On making plans, embracing surprises and having SIX kids

On making plans, embracing surprises and having SIX kids

I'm going to be a big brother

So…never in a million years did I dream we’d be making this announcement.

We felt done (D-O-N-E) after Jackson’s birth, and while I still oohed and ahhed over other people’s newborn babies, I was pretty much okay with no more of my own.

However, after some weird symptoms and a late period, I picked up a pregnancy test over the weekend, fully expecting it to be negative. (I am one of those people who has taken hundreds of pregnancy tests, and they’re negative more often than not.) As the line appeared, my mind was racing: “You always think there’s a line; it’s just the shadow. No, there’s really a line. Wait…what?!”

We feel a little blindsided because this was so unexpected…how will we handle six kids? On the other hand, I’m happy that Jack will have a buddy (girl or boy!) to play with as he gets older, since the girls are all so close in age and there’s a fairly big gap between them and him.

And here’s the thing: This may be a byproduct of having had four miscarriages, but I know all too well that there’s no guarantee that this baby will live, and while we are shocked and overwhelmed, it’s not a blessing that we take lightly. We’re excited too!

We told the girls right away, and they’re over the moon. We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time talking about names and car seat configurations and a million other details already. (This may be further proof of my type A-ness—the sooner I can control the situation, the better!).

It’s still really early (5.5 weeks or so), but I have never been very good at keeping my pregnancies secret. I want to celebrate this little person, tiny as they may be, and if—God forbid—I do miscarry, I don’t want to carry that weight by myself because I haven’t shared my pregnancy.

So, yes, you may be hearing a little more about pregnancy and babies and embracing what life throws at you in the coming months…and hopefully 8 months from now we’ll be blowing up Facebook and Instagram with hundreds of baby pictures once again!

This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Mandi! I love how you are embracing this joy even though you are also aware that nothing is guaranteed. (Is it ever?) And I can imagine all the questions that you are thinking about handling 6 kids but you know what came to my mind when I read that? You’ll handle it like you did 5. 🙂 Oh and I’m one of those people that can’t keep a pregnancy secret either.

    1. Thanks so much—these are such encouraging words! And I’m glad to know I’m not alone in wanting to announce right away!

  2. Congratulations to you and your family!

  3. Congratulations! ! So excited for you! You are already a great mom to 5 littles so what’s one more? Now you’ll have an even number so everyone has a buddy to ride with on the roller coaster! ! 🙂

    1. Ha, true! Now I need to think through what other situations will be better with an even number! (And thank you!)

  4. Congratulations! What a (surprise) blessing!

    I think you are right. Jackson will like having someone his approximate age 🙂 My daughter is an only child and desperately wishes she had a sibling! 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear updates as things move along!

  5. I rarely comment but wanted say I an sending prayers your way for you and your new baby. Congratulations!

  6. YAY YAY YAY!!!!! 🙂

  7. Congratulations! I know all too well the fear of miscarriage, but this life deserves to be celebrated,and prayers for a healthy fullterm pregnancy!

  8. Congrats to you and your family!!!

    And total kudos for announcing early. You are so right: why wait simply because we can’t see the future. That’s silly! You are wonderful in your Type A-ness and such a great mama!

  9. Congratulations! We found out we were expecting Baby #6 when our fifth was five months old! Yes, we were completely blindsided and nervous, but we were also excited. Now our sixth is 7 months old and I couldn’t imagine our family without her sweet presence! By the way, I thought the hardest tradition was from two to three children. After that, you’re still just outnumbered. As my husband says, you go from man-to-man to zone defense 🙂

    …and, be careful with 8 passenger vehicles, some are much harder to fit car seats in. Right now we have 2 rear-facing infant seats, 2 front-facing convertible car seats, and 2 booster seats squeezed into a Suburban.

    1. Awww, yes…I am sure we will be so glad we didn’t get a say in whether we added #6!

      Our kids are a little older than yours, so we’ll actually only have 3 in car seats (2 convertibles and a high-back booster). We have two 8-passenger vehicles now, so we’re hoping to make them work.

  10. I 100% agree with sharing your pregnancy success & surprise and hopes. If the worst were to happen, I hope you can find support and comfort from friends, family and strangers. Best wishes to you, congrats!

  11. I am so very excited for you, Mandi! This is awesome news! How far apart is your youngest girl and Jack?

    1. Thanks so much, Erin! Sidney and Jack are 4 years apart. We had the first four in 5 years and then waited almost as long to add him, so it was definitely a different dynamic!

      1. Oh I bet it was, Mandi! We thought we were done (and may still be done) but we’ve recently have had some conversations about maybe a 4-year gap in between #3s and #4–if there ever IS a 4th–no announcements yet or for a long time yet! I didn’t know how that dynamic would be. We had our 3 in 4 years.

        I’m so very excited for you!!!

        1. Oooooh! Well, I am a big fan of the “have another baby when your older kids are older” thing…it just has been so much fun with Jackson with all of the girls being older!

  12. I had a surprise baby 3 years ago, so I completely understand. I thought I was completely done, my youngest being 7. But now he’s here and we all absolutely adore him. He’s so much younger (I have 15 and 13 year old girls, and a 10 year old boy) that he is like a family pet. We all dote on him and love everything he does. Congratulations!
    -Tara
    http://absolutelytara.com

    1. A family pet…that made me laugh out loud! Jackson is already kind of like our family pet, so we’ll see how another baby changes that dynamic! (And I wish someone had told me it would be like that *before* we got an actual pet dog, LOL.)

  13. Good luck hope all goes well so exciting

  14. Congratulations, Mandi! I have been reading your blog for ages now and so enjoy your posts. This one was a BIG surprise, but I could not be happier for you! Congratulations and I am keeping you in my prayers that you have a successful and happy pregnancy. 🙂

  15. I’m so happy for you, Mandi. Our #4 (Lola) was a surprise, and God knew we needed her. I do feel a little bad that she doesn’t have a sibling close in age (or a sister), but luckily my sister (who lives just down the road) decided to have two baby girls and they and Lola have the same age spread as my three boys. Wasn’t that nice of her? LOL!

    1. Wait…your sister had another baby?! How fun!

      I actually thought back to you talking about Lola being your surprise and how very adored she is by all of you! <3

  16. I’m so happy for you!! God has made another person! and I’ve learned after several miscarriages myself that all we can do is celebrate that, no matter if you get to meet them here or in Heaven. Wonderful news!

  17. Congratulations! I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

  18. Congratulations again, Mandi! I’m joining you and your family in rejoicing – and praying – for this precious unborn baby God has given you.

  19. Congratulations!!! What an amazing surprise for your family. I was shocked when the call came for our 5th child 3.5 years after our last adoption. Praying for a healthy pregnancy for you and your little surprise.

  20. I was totally surprised when I saw your announcement on FB yesterday, but then two seconds later thought, “Yes, of course – a playmate for Jackson!” 🙂 Big congratulations to the Ehman family! So happy for you, friend.

  21. So happy for you. And I understand the overwhelmed, shocked, and yet excitement all at once. (The one due any day was that for us!). And a playmate for Jackson is great!! Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much, Johanna! Can’t wait to see that your little one has arrived!

  22. So happy for you, your family and your little bonus. I had 2 miscarriages, 2 planned and one gorgeous bonus. We thought we just couldn’t get pregnant easily, well we were wrong, haha. I always wanted 3, decision made! Good on you for being able
    tell people so soon, I’m too paranoid, I admire that. Hope that it all goes well and we will be only hearing good news over the next few months.

    1. Thank you so much, Kat, and I love that you call your third your “bonus”!

  23. Congratulations Mandi! Such exciting news. I think it’s great you are announcing early too. We have always announced almost immediately, because we want to both celebrate life, and ask for prayers too. We actually just found out a couple of days ago we are expecting number four and I’m just about 5 weeks too. I really look forward to following you along in your pregnancy as we look forward to our new blessings 🙂

  24. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful news. I love that those of you in blogger-land, ( Andrea Dekker, Deb Perlman too), share such lovely news. It’s an honor.

    1. Thank you so much for such a sweet comment, JoAnn—it’s an honor for me to have people from all over the world celebrating with us!

  25. Congratulations! As a Mom that has also lost several along the way, we know how very precious they truly are. I am so excited for you. Ready to read more about your adventures and see the pictures of this next baby!

  26. Congratulations to you all! What lovely news to read first thing this morning! xx

  27. Congratulations! How exciting!
    When I look back (and I only have 4 kids, ages 4 and under) I am always amused by how hard I thought things were before the next one came along. So just think… you will look back (hopefully) on this time and think did I really think it was hard with 5? And you also have the advantage of the rest of the kids being older too.
    You will do great!

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