When Having Baby #8 is Not the Same as {Shelling Peas}

I had to laugh the other day as a dear friend expressed a comment that someone had said to her, when she had told them our family was about to have baby #8.

“Well, I guess at that point, it’s like shelling peas …”


Well, let me just say- with a smile and some grace to the one who would think such a funny thought – giving birth each time is a blessing and a gift from God. However, it is not easier, quicker, faster or more fun to deliver and be in labour. And I write this as I sit on the edge of my seat, waiting for God to pick a timing for our little one to arrive (officially 37 weeks as Monday!). Each birth is one I thank God for and my husband and I are truly grateful to God for our children!

Yet, that does not make each long pregnancy, every intense, pain filled labour or even messy-grace-filled parenting any easier. We still have our challenges in parenting – oh my, do we ever – and I still have terrible pains while in labour {I am blessed with good labours, but they are still painful!} … babies do not just pop out as some would imagine …. Labour is called labour for a reason, right, ladies?

However, with the pain and the discomfort of each pregnancy, the expectation of the agony of labour and the worry that goes along with it (will this baby be healthy? Will the birth go okay? Will there be complications? How will we adjust afterwards? Will it be chaotic? Will I get everything done that needs to get done?), I would not trade it for an easier life. Why?

{Oh dear, just as I was caught up with most of my canning, a large lot of tomatoes are ripening in the garden…
I will take it as a blessing!}

I suppose I truly do see these precious babies that are born into our family as little wrapped up gifts from Heaven. Why God would choose to bless our family eight times in a row is beyond me, as we are humble parents, still learning, still fumbling through life and still praying for forgiveness when we make mistakes. Abby and I fail at much in parenting, we are still learning as we go (aren’t we all?) and we are, by far, still sinners. Yet, this journey is wonderful and blessed and filled with lovely surprises, often many challenges, followed by daily joys.

Like tight hugs from your one year old when he sees you sitting and wraps his arms around your neck.
Or the silly, toddler chatter from your three year old as she tells you about her imaginary friend, Violet.
Like the joy you see in your 5 year old’s eyes when you tell her she did a GREAT job at making her bed.
… the gappy-toothy-smile from your six year old who is the sweetest thing to grace our family.
… the eager questions and delight in God’s natural kingdom from your eight year old, intrigued with everything God has placed on this earth.
… the intense strength and strong character of your 11 year old, who just wants to be unique and original.
and the gentle grace and goodness of your 13 year old’s sweet spirit, as she grows and learns how to transform gracefully into a young lady.

No, I would not trade this life for all the riches, all the world traveling, all the money, all the fortune, a fancy house, easier work schedule, more free time, more career time, more “me” time … I would not trade it for anything.

God’s grace is plentiful, thankfully. He has chosen Abby & I to raise these precious children for Him and so we do. We raise them up with the prayer and hope that they will love the Lord with ALL their heart, serve Him and show the world where their hope is to be found – in Jesus! There is no other greater joy than to pray that our children will grow to serve the Lord with all their hearts.

And so, now, as we await the upcoming birth of our precious baby, which happens, yes, to be baby #8, it is still the same fear, the same unknown, the same excitement and the same pain as, perhaps, baby #5 or so. It is labour –  but there is relief and joy and abundant blessings and a fountain of love and peace after the baby is born. All week long I have mentally struggled with feeling nervous over this birth, but I know those thoughts are from Satan and not from God! I know God has this birth plan all laid out and I will TRUST Him to bring forth our baby in His perfect will and timing.

Often, while in labour, I will find myself praying out loud. I just can’t help it. That is where my physical strength will come from and I will need to cry out to the Lord … in my rawest pain and with my sincerest cry for help, it will be to the Lord. Not to my husband to help me, not to my midwife, but to Jesus.

I am SO excited to meet our little one when the time comes. I am so delighted to introduce our new baby to the excited sisters and little boy-who-has-no-idea-what-is-to come. I am honored to be a mother and to be a parent. I am blessed beyond measure. And I am thankful. Even for the pain of each labour and the changes in body and life. I would not trade it for the world.

{a batch of make-ahead-muffin-mix for the fridge
For recipe, see below}


P.S. A home birth is planned, but of course, God holds all those details in His hands. If it is to be at home, then we need to move three children from the designated room so I can have access to bathtub, which is in the bathroom attached to the girls’ room. The best case scenario will be if all the children sleep through the birth, even while we move them from their room and place them quietly elsewhere in the house. I am praying all goes smoothy. I have not had a birth in the daytime in a long time so I am hoping this is a night birth, as well. What fun to have the children wake up in the morning and rush in and meet their new sibling!

Recipe for Make-Ahead Fridge Muffin Mix:

9 cups of flour
2 cups of brown sugar
8 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
pinch of salt

4 cups of buttermilk
1 1/4 of oil/yogurt/applesauce
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 eggs, lightly beaten.

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately.
Once stirred, add dry to wet ingredients, mixing gently. Cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

To use, just scoop out what you need. Place in a greased or lined muffin tin.
You may add in what you wish for the muffins …
…apple chunks, cranberries, peaches, nutmeg and oatmeal, coconut, flax seeds,
chocolate chips and more. Bake at 350 F. for 20-25 minutes.

If the recipe yields to much mix for your liking, feel free to half the recipe.
Or use up the extra batter to bless a neighbour or friend in need.

September 25, 2017 - 12:26 pm

Pianogirl This is lovely ❤️

September 20, 2017 - 6:35 pm

Lori Speare Thank you for your encouraging words. I too have been struggling this week as I prepare for our upcoming birth in a few weeks. Spending some time meditating on scripture and praying has brought a peace. Thankful for a God who has gone before us in every situation.

September 20, 2017 - 2:19 pm

Claire Sending you good thoughts and best wishes xoxo

September 20, 2017 - 10:46 am

Rebecca So exciting!

September 20, 2017 - 7:16 am

Katy Such a beautiful post! 🙂

Hoping for a beautiful labor and delivery for you! The Lord has most certainly blessed your family! 🙂

September 18, 2017 - 10:07 am

Lynda Lu Gibb An exciting time for you.. Praying with you today.. your due date that Jesus will grace all of you with a wonderful experience welcoming your new blessing.

September 18, 2017 - 9:02 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) Gillian, I am blessed beyond measure when I read your words and writings! So excited for the upcoming birth but of course, as your mom, I am concerned for the pain you will experience. And of course, I too will be calling out to Jesus to help you and to give you strength and endurance. Love you lots xoxo

September 18, 2017 - 4:40 am

Megan Absolutely ❤ this.