The question caught me by surprise. Of course I had. How did she know?
"Why? Are you expecting?" I finally asked.
The smile was enough. I knew. Before Cherith could say more, the big grin had duplicated itself on my face and I wrapped my arms around her.
"Yay!" I squealed.
"Quiet!" she ordered me, "you're one of the first people to know."
"Oh, I hope it's a girl! We need to balance out the nephew and niece numbers!"
We laughed and hugged again.
Any addition to our family is the best news. Babies most of all.
It took a while for baby's existence to be noticeable. It wasn't until Cherith's belly got really round that it finally hit me. A miracle was taking place inside of her! A brand new life was being created! Truly, "children are an heritage of the LORD: ...[babies] are His reward!"
Early pregnancy went well. No hiccups at all. But as she progressed, crazy days ensued.
Early labour (which thankfully the hospital staff were able to stop.)
Nearly constant braxton hicks.
Everyday before the due date, it seemed the baby would enter the world. Not so.
Instead, Cherith passed her due date and things settled down. Apparently, the little'un wasn't keen on coming out after all!
Then labour did kick in, for real. A few complications later.... which Ben wrote about...
Little lady bug ;-) was welcomed into this world!
A week after her birth, I was able to meet her.
One of my brothers called up, asking me what I thought of her.
"Oh, she is so cute!" I answered.
"Cute?" he seemed unimpressed. "I've seen pictures, and to me, she looks beautiful!"
"You know what? you're right! In answer to your question -- she is beautiful."
I thank God for the beautiful, little number 17 in our blessed family --