives, and I know your boys certainly did yours.

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