This Thanksgiving is low key for the Priestap family. Instead of traveling down to Toledo to spend the weekend with my family and my husband’s family, we’re staying home in Northern Michigan, watching football, putting up the Christmas tree, and ordering take out turkey dinner with all the fixings. I know it sounds odd to order out Thanksgiving dinner, but there’s a very good reason why we are doing just that. Tomorrow my husband and I are scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 am to prepare for the birth of our third baby, and I’m in no condition to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
We didn’t expect to get pregnant. In fact, we didn’t want to get pregnant, so naturally I was in complete shock when I saw the home pregnancy test turn positive that mid-March day. This pregnancy came at an inconvenient time, too. We had just moved our family to Northern Michigan, 3 1/2 hours away from our friends and family, after purchasing a business. On top of that, my husband traveled to Toledo three days a week to maintain his law practice so we could have additional income as we got our business up and running. Actually, he was in Toledo the day I found out I was pregnant. That was an interesting phone call, let me tell you.
My husband was thrilled, but it took me a while to get excited about a new baby. It just wasn’t remotely close to what we had planned. God, however had his own plans, and I was a little ticked that He didn’t bother to consult with me. As I struggled with the morning sickness, the oppressive fatigue, the new business, and my two kids, one of whom has a physical disability, I kept trying to convince myself that there was a purpose in this pregnancy.
The past nine months have been difficult to say the least. Thank goodness our business is seasonal and closed for the year at the end of October giving me more time to relax this month. So here I am, November 22nd, writing about the impending birth of our third baby. The baby is actually due December 7th, but we have to deliver via c-section two weeks early. That’s not all that unusual to have a baby two weeks early, but I mention it because to us it’s an amazing, joyous, yet bittersweet event. Tomorrow, the day our little one comes into this world, is one year to the day that my husband’s cousin, Sgt. 1st Class James Priestap, was killed by a sniper in Sadr City, Iraq. My husband, who isn’t big into signs, said to me the other day, “God wants this baby to be born. There is a purpose in this.” He’s right. This baby was meant to be, and I’m so grateful for the chance to be a mom once again. We don’t know what this baby’s purpose is. Perhaps God’s way of reminding us that He is with us even in our most difficult times and that with sadness there’s always hope if you have faith in Him.
Tomorrow, November 23rd, will be a blessed day for our family as our new baby, a little boy we’re naming Henry James, comes into this world, but it will be a very sad one for Jim’s wife, Connie, and their two children as they go through another holiday without him. So as you give thanks for your blessings, please keep Jim’s family as well as other military families who are missing someone today in your thoughts and prayers.
Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving from the Priestap family.