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Expecting the Unexpected

My hubby and I are ardent planners. Over the last 19 years, we’ve come to value having a roadmap for our journey together. Buying a one-story home we can easily maneuver later in our golden years? Yep. Having two kids, 3 years apart so “they could play together?” Uh-huh. Career moves that let us balance work and family time? Check-check.

But, are we also learning flexibility because plans can change in a split second? You bet. My mom’s sudden death. My brother’s bout with cancer. Moving my dad in with us after a fall in his home. And so, so much more. We get it.

In fact, we’ve come to expect the unexpected. We’re getting more comfortable stepping out of our comfort zones and into hard conversations and even harder decisions.

I’m not bragging. I’m sharing this because – yet again – Life is reminding us that, while we’ve come a long way in balancing planning with faith and flexibility, we always have further to go.

You see, if it’s God’s will, we’ll have a healthy baby boy in May.

Yep, Baby #3. And I’m 47.

In case it’s not clear: Another baby was not in our plans. In fact, I thought menopause was just around the corner (can you say periodic night sweats for almost a year?). So, you can imagine our shock when the home pregnancy tests lit up like Christmas trees. (I took 2 tests … can you blame me?)

Sure, more women are having babies later in life. From celebrities like Halle Berry and Janet Jackson to everyday moms around the globe, each year thousands of women are having children well past age 45. I’ve read the stats. I just didn’t expect to be included in them.

But, maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise for me. My Granny Sykes gave birth to my aunt at 38. My Grandma Booker gave birth to her last child, my aunt, at age 40. And my own mom was knocking on 40 when I was born.

Even considering family genetics, this mind-blowing nugget gives me pause:

By age 44, the chances of becoming pregnant naturally are one percent.

So, one oopsy and I’m a one-percenter? Yes, I am. It’s a whammy, for sure. But, it’s a special-edition whammy, one that reminds me there’s nothing wrong with making plans. Just make room for God’s plans while you’re at it, too.

We’re gratefully now in the third trimester. My all-day nausea is gone, and lots of extra testing is complete. We continue to pray daily for a healthy baby, for our well-being and for guidance on how to flex our lives yet again.

I created my blog last year to reflect on Life’s teachable moments, some tiny and others not so small. At the time, little did I know what new lessons Life would tee up for me. And in what form they would show up.

The irony of the blog’s title and tag line – stretch & grow: how life loves to expand us, from the inside out – only makes me chuckle as I pat my expanding tummy. And, as much as I’m already stretching and growing physically, I can only imagine all the lessons I’ll learn from such a gift as Baby Dancy.


Karin Dancy is a freelance writer, copy editor and blogger. Her writing explores motherhood, family and elder care, and spirituality–usually with a healthy dash of humor. She blogs monthly, writes scripts for major events, and edits everything from book manuscripts to academic dissertations. Karin lives in the southeastern U.S. with her hubby, two kids and 80-something-years-young dad who’s quite frisky.

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