All of Them, or: I Have an Announcement to Make

It is with great joy and relief that we announce that we are expecting Tierney baby number ten in September, as I think we can all agree that nine is a very odd number of children to have.

I mean come on, Your Highness, get these kids under control. What are they even all looking at? It’s like a Fulwiler Christmas card photo or something. (Love you, Jen.)

Joking aside, I have to take a moment here to express my gratitude for how generous you have all been in the prayers that you’ve offered for our family over the past year. In fact, almost every day since May 31, 2018 someone has offered a Eucharistic Holy Hour for the intentions of our family (although . . . today appears to be available, maybe I’ll take today) Without going into too much detail for reasons I explained here, I will say that your prayers have been so helpful and meaningful to us. Thank you. The most remarkable part of this whole thing has been the fact that there have been really NO side effects from the treatment, or from the reason for the treatment. That in itself feels like a miracle. Keep up with updates here.

Back in the spring, when we first learned about all of this, the husband and I had a long talk together about what it would mean for the future of our family. I felt I had really learned a meaningful lesson about being open to life in the midst of challenging situations the last time we went through this, and I was pretty confident that I didn’t want to close the door to the possibility of more children on this account. He was supportive of my general worldview, but pointed out that there are a lot more, and more aware, people in our home these days that would be affected by this decision. My pregnancies have gotten much more difficult as I’ve gotten older. A lot of responsibility for the home and the younger kids falls on the older kids when I’m not at my most effective.

I knew he was right, so I decided to take the opportunity of a morning drive to school last May to lay all this out for the oldest three kids, who were 15, 14, and 12 at the time. They already knew the other stuff, of course. I tried to lay out my thoughts as honestly as possible. That we knew that this was a challenging time for our family, and that we didn’t know what the future would hold. That I understood that they already had a lot of responsibilities, more than most children their age. I knew that if we continued to be open to the possibility of another baby, we could end up in the situation of multiple adults feeling unwell, at least for a time. And we had to acknowledge the possibility that things could take a long-term bad turn. But also that fertility doesn’t last forever, and that, at 42, postponing another baby might mean no more babies at all, even if things go great on the other front. It was a whole long heartfelt speech.

I expected that Betty would be for it, and that Bobby wouldn’t really care either way. That’s kind of how they roll. But I didn’t know what to expect from Jack, our oldest. Like me, he does not have a natural inclination for selfless hard work on behalf of others (although he is miles and miles ahead of where I was at his age). He’s rather a pragmatist. I figured he’d need some time to process it all.

But, after a pause of about three seconds, Jack shrugged and said, “I like babies.”

The other two agreed, with enthusiasm, and that was that.

It was a beautiful thing. My mama heart still swells a bit remembering it.

Of course, that was May, and it wasn’t until Christmas Day that we found out about this new little peanut. I really felt (mostly) at peace about it that whole time, even though it was an unusually long spacing for us. I was more comfortable with the idea that we wouldn’t have more children if it wasn’t going to be the result of MY decision. My standard response when people would ask me how many kids I want to have, has been, “All of them.” Now I can still say that.

We’re all very excited, and the big kids are picking up the slack for me as they said they would. I usually get opposite-morning sickness, and that’s been the case this time around. I feel pretty good from 2am to 2pm and really NOT good from 2pm to 2am. So I just get up REALLY early and try to get things done before the kids wake up, we do our homeschool day, and then at naptime, I crash and may or may not come downstairs for dinner. But I’m thirteen weeks now, and feeling better, and usually the hardest part is over for me by fourteen or fifteen weeks. My plan is to not fall off a ladder and break my tailbone this pregnancy, which would make things easier than last time.

I’ll keep you posted!

In other news, here’s a little Lent reminder I posted on social media yesterday, in case you missed it there. Lent is just about as late as it can possibly be, but it will be here next week!

We’ve got an all new installment of the liturgical living video series that will publish later this week, but in the meantime here’s the Epiphany one, in which I show you our super easy fake King Cake. King Cake season ends on Fat Tuesday, so get one more in while you can!

See more on our family Fat Tuesday traditions here.

And, I've got an all new Printable Lent Set, about which I am VERY excited!

It's pretty much my printable magnus opus 🤩, and includes:

• A Lent Clipart Countdown Calendar featuring medallions for Lenten weekdays and Sundays, special days, saints’ days, feasts, and fasting days
• A brief explanation of the symbols used on each medallion
• A sample mock-up arrangement of the clipart calendar, posters, and quotes
• A Lenten prayer, fasting, almsgiving poster
• Eight different Lent quotes from the Bible, the catechism, and the saints
• A group Voluntary Lenten Disciplines page for things a household or classroom are taking up or giving up together, in an example version (the one our family uses) and a blank version
• Individual Voluntary Lenten Discipline slips
• A Label and Instructions to make a Lenten Sacrifice Bean Jar

I'm hoping it will help a lot of folks dive into liturgical living this Lent.

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