I found my fourth baby was a boy when I was 13 weeks pregnant. I didn't even know I had an ultrasound scheduled. The ultrasound was clearly showing a boy even before the tech asked if I wanted to know. A friend of mine said ultrasounds that early can be deceiving. I already had two boys, it was pretty clear. Obviously more than two and half years later the ultrasound was right. I thought he was going to be a girl, I thought my daughter had a little sister. I was pretty upset for a few days.
For months I prayed to the Lord to not tell me if I was suppose to have more kids, I also prayed to not know if I wasn't suppose to have more kids. I was still breastfeeding my third baby, and I was pregnant and tired all the time! I just didn't want to know, I wanted to be here and now. Or nowhere near. As the months went I, I started to feel better, I weaned my baby, I wasn't sick anymore, just in pain everytime I walked, I forgot to pray to not know anything. When I was 7 months pregnant we went to see family for Thanksgiving, I was talking to a relative who is also a mom about our babies, families, birth order, size etc. She said something that kept playing on repeat my head.
The next day as we were driving nine hours home I had a very strong impression, your family is good, enjoy who you have. This did not help me enjoy my pregnancy in the slightest, I had a small toddler, with separation anxiety, who sat on my lap everyday all day long, my body hurt all the time, and every time I had to walk my body hurt. I would only use the stairs 4 times a day, when I woke up, I would carry everything I needed all day downstairs. Then I would go up when my one year old needed a nap, I would get him again when he was awake and then when it was bedtime. My husband was still traveling for work in those days and when we would go up for bed sometimes my 1 year old would run away and slide down the stairs, backwards like early walkers do. I would just wait at the top of the stairs laying down on the carpet waiting for him to come back, I knew he would sooner or later come back because he couldn't bare being away from me, but it hurt to much to chase him, so I would just wait.
When my son came everything seemed perfect. It was a positive birth experience, I was happy to have him in the family. His siblings seemed genuinely excited to have him in the family. Before he was a week old, his not quite 18 month old brother was sick. It would be a constant theme for the next few months. Remember his RSV breathing treatments? The only thing I can say, what thank heavens the 1 year old was never ever hospitalized.
Then during the summer my postpardum depression came with vengeance. After Christmas I mentally felt better, but I had a fair amount of physical health problems. When I weaned my last baby, I was so excited. And my mental stability plummeted. I felt like a shell of a creature, like I was always under water. I got that mostly under control. But I had good weeks and bad weeks, I was on a roller coaster of health problems.
So under all extensive reasoning, I should have been happy when my little boys turned 3 and 18 months a week apart of each other. But instead the depression came back with full vengeance. I was so sad, they weren't babies anymore. People really didn't understand. "But you didn't like them as babies" I know...
I don't really know why I felt the way I did. Maybe it was an end of an era. Maybe I felt like I wasted away my days with babies. I truly don't know, it doesn't make sense. But I've been on and off sad for 6 months and I'm finally excepting it for what it is.
I'm covered in grief.
For a long time I didn't feel like it was ok for me to be in morning:
- I had four healthy kids, I shouldn't be sad I wasn't having more babies
- I didn't actually like being pregnant or having new babies, so I shouldn't be sad
- Other people have less babies than me, or none, and they are sad, so I shouldn't be sad
- If I was tougher I could have had more, so I shouldn't be sad
- My husband felt more than content with our children, and didn't want anymore
- So many days I just count the minutes until bedtime, why would I be sad not to have anymore babies?
- I still have chronic pain from pregnancy, or postpartum
- I thought I would be sad when the youngest turned 2, instead I love him more.
- My body grows big healthy babies, and it will probably never do that again.
- As my body grows big healthy babies, I grow weaker and frailer
- Sure I have a few years to decided this, but after a few years, I'll never be able to go back and have babies, once my body is too old its too old. Once my family grows up, they have grown up and will never be little again.
- Even if my kids exhausted me every day, doesn't mean I don't love them.
- The amount of children a person has, says nothing about them other then the amount of children they have.
- Just became my husband doesn't want more kids doesn't mean he is heartless.
- Women that have more babies then me aren't "better"
- Sure my children may ask if we are having another baby, but that doesn't mean not having another baby makes me pathetic.
- My kids have always been so obsessed with their little brothers it makes me sad that they will never have that experience again. But that's ok, they did have it.
- I think I always thought I would have 5 kids, I knew 6 or 7 was too much for me, but 5 seemed good. Apparently 4 is good.
- I played house and played with baby dolls until I was at least 11 years old. As a teenager I didn't want any children.
- Just became my teenagers won't have baby siblings doesn't mean they will be pathetic young adults who look at children like they might be diseased because they are acting like stereotypical kids. Then again maybe they will, and that isn't my body's fault.
- Its ok to be sad, that I'm done growing babies, even if I don't like babies.
- Its ok to be sad and relieved at the same time.
- Its ok to be sad.
- If I wasn't sad, then maybe I wouldn't be obsessed with everything my 2 year old does, maybe I'd be exhausted and annoyed all the time thinking I would do they YET another time.
- Its ok if my daughter doesn't have a sister. Right now I'm not quite sure how, but I'm sure it will be.
- Its ok if my daughter is sad she won't have a sister.
- Its ok for me to be sad.
- When I think about baby girls I'm swallowed up in grief. We were pretty broke (paying MBA tuition in cash) when she was little, and I always thought it will be fine I'll have another baby girl I can spurge on. I rarely rarely bought clothes for her, she wore so many handme downs. Everytime I ran out of handme downs someone out of the blue would give me bag. I never had spurged on a baby girl. I never surged on any baby. My little boys live in handme downs. My daughter had sensory issues and hated things on her head, and stopped letting me dress her when she was only 1.
- She never liked bows on her head, I have no one to buy bows for.
- The Lord is infinitely aware of my grief. He accepts me for who I am.
- I'm often quite relieved I only have one daughter. I love boys, I grew up with lots of brothers, and still as adult find females confusing. I adore my daughter and thank my lucky stars she is mine, but I'm so relieved I only have one.
- Sometimes when I see people with a tail end baby, a baby at least 5 years younger then the rest. I think that could be us. Maybe in a few years my husband will say to me, we make cute babies, lets have one more. But then I think logically. That would be the more terrifying thing. I can't handle more babies.
- Every so often my husband tells me we make cute babies. For a split second I think, he wants another! Then before the second is over, I pray, please do not tell me you want another.
- Every time I hear someone say, if I could do it all over again I would have had more, I want to cry. I know, I know, I agree.
- Its ok to be sad.
- The Lord is aware of my sorrow.
- I won't always be sad, I keep hear four years after your youngest is a good time.