The Little Boy We Almost Didn’t Have

 

The Little Boy We Almost Didn't Have

This is 10-year-old Brooks.  He absolutely, positively knows what he wants to do in life, has an incredible knack for knowing how machines work, and he is the most curious little guy I’ve ever known. Pure joy, really.

Brooks really shouldn’t be here. Before his conception, I had a 3 month old baby girl. My husband was self-employed, we were in financial distress, and we did not have any insurance. We were STRONGLY advised by some to “not get pregnant” due to our current financial situation. We had just felt the Lord convicting us about giving Him control over our family size, so this was a huge struggle. What should we do? We certainly knew we were not going to implement any artificial use of birth control. We said we believed God knew our circumstances, but our flesh gave in, and we practiced abstinence for 5 months…well it would have been complete abstinence except for one, ONE I tell you, “exception.”

A few weeks later when I began to feel nauseated, it never even crossed my mind that I might be pregnant. I mean, we had so sacrificially behaved in such a way that made that impossible (except for that one time)…

Pregnancy test was positive. Surprisingly, as I held my little 3-month old and looked into her face with the realization that I was, again pregnant, a peace came over me. I said out loud, “Lord, you do have a sense of humor!”

Long story short, regarding our insurance, my husband became employed with a landscaper, received company insurance which picked up the pregnancy without a question (there is a law now that prohibits a group insurance to consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition), and none of our fears were ever even an issue. (By the way, we were shocked to find out that a “non-insured” pregnancy is actually very affordable. Our hospital charges $2,700 for the total package, including my favorite part–the epidural! The doctor’s fee is separate, and can be made in payments as well as the hospital bill.)

When I look at my little Brooks, I almost shudder to think about how close we came to not having him. I am thankful for God’s sense of humor, which is actually His sovereignty. And guess what? My body did not fall apart because I had two children so close together. My oldest son received the little brother he had been longing for; and our family received yet another, incredible blessing that I can’t imagine being without.

35 Responses to “The Little Boy We Almost Didn’t Have”

  1. Dina says:

    I followed your comment on Elizabeth’s blog, we’re old friends from our teen years. How beautiful to see a family who puts God and family first! I had to chuckle at this post because my second and third kids were born 12 months apart to the day, so my baby was 3 months as well when I found out the Lord had ‘blessed’ us again! We’ve had 4 blessings in just over 4 years…how blessed are we! God bless, Dina

  2. Kelly Crawford says:

    Dina,

    Thanks so much for sharing those encouraging words…I’m sure you can vouch with me, that the area of children is just one of the ways that God moves us to become less reliant on our “wisdom”, and more dependent on His grace.
    BTW, I became pregnant with my next baby when Brooks was nine months old, and the baby I’m carrying now was also conceived when my youngest was nine months old. (Not to scare any of you who may be considering letting God have control of your fertility! Not everyone has such close spacing as we do, I assure you.)

    But His timing is ALWAYS perfect. And I rejoice over each one of my closely-spaced children, knowing they were just the ones God had fore-ordained since the foundations of the earth!

    • Stephanie says:

      “and the baby I’m carrying now was also conceived when my youngest was nine months old.” I read your blog regularly and hadn’t heard this great news! Congrats! I am currently pregnant with baby #7 (due date in early April).

      • 6 arrows says:

        Stephanie,

        I think this is an older post of Kelly’s, updated a bit to include Brooks’ current age. The comment to which you responded is dated in 2007, at which time Kelly was pregnant with her now seven-year-old.

        I don’t know for certain whether Kelly is expecting now. 😉

      • Sorry, Stephanie, as 6 arrows said, it is an old post (I didn’t think about the confusion that might cause 😉 )

  3. sheena says:

    I am just curious about pregnancy and nursing simultaneously- I think it’s called tandem nursing? I have heard that if you get pregnant then your body will gradually shut off your milk supply to the baby who is nursing or that nursing while pregnant can cause complications/miscarriage?

    I am assuming these things are not true since God designed our bodies and we are miraculously made. God knew what he was doing when he made us.

    Nevertheless, these are things I have frequently heard and I was wondering what your experience with tandem nursing was like, if you don’t mind sharing.

    We recently decided to give the area of “family planning” over to God and your blog has really helped me to be joyful about this choice rather than fearful.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • 6 arrows says:

      Sheena,

      Tandem nursing is breastfeeding two children of different ages (for example, an infant and a toddler).

      While it’s true that mother’s milk will undergo some changes during pregnancy — in taste, texture, amount and maybe other ways — it’s a little misleading to say that it “will gradually shut off your milk supply to the baby who is nursing,” as the milk won’t ever get completely cut off to a child who continues to nurse. 😉

      I’m not a medical professional, and can’t say for certain whether nursing during breastfeeding could cause complications/miscarriages, but I do know several women who nursed throughout pregnancy without any problem. Women with a history of miscarriage or other obstetrical issues would be wise to check with their physicians.

      I agree with you that God knew what He was doing when He designed our bodies. Sometimes in this fallen world things don’t function as He originally designed them, but for the most part, from what I’ve heard, simultaneous pregnancy and nursing is safely doable.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Oops — meant to say in the third paragraph, “nursing during pregnancy“, not “nursing during breastfeeding”, LOL!

    • Catie says:

      I just wanted to reply to the nursing while pregnant question. I have gotten pregnant while nursing each of my babies (I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with #4) and my milk DID dry up, despite the current baby continuing to nurse. For some women, yes, this does happen. For others, they can go on nursing with plenty of milk throughout pregnancy. Every woman’s body is a little different in that regard.

  4. Anonymous says:

    hi i’m new to your blog and i just love it. i had a question about the birth control issue. my husband and i would love to have as many children as God will provide in anyway He sees fit. we do not have health insurance and our current financial state absolutely prevents us from paying out of pocket for the delivery, even making payments. is it ethical to try to have a baby knowing you can’t pay for it and have to go on medicaid or some similar program funded by the state? i am high risk and my last 2 were c sections so i dont think $2700 plus doc is what i would have to pay, i’m sure it would be double that. your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated
    thanks
    kc

    • Inge says:

      This is an excellent question!

    • Sue M. says:

      Dear Anonymous,

      Have you contacted your minister or priest about this question? If I were in your shoes that is where I would start. I don’t want to give you my opinion because it might conflict with your religious beliefs.

      About Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, I strongly encourage you to consider these programs for the health of your children, much less you and your husband. You are not freeloaders, and you may not need this help forever. I am a volunteer counselor for the Ohio Benefit Bank (through my church, BTW). I have assisted hardworking families just like yours obtain Medicaid, food stamps, Children’s Health Insurance, and/or home heating assistance, among other benefits.

      My views may not be popular on this site, but perhaps they have given you some food for thought.

      Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

      Sue

    • Anon,

      First, I’m not an advocate of “trying to have a baby” in any situation unless you are unable to conceive and by “trying” you are addressing that. You may have meant more, “is it ethical to not prevent a baby”? I don’t know if that’s exactly your question.

      It’s hard for me to give you specific advice. I can tell you from my experience, that we’ve become pregnant when we didn’t think it was possible to pay. Now that doesn’t mean I’m advocating for never using a form of (natural) birth control if your family situation is dire. No, I don’t think it’s unethical to do so. But I want to be careful in answering you, that I don’t misrepresent a Heavenly Father who can and does work miracles and promises to care for His children. One advocates for human responsibility and one for total sovereignty of God. I think both are required, but it’s so, so easy to fall into a ditch. We can’t see into the future so we don’t know what tomorrow holds. But I do believe we have some freedom, with a right heart, and that’s key I think, to exercising wisdom in our limited knowledge.

      (Your comment was not showing up in my comment dashboard so I didn’t see it until I saw an answer to it.)

  5. 6 arrows says:

    What a sweet post! And how beautiful God’s design is that husbands and wives so desire each other at the perfect time for conception. We can certainly praise Him for how fearfully and wonderfully we are made.

    P.S. Love that new tagline: Loving Jesus, Growing People, Building Homes. Perfect. 🙂

    Blessings,
    ~C

    • Thank you, C. Did you notice my snazzy sharing icons in the header too? And the additions to the navigation bar? I’m sure you did. 😀

      • 6 arrows says:

        Yes and yes. 😉 And I clicked on a bunch of those items in the navigation bar and saw you changed the pictures on the “About” page.

        Or did you do that about a hundred years ago, and I’m off my game again? 😛

  6. Cathy says:

    OK, trying to follow the math here…you abstained for five months (which is amazing in and of itself!) after the birth of your baby…so how many months apart are Brooks and the sibling right ahead of him?

    I seriously wonder @ the wisdom of abstaining…since that is a pretty unbiblical practice except for an agreed-upon time of, ahem, prayer, and a pretty fast way to create problems w/in the marriage. Sorry, Kelly, I know the intent of the post wasn’t about abstinence, but I’m intrigued by whatever possessed you to go that route.

    • The math: I’m counting the 6 weeks mandatory abstinence after our baby was born, and then the 5 or 6 weeks after the one “incident” before we knew we were pregnant. So we conceived around the time she was 4 months old and didn’t know it until she was 5 months old. That makes them 13 months apart.

      Wisdom? Who said anything about wisdom? Certainly it was not. (I guess I should qualify that.) Part of my musings over the whole thing makes me question the wisdom of older, godly people with limited insight (compared to God) who would warn a couple so strongly “whatever you do, you better NOT get pregnant.” That caution is what made us freak out and do such an unwise thing.

      So yes, I would say, “don’t try this at home.” 😀

      • Cathy says:

        OK, so in fairness, then, it wasn’t five months. Phew! I know that there used to be a “mandatory (and that word is certainly open for debate)” time after giving birth, but am not sure that still exists since I’ve not had a baby in nearly 19 years–I’m going to ask my daughters if that is still a guideline…see what I did there?

        I, too, have two kids thirteen months apart…and I had four younger kids in five-and-a-half years…so, as I always remind my kids, right now, they’re in the trenches just making it to the end of the day by hanging on to the Lord, and clinging to hope. Come to think of it, though, that doesn’t really change as they get older…you’ll always need the Lord to get you through every day, and you’ll need to cling to hope when the chips are down, and you aren’t sure where a couple of your kids are spiritually. Like where I am right now.

        Parting words…here’s the upshot: I love having kids close in age, and I love having a houseful every Friday when I teach four g’kids piano lesson. The din makes for madness and sensory overload, but it’s fun when three daughters (two of which bring their four very young kids just to hang) and a DIL come to chat and feed the kids lunch while the kids are taking piano…all while the dog is barking and running around, and the younger kids are screaming (literally) while chasing each other, and the TV has a movie playing that may or may not be being watched, and some of the kids may or may not be outside jumping on the trampoline…you get the picture. And, then, they all go home and it’s quiet again. I love the quiet…but I also love the noise of happy kids, and the sounds of kids who love each other.

        • LOL–I think I need a glass of…well, never mind–after reading your description. It’s good though, to hear from women on the other side. Very good. And this…”you’ll always need the Lord to get you through every day, and you’ll need to cling to hope when the chips are down, and you aren’t sure where a couple of your kids are spiritually. Like where I am right now.”

          I am there too. And for all the busyness and hard days of having little ones, nothing has driven me to my knees like this.

          (And my math clarification may have been confusing. We abstained from the birth of our daughter to when I found out I was pregnant–about 5 months. I was just explaining that I’m including the 6 weeks post-baby as well as the 5 or 6 weeks after we discovered we were pregnant.)

      • Sue M. says:

        Kelly,

        Although you aren’t Roman Catholic, had you considered Natural Family Planning? If you have addressed this earlier, I apologize.

  7. rebecca says:

    I loved this post!
    We also had our 2nd/3rd children 12 months apart minus a day!
    So I got pregnant at 3 months… and we were using some “contraceptive equipment” (according to the doctors recommendations so we would have a break) except for that ONE time… this was before we totally surrendered all to God and still followed medical advice about “planning” pregnancies.
    So we had 3 children in 27 months… it was a crazy time, but what would we do without our 2 girls so close together? they are so opposite, but best friends! (now 6 and 7)we adore them.
    My health was fine throughout 3 such close pregnancies. God can take better care of us than any doctors!
    I started reading your blog last week- after I LOVED the first post I saw. It is so encouraging to find other families who have surrendered this issue to God.
    I am busy and tired often, but I have 6 beautiful children I would never trade for anything (8 and under) and a 7th on the way.
    We’ve had much criticism and “crazy” comments, but it no longer hurts my feelings as it did before, because I know this is God’s best choice for us- and His opinion is the only one that really matters.

  8. Alison says:

    This post makes me think of a verse we read in family worship last night. 1 Timothy 1:17…”Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” God is wise alone and I am so thankful for that. We gave control of our family size over to the Lord after using birth control for 2 1/2 years, as we had thought we weren’t ready financially for our first or our second. We just figured that if God is sovereign, and brings forth every child, then He will provide somehow. I am so thankful He saved us from continuing on with birth control. We do always have to check advice with the Word of our Lord.

  9. Beth says:

    This is a beautiful story and the love fir your children is eveident-you have been blessed indeed. I would caution though that because your body didnt fall apart from having closely spaced pregnancies that this is not true for every woman. I concieved my 4th child 3 months after my 3rd and the risks they warn about did in fact happen to me. I experienced a placental abruption due to my uterus not healing completely before getting pregnant which resulted in the premature birth of my son. We had a gut-wrenching hospital stay and had many moments of wondering if he would make it. I dont think that I could in good conscience risk the life of an unborn child when those risks would be significantly reduced by waiting a few additional months. (not criticizing your view/choices, just wanted to add my experience)

    • Beth,

      Yikes. It certainly hasn’t been my preference to have babies that close together. Normally, breast feeding prevents that. In this instance, I felt like God was saying, “I’m going to take everything you believe/feel/think you can control, and turn it upside down to show you I’m in control.”

  10. Beth says:

    Also-I’ve also read studies/articles about how spacing pregnancies too far apart can also have associated risks..

  11. Inge says:

    Actually, it seems that YOU were in control. If you had abstained for those five months, you wouldn’t have conceived your son during that period.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes, I think that was what she meant…. She was trying to control things herself by abstaining, except for that one time. But that one time was all it took. 🙂 I think her point is that this experience was one where God taught her he was in control, and she’s glad her plans and efforts failed, since she has that sweet young boy as a result. 🙂

  12. Bev says:

    I had a csection with my son and then about a year after, we got pregnant but sadly we miscarried. The next month, I had a lot of pain and lost my gallbladder and appendix. I had a difficult recovery with 5 months of bowel problems but then felt that God touched me and we felt it was ok to once again, give things over to God. I got pregnant quickly but sadly, at 18 weeks last month, I lost this baby too. I’m not sure what to make it of things.

    Friends told me I shouldn’t have tried to conceive so soon after surgeries and that I should give myself more time. What do you think when a women keeps losing children?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Bev,
      I’m so sorry for your miscarriages. I also had 2 miscarriages in a row. When the first happened, I had a 1 y/o and 6 month old. The second was 6 months later. We did practice natural family planning for 4 months after each one (per doctor’s orders). After the second one, my midwife did some DNA tests on both me and the baby. They discovered I had a defect that would cause my blood to clot too much, which had never caused any problems, but in pregnancies, the excessive clotting could clog up the blood flowing to the baby, which is their theory of what caused the m/c’s.

      We had a decision to either stop with babies then, or risk having who knows how many more m/c’s. We decided to keep going, even though I had a fear that I would never be able to have a live baby again. It was such a heart-wrenching time in our lives because I was scared to get excited at the thought of a positive pregnancy test, knowing that it may not last. Well, long story short, we have 2 more healthy children now.

      I think that if you have more than 1 miscarriage it is helpful to get testing done if you can to see if there is an issue that you can be pro-active about for the next pregnancy. Because of my blood-clotting issue, I did some natural things in the next pregnancy (would not do the low-dose heparin they recommended).

      We have such peace that we will one day see our beautiful precious 2 babies in heaven, and are SOO glad we didn’t stop. I have a friend that had so many miscarriages she lost count, and eventually adopted. Right after the adoption, she got pregnant and had the baby, and another one after. So, don’t lose hope. I would encourage you to absolutely not give up on the possibility of having more children. They are not “wasted” pregnancies just because they end in m/c. God has His perfect purposes for those precious lives, and for you learning to trust through Him through it. He is the author of both life and death, and His ways are higher than our ways.

      I just prayed for you, sister, for your wisdom and trust and comfort right now. Hugs!

  13. Britney says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’m seriously thinking I might be pregnant with my fourth little one. If so, he and my third would only be 13 months apart. This post was such an encouragement!

  14. Candace says:

    It’s interesting to see how God has worked in our family. I was so sick with my first child (HG) that when I found out I was expecting our second 2 years later, I was extremely scared. I didn’t know how I would care for my two year old while so sick again…and living in another country with no family support. But God sustained and I survived. However, we were done! We practiced NFP for over 5 years. Abstaining only during my fertile phase. It took that long for God to change my heart concerning children.

    Six years later, we welcomed our third, and have had a baby every 16 to 23 months since. I’m one of those who gets pregnant while nursing. I’m 29 weeks pregnant with #11. While there certainly have been times of worry and uncertainty, I can’t help but marvel at God’s sovereignty and provision in our lives. And I most certainly can’t imagine life without these children! He is so good!

    On a funny note, my husband and I often joke about how short-sighted our six years of no children was. Now that my oldest two are gone, we have NO drivers in the house. Our oldest at home is 13, so no extra drivers for at least three years. **sigh** Ohhh, the heartache of faithful NFP. hehe

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