The Day Small Elephant Came Out of Retirement

We shared a video on Facebook this week that explained a lot of things like, 1. why I haven’t been writing a lot, 2. why I’ve been tired, hungry and emotional for the past three months, 3. why my kids are so in love with me right now, and 4. why I’m suddenly wearing tents and leggings every day.

Here, if you’re not on social media, you might want to watch it…


Um, WOW, right??

I have to admit, it feels so good to have this news out in the open.

At the same time, though, it has been nice to experience the first trimester of my pregnancy in the old-fashioned way. This secret was between me and my husband for the first month, and then we told the kids, not because I was really ready to let the cat out of the bag, but because I simply couldn’t hide it from them any longer. I was tired all the time, I was crying almost daily, I was sleeping late in the mornings, and I was under this constant cloud of nausea. “It will be better for the whole WORLD to know than to leave them in the dark about what is wrong with me,” I thought. Because I really felt that, once my kids knew, the whole world WOULD know, probably by nightfall.

We’re kind of a boisterous family.

Thus, on a total whim, we decided to tell them one by one, as you saw in the video. I had mentally pictured all the different ways we could break the news to them, but the minute I entertained the thought of telling them individually and really savoring their reaction, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

So I grabbed my camera, got settled on my bed, and Mr. Gore started calling them in, oldest to youngest, locking our bedroom door behind each one as they entered.

Then, after they’d been told the great secret, they had to go hide in our neighboring bathroom until everyone was caught up to speed.

It was so much fun, and I gotta say, the resulting video is one of the greatest treasures I have in my possession. I had no idea how they’d react (although I did assume they’d be happy, they all love babies and have been hoping for one for a long time), but a truer representation of each of their personalities could not have been captured if I’d scripted it.

For instance, our firstborn, who thought for sure he was in trouble, but then hopped straight up to tell the WHOLE WORLD our secret!! (Told ya!) Once we caught him and sent him to the bathroom to wait, I could hear him clapping his hands and just giggling in sheer excitement. It was so dear. I said all of our kids love babies, but no one has a softer spot for the little critters than he does.

And then our eldest daughter, with that pure gaze of hers that melts me, who was so beside herself she could barely contain it. When I get to the part of the video where she says “oh, Mama!” as she stops to hug me on her way to the bathroom, I get a huge lump in my throat, every time.

And then there’s Oh Honey who processes the news with her signature “blink blinks” before fainting in the floor…before getting back up and bouncing like Tigger. So spot on.

And then there’s our little man, be still my heart.

You can hear the poor guy pounding on the door, demanding to be let in, during his sister’s portion of the video. And when we finally sit him in the chair and his papa informs him that I’m going to have a baby, he reacts in his quintessential way that, roughly translated, means “Hi. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never heard of anyone having a baby. But…I love you…and you’re smiling at me…so…THUMBS UP. I support you 100%.”

I love that kid SO stinkin’ much, and I love all the thumbs up that he has given me over the past year, and I LOVE that he gave me a thumbs up in this video. My husband and I just looked at each other (after I finished laughing my head off) and said something like “did that really just happen?!”

Anyhow, I didn’t really mean to review the video that you literally just watched, but…what can I say? I love my chiddlers.

But there’s actually more to it than that, I think.

You see, by the day we shot this video, I had been walking very silently through some pretty major things. First, the shock of a positive pregnancy test. All the emotions…both high and low…that followed it. The vivid memories of what I was about to go through and how real and raw and hard and beautiful it all is. The understanding that any momentum I had recently gained (such as…we had just put the high chair in the attic, we’d bought our last box of diapers or Pull-ups for the first time in TEN YEARS, our house was staying very tidy, we were killing it at homeschool, and I was waking up at 6:00 a.m. every morning like a BOSS!!) was flying out the window, all of it.

And then, of course, there was the realization that I am ten years older now than when I first began having babies. A lot can happen to a body in ten years! I mean, I have a friend whose hips start hurting when a thunderstorm is coming. We’re getting OLD, y’all!

And so I’ve just been a little more scared this time.

A little less sure of myself and my body’s abilities.

Add to that those long, trying weeks of nausea and fatigue where I had been pretending, even around my closest family and friends, that nothing had changed and that I was fine.

Phew! All that to say, I was SOUL TIRED by the day we made this video. I was lonely, with all kinds of pent up thoughts and emotions. And, again, I was truly scared. What if I couldn’t do this again? What if something bad happened? What if this changed our dynamic in drastic ways?

Enter, my children.

When I let them into my world once more and shared my great secret with them, what I found was such open arms.

Such love.

Such JOY!

Their reaction was a salve to me, and an immediate reminder that, yes, though this was going to be hard and though it might even be dangerous (did you know that being 35 years old makes this a “geriatric pregnancy”?!), it was also such a GOOD THING. It was going to be fun!!

And it was most definitely a blessing.

They just made it obvious to me from the very first second — you can see it so clearly in the video! — that any difficulties I had endured in the weeks leading up to this announcement were 100% worth it, for not only were we housing a precious and sacred new creation in our midst, we had made ALL of our children so, so happy.

Sigh. The four little people in the above video have embraced me so wholly in my current weakness that it has totally blown me away. They check on me constantly. They have zero expectations from me and hold no grudges about my failings (for instance, our two-hours-later-than-normal breakfast). They have fed me and soothed me and petted me and…well, they’ve just WELCOMED me, just as I am.

Even more heart-warming? They seem proud of me.

What a difference their reaction has made for this tired ol’ mama.

This is the kind of world that babies are supposed to enter into. A place where they are greeted with smiles and excitement and wonder and enthusiasm.

Children have got it all figured out, don’t they?

So after we told our kids, we’ve had the joy of telling many of our family and friends the old-fashioned person-to-person way, not all at one time, but slowly, as time and circumstance allowed. First it was my mom. Then my daddy. Then my husband’s parents. Then our best buddy at the nursing home. Then a sibling here, a sibling there, a friend here, a friend there, our neighbors across the street, my manager friend at Anthropologie, the owner of my favorite antique store, our church body…

as the news has spread over the past three months, our secret has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller, and now that we’ve finally made our way back to the internets, it is no more.

You know what? This sits well with me, even though the temptation was to keep things quiet until the baby was actually IN my arms.

Life begins at conception, and I believe that with all my heart. And I can read about my higher risks and I can be scared about the future all the live-long day, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is a human being IN my tummy.

Right now!

Right this minute!

You guys!


and, yes, come what may, I want the whole world to know it!


Sad you missed out on the first trimester adventures of Small Elephant? Worry not, I’ve been jotting down stories as they happen and will round them all up for you soon. Stay tuned!

Are you new here and don’t know who “Small Elephant” is? Oh, boy. You stay tuned, too. This is going to be fun…


11 thoughts on “The Day Small Elephant Came Out of Retirement

  1. My third pregnancy came nine years after my second. I was 35. Thirty-six by the time she was born. My doctors kept wanting me to take all these tests to make sure the baby was OK. I refused. As I told them, “I don’t care if this baby has three heads, I will still have it and love it. I just want to enjoy my pregnancy now.” I’m so thankful I did. She was born 21 years ago, perfect and healthy, and has been nothing but joy and blessing to us and our other two kids ever since. God is good. Praying for you and your family as you make room for your new baby. Swoon!

  2. SOO happy for you and Mr. Gore! My daughter Carey (who lives in Siloam Springs) just announced HER 3rd pregnancy, and she’s been SUPER tired.(She is 2 years older than you, adding in another factor.) I totally get it!. And they had just put away the diapers and the high chair (sigh). Here we go again! Blessings, blessings <3on each of you–and I absolutely LOVED the video. Especially "Oh Honey." she never disappoints! 🙂

  3. I had one of those “geriatric pregnancies” and the perfect baby is now 40 years old and still perfect! Wouldn’t change any of it!

  4. We had our first two when I was 23/26 & the last two when I was 37/39. We didn’t do any “extra tests” either. I honestly don’t think it (pregnancy and parenting) was harder based on my being older. I think pregnancy/parenting automatically comes with some level of challenge. Had we had the last two when I was 28/30, it would’ve still been a bit tiring– perhaps MORESO because the first two would’ve been a lot younger & less self-sufficient.😊 There is something to be said about the difference in homeschooling kids who can read well and follow instructions, do chores unaided & even make lunch 👍😊
    Excited for your family…thanks for sharing thhis sweet video!

  5. Congratulations! my brother was born when my mom was 38. when they told me, I was four, and every bit as excited as Betsie. today, he’s in college, loves babies as much as Gideon does, and was speech delayed like Shepherd.

    That video was so adorable!

  6. So awesome–congratulations!! We are expecting our third in September. It’s been four years since #2 came along, and I am now of “advanced maternal age.” Sigh. It’s humbling. Every day. But we are thankful and excited. 😀

  7. So precious! We have baby 7 due in October and my kids share the same excitement and compassion for their mama as yours do. So excited for your sweet family!

  8. Don’t listen to the bad hype. I was 39 when my sixth was born, and it was the easiest pregnancy, and the quickest and easiest delivery. (Healing inside did take just a little longer.) That loss of perfect muscle tone in the pertinent areas after previous pregnancies turns out to be a blessing at the very end!

    In addition, I was a much better, calmer, experienced mom by then. Having babies older has its advantages too. God has it all worked out: it’s we who paint the scary pictures.

  9. Congratulations!!! Don’t believe a word of that 35-year-olds have geriatric pregnancies. 😉 My last was born when I was 35 and things were fine. I’d do it again at 40!

  10. Congrats! I don’t know what rock I have been under to have missed this news till now. Praying all the best for you and your new little one! My mom had me and 40 and as I turned 40 this year I don’t know how she did it. But she did! Sometimes those born at a parents older age are even more precious. At least that is what she always told me. She said God knew when she needed me. 🙂

  11. Ya know I hear.. November 19th is a great day for babies to be born ;)🤰🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️💜💜 so excited for you friend.

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