Mother's column – Expecting a baby is a shared experience


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo AFP, Anthony Wallace

"We are pregnant." I always found it a bit over the top to say a thing like that in the plural form. I thought even "being expectant" was something mainly for women. It was not until Sifra was on her way that I realised a pregnancy is a shared experience indeed.

The reason for that is mainly the prominent involvement of the big brothers and sisters. The look on their faces is priceless when we tell them the big news in early 2021. From the first moments on, they actively help us to think of a possible name. It will be "Mary" for a girl and "Elimelech" for a boy. If it is up to Martha.

This time, we involve the children also in making the news public. Only too bad that they do not adhere precisely to our planning. Even before our parents know about the news, Abel comes home happily after playing at his friend's house. "Jurn's mom was also very surprised to hear that mom is pregnant!" Our photographer Tineke comes to take some new family pictures the day after. Martha keeps silent for about five minutes before she cheers: "Actually, we are not with six people, but with seven!"

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

So it is about time to visit the grandparents to share the news with them. During the car ride to my parents' house, we practise another time. Jan will tell Martha and Abel that they can say something, and then they will tell the news in unison.

Unfortunately, grandpa is sweeping the patio, and Abel remains outside for a while. In the meantime, Martha runs impatiently through the living room. "What is the matter with you?" grandma wonders. "Oh, I am just looking forward to a certain thing dad will say later!"

Then Abel enters the house too. "In July..." he starts. "Oh no, I almost ran my mouth." "In July, Abel will celebrate his sixth birthday", Martha quickly says.

In the meantime, grandma has long understood what the fuss is all about. But that is something the children do not notice. When grandpa is finally back inside again, they break the news with beaming faces. And a few days later, for the whole show is repeated during a visit to the other grandpa and grandma.

The children are unconcerned and happy. They ask a bazillion questions. They pray trustingly for mom and the baby. They are eagerly looking forward to the summer. Now I know for sure: we have never been more expectant.



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