To read Part 1, click here.
With the birth of our first three boys, I was aware of various dates around their birthday. I wanted them to have their own day, so to speak. I was aware of details surrounding them after appointments. And, obviously, I wanted them to go full term.
This fourth time I didn’t care it seemed. I was praying for Jana to go early as possible because of what she was going through. If this meant a longer stay in the hospital, I didn’t care. I wanted Jana to have relief.
The final trimester coincided with a busy time at work, Christmas to Easter. Christmas services, Project 4:4 wrap-up, Buzz Weekends with contestants from The Biggest Loser and Lee Strobel, Online Campus one-year anniversary, Global Summit, Gathering (twice), a four-week midweek elective “Intersections”, and more. Plus, we launched our Wednesday service at the Online Campus in late January. This is on top of the normal, day-to-day responsibilities.
When it became clear our fourth pregnancy would go the distance, I told myself things would calm down once the baby arrived. I still didn’t care if the baby came in the lead up to, or on, Easter. I knew Jordan Johnson, my coworker, could handle things. He didn’t arrive around Easter, and we had a false alarm on Gideon’s birthday (April 2).
Wednesday, April 3, we were at church. I was working with the midweek Online Campus service, and Liam and Duncan were at Kids Clubs. Jana and Gideon were hanging out with me as I worked. Jana had some contractions, but she had been having contractions off and on throughout the third trimester. I finished up work, the boys were done for the evening, and we packed up to head home. We got home, got the boys down for bed, and Jana noted the contractions were coming every 30 minutes. After discussing, I went to bed to try and get some sleep. I was getting over a cold, and needed the rest. Jana knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep, so she walked around the house and did odds and ends.
Sometime after 1:30 AM, Jana woke me up. I showered and got ready. Our neighbor came over to watch the boys. Liam woke up as we were leaving, so I consoled him. I told him I needed him to be a good, big brother and help out while we were gone. I tucked him back into bed, and then we headed to the hospital. We got checked in around 2:30, and the baby came two hours later.
Charlie David Murphy
The name Charlie came to us in the last month. It took some time to come around to boy names. We had been leaning toward Kieran, but I wasn’t comfortable with it in the end. I had kicked around the name Seamus, but thought I would be dooming him to a lifetime of frustration with people butchering the pronunciation.
I came across the name Charlie when reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to my boys. Charlie comes from Charlie Weasley, one of Ron Weasley’s older brothers. I liked the sound of Charlie, and found out it meant “free man”.
We enjoyed our stay at the hospital, and then came home to begin as a family of six. A number of people had said after having three kids we wouldn’t notice a difference with four. Not true. I noticed right away…the first, full day we were home. I’ve been keenly aware of it ever since that moment.
Is it bad? Not at all. I love having Charlie around. I love having a big family. I love (most of) the sounds reverberating around our house throughout the day.
The transition is taking time, though. After while, I thought I would get back into a routine with life and work. Especially since work wouldn’t be as hectic as it had been from Christmas to Easter. I thought I would now have some time to pursue some of the ideas and projects that had been percolating in my brain.
Still, it wasn’t clicking. I was having a hard time getting going in the aftermath of Charlie’s birth. I hadn’t had a routine for months, so it was going to be difficult to flip a switch and have routine. The mental adjustment to having four boys, under the age of seven, was ever present. I wasn’t going to start sacrificing my family, or sabbath, just to make it (whatever “it” was) happen. I thought it would magically come to me over time, after prayer and pursuing God.
After church, I usually eat lunch with my family and then work at a local coffee shop. Sunday, April 28th, I was working from Scooter’s. Despite a great morning at the Online Campus, I was having a hard time getting back into a workflow. I was sitting at Scooter’s, praying. I wondered if it was something I needed to do. So I asked God what was next. The reply was quick.
To be continued…