The Night Before We Meet James Walker

We’re heading to the hospital tomorrow morning to meet our precious baby boy. Our third baby boy. Most likely our last baby.

As I sit here thinking about what that means, I’m overwhelmed with peace. Almost six years ago, we were getting ready to go meet our first baby boy and I was anxious and afraid and excited and had no idea what to expect.

This time I know what to expect when I get to the hospital. I know what’s going to happen in pre-op and a general idea of how it will feel in the operating room. I am praying that things go smoothly and that James Walker and I both stay healthy and that other than a precious baby entering this world, the procedure is uneventful.

A couple of days ago I sat down and watched the videos of Hudson and Hayes’s birth. I cried and cried as I relived those experiences and it made me so excited to get to experience it one more time with a baby that we have prayed so hard for.

The nursery is ready. We’ve pulled out the baby gear- though we’re using a whole lot less gear this time. We’ve washed bottles and washed sweet baby clothes. And there’s just a feeling of peace.

We’re so excited for the boys. Hudson has asked me if he can put his Ninja Turtles in James Walker’s room as a welcome home gift. Hayes scrunches up his little nose and talks about how cute the baby is going to be. They can’t wait to meet their baby brother. And I can’t wait to see them when they meet their baby brother.

The instant that Hudson was born my heart grew in ways I never imagined. And when Hayes was born, I was even more surprised at how much I could love another baby. And I just know that James Walker is going to grow and soften us all even more.

I imagine a house full of wild boys who love fiercely and wrestle with the best of them. I imagine a 4-year-old James Walker playing outside and learning how to throw a baseball from his 10 and 8-year-old big brothers.

My sweet daddy told me yesterday that I was such a girly girl and never liked any “boy things.” I didn’t like sports and I wasn’t a tom boy in any sense of the word. Yet here I am. A mom to three sweet blessings and it’s my responsibility and Todd’s responsibility to grow them into men of God. And there is no responsibility that I take more seriously than that one. I may have been a girly girl, but I am a boy’s mama through and through.

I see their hearts and their vulnerabilities and their need for toughness and need for sweetness. And as we get ready to welcome this little book end to our family, I’m just overwhelmed with complete gratitude for the weight of this responsibility. To raise a little person that will one day become a man.

And on the days that I’m frazzled and overwhelmed and don’t know what to do with all the noise and chaos mixed with all the love and gratitude, I’m just going to pray that I always remember how I feel in this very moment.

I’ve carried James Walker for 40 precious weeks. My body is a wreck. My heartburn is out of control. I’ve gained a lot of weight and will no doubt be welcoming a very large boy into this world. I’ve rubbed my belly and prayed for him in the night when I can’t sleep. I prayed for the time to pass quickly in those first 15 weeks of total sickness. I prayed for his little body to grow stronger each day and thanked God so much for the promise that He knows James Walker through and through. He knows every single little thing about him and He has always known him. And I’ve found profound comfort in that.

And as this time comes to a close and I get ready to see my baby’s sweet face and to see my precious husband hold him for the first time, I can’t think of much else to say other than “thank you.” This time has truly been a privilege. To be this boy’s mama will be one of the greatest joys of my life. And the introduction that awaits us tomorrow is something that is completely miraculous and truly God-breathed.

Thank you for praying for our family and for all of your sweet words over the past few months. Please continue to pray as we gear up for tomorrow’s surgery and James Walker’s arrival.


Celebrating James Walker

celebrating James Walker

As soon as we found out we were having our third baby, my dear friend Megan started talking to me about throwing a party to celebrate. I didn’t want to do a baby shower because we have plenty of baby stuff and clothes and just don’t need a thing. Over the years I’ve been careful not to get rid of anything because I just kind of knew we’d have another baby.

But I did want to have a fun night with my friends! So Megan, Andrea, and Ainsley hosted a sweet dinner and time of prayer for James Walker and me. We had a delicious meal and laughed and laughed and then they prayed over me.

It was so special and so humbling and just meant the absolute world to me.

I looked around the room that night. Most of the girls knew each other in some way. But I started thinking about how I’d met them all. Through preschool or our newlywed Sunday school class or through the choir at church. Or I’d kept their children at church or we volunteered together in some way. But God brought them all into my life each for a specific purpose and they’ve each loved me, loved my children, loved Todd and me as a couple. They’ve kept my kids when I’ve been in a jam. They’ve prayed for my mom. We’ve had girls nights and fun dinners and tears and celebrations.

And it was just one of those big life moments. The kind where you look around the room and are so overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to have such special people all in a room together at the same time.

When I moved to Columbia eleven years ago, I never imagined I’d meet my husband and fall in love and get married and stay here. And I never imagined that, through our church, we’d meet so many precious friends who would support us through so many life events.

We all need community. And I’ve been incredibly blessed to find such a sweet, open, welcoming community of women. Women who are always looking for more friends and new friends and people to invite. Because we all want to be known and loved, and finding those people who are always so willing to listen and invite has made my life so full.

It’s hard. It doesn’t come quickly for everyone and it doesn’t come easily for everyone. I’m an introvert and it doesn’t come easily for me. But it has been so worth it. Friday night was incredibly special, and I know that this sweet “village” of women is going to be there to love on our family as we adjust to our new normal as a family of five.

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