Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Closing the door.

Am I the only one who is really sad that I am done being pregnant, done having babies?  I have been pregnant or caring for an infant for the last 6 years of my life.  4 kids in under 5 years, all from single pregnancies.  It was amazing.  I loved every minute of it.  I know most people feel crappy but I didn't.  I was amazed at the capacity my body had to grow a human being.  To carry almost 10 lb babies in my 115 lb frame.  I looked ridiculous, and loved every minute of it.  Even the labor and deliveries (well, maybe not the last half hour of delivering  almost 10 lb Jackson completely naturally against my will).  I felt so much excitement with it all, it was a rush.

If I am being honest, being pregnant was my favorite time of my life.  And not just during my first pregnancy, with Caroline.  It went beyond the glorious nap when you want to, sleep in late, eat what and when you want to, you get all of the niceties your way without having to care for other children at the same time stuff.  I'm talking I loved pushing the grocery cart with my 3 kids 4-years-old and under while pregnant...I loved cuddling with my 8-month-old baby while my swollen belly kicked his sibling from the inside out...I loved waddling after my toddlers running away from me in opposite directions...I loved being the mom of the blessed chaos.  (If I ever graduate from journaling about my grief from Ethan's death I will journal about my Blessed Chaos).

Growing up I lived in the best neighborhood.  Tons of kids running around on safe streets with a bunch of parents looking out for all of us.  It was quite a gift to grow up that way.  There was this fabulous family whose youngest son was my age.  He was a bit of a wild kid, much like my son Jackson is shaping up to be.  His mother's name is Rita.  Rita would manage her life of "blessed chaos" in this successful, loud, real, loving approach.  Nowadays, when I find myself using a similar approach to managing the chaos in my home I say "just call me Rita."  And I say that as a compliment.  I loved her approach, and respect it now that I am a mother in the thick of it.  I love being a mom.  It's a huge part of what I was put here to be.  It's the biggest blessing God has bestowed upon me thus far.

Having loved every minute of pregnancy, I find it immensely painful that my most recent experience of pregnancy will always have ended in horror.  With water breaking prematurely, an emergency c-section with my baby in distress, and ultimately my son's death.  Words fail here.  It's just awful.  And the tears are welling.  So much pain.

Being the youngest of four myself, I had always desired to have four children as well.  Josh and I always said "one at a time."  You never know if one would have special needs requiring more attention.  After Ryan, Josh decided he was quite pleased with our family of five.  God had blessed us repeatedly, with generally healthy children.  But finances are tight and we had paid our dues with the sleep deprivation, diapers and nursing/pumping/formula scene.  He was done having babies.  Having kids takes 2 in my home, so I somewhat reluctantly came around to the idea that we were done having more children.  Josh got his vasectomy, and a two weeks later I found out that I was pregnant with Ethan.  Ethan was conceived against all odds, and we are so thankful that God lent him to us.  Despite all of the pain that comes with grieving him, the love that comes with him will always surpass that.

Most couples who have a baby die decide to try for another child at some point.  Not a replacement.  Certainly not.  But a "rainbow baby," as these blessed babies are referred to within the babyloss community.  Rainbows only come after the rain, you see.  Knowing that there will never be a rainbow baby for me is painful.  I don't know that having another baby would be the answer...because, after all, I did get my four children.  "You have one baby in Heaven Mommy, and three babies here...that's a lot of babies" -- my sweet 5-year-old Caroline told me this week.

It's a lot to adjust to.  Especially with the horror of the way it went down.  It's just a lot to grieve.  Grieving my sweet baby Ethan and grieving the loss of my childbearing years.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Annie- I'm 43 and not ready to close the door either. I just feel there is another one, I felt that way even while I was pregnant with AdiaRose, I told Marcus- "I could do this one more time!" Who says that??? I guess you and me : ) Love, Jen