Thursday, March 27, 2014

Battling "Last Baby Syndrome"

Let me start this post by saying I love my children. They're the reason for everything my husband and I do in our daily lives. Why we get up in the morning, and why we work so hard to make sure they have a life without want. With that being said, this is my own personal thoughts and feelings while adjusting to Motherhood knowing our family is whole with our 4 little girls. 

Sorry for such a long post, but I love using this blog to get my thoughts out and to share parts of my life other than reviews. I hope you all enjoy.

We got pregnant with our first child just three months after I turned 18yrs old. We'd been together for three years, and while she wasn't planned, we were ready to start our lives as parents and a journey that would change our lives forever. 

Madison was born just one week after I turned 19yrs old in October 2007. She was the light in our lives and we knew we wanted more children. On my 20th birthday and just six weeks after getting married, we found our were expecting baby #2. McKenzie was born two weeks after Chris' birthday in May 2009, and we enjoyed our lives as parents to two beautiful little girls just 19 months apart in age. 

Life with our girls was great and we had a great life, but when McKenzie was a toddler, I knew I wanted another baby. My husband felt he was done having children, so the battle within myself started and I was grieving for a child that didn't even exist. We went back and forth on the topic, and after many talks filled with tears, my husband understood where I was coming from and we agreed to stop birth control and have one more child. I never expected the birth control to completely mess up my body and it took a long 13 months and fertility medicine to conceive Macyn. 

We built our home during the Winter of 2010-2011 and closed April 2011. In June 2011, we found out Macyn was indeed on her way. It was such a blessing for us. We had a new house, and now a new baby. I was on top of the world and couldn't wait to enjoy this bundle of joy. 

I had a lot of ups and downs with Macyn. I had some uterus bleeding that was at one time thought to be a miscarriage, and then I was sad when I found out she was a girl. Yes, I said it. I knew she was our last baby and I wanted a little boy to call my own, but after the shock of another girl wore off, I enjoyed every little kick and flutter I could as she was supposed to be our last one. 

As soon as Macyn was born, I knew I wanted more children. She was my first natural birth and it was such a high for me! Laboring on my own and letting her come naturally when SHE was ready was an incredibly woman empowering feeling. 

My  husband and I went back and forth again on the topic of another child. I really thought I was done after three until she arrived, so I got back on birth control and let time pass until my husband was comfortable with the idea. Not only did I want another baby, but our oldest also really put on the pressure (on her own) of wanting another sibling. While she wanted a brother, ultimately we knew we'd have another girl based off our three, and once he agreed to a baby, I immediately got pregnant with Mya and found out just 10 days post ovulation on March 30, 2013. 

Our house is a four bedroom, and we knew that our youngest two would need to share the biggest room in our home. After moving bedrooms around and getting everything sorted, we waited as time passed and it got closer and closer to our little girl arriving. 

While Mya's pregnancy was tough on my body, I found myself paying close attention to the kicks and hiccups I felt inside my belly. Soaking in every little movement was so important to me, and I knew she would be the last time I'd get to feel the miracle of growing my child in my womb. 

After a hard labor, I had yet another natural birth with Mya, and I then transitioned to remembering every little detail of birth and those precious moments right after. My husband had to be at home with our other girls for the 48 hour hospital stay, and this was bittersweet for me. While I didn't want to be alone, I found myself a little happy at the same time because I had all my attention on my new baby. My last baby. I found myself holding her more, examining every inch of her little perfect body and face. All her strawberry blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. It truly was a magical two days. 

Now that Mya is 3 1/2 months old, I find myself getting sad at her milestones. While they're happy times, I also remember that these new things she's always doing will be the last time I get to experience them. Laughing, smiling, blowing bubbles, cooing back, following her sisters around the room with her eyes, and so much more seems to choke me up. 

I'm 25 years old and have a hard time coping with the fact that I'll never again be pregnant. Never again feel the joy of seeing two pink lines staring back at me, feeling flutters and kicks, getting that 20 week ultrasound to see my baby and discover gender, feeling contractions and knowing my baby is on the way, and never again witnessing the miracle of birth and that brand new baby smell. 

While I don't feel we need more children, I go back and forth a lot on my feelings. In one thought I can be sad, but at the same time, I look in to the future and think about Mya's big milestones like rolling over, crawling, walking, and saying ma-ma for the first time. I think of what it'll be like when its just her and I at home because her sisters will be in school, and then think about her first day of school and hopping on the bus with Macyn as they leave me to grow their independence. 

I'm so happy God has blessed us with our four children, and ultimately this is the life I was born to have. I am excited to see where we'll be in 5yrs, but I think I need to grieve and get over never being pregnant again. 

Anyone else feel the way I do?
How did you cope?
Any thoughts are welcome!


Tasha said...

I have three kids, 8 and 2 year old boys and a 6 year old girl. We are pregnant with twin girls now and these will definitely be our last babies. It's hard b/c I love being pregnant but this pregnancy, being two babies, has been really hard on me. I find myself rushing the end and have to remind myself to s-l-o-w down and enjoy it. I also worry that our lives will be so crazy and chaotic with 5 kids (and 2 infants!) that I will have a hard time cherishing and remembering all the special little things during their first year. I will have to be very intentional about enjoying it!

Heather S said...

I feel the exact same with my 3 Michelle. I teared up reading this. I know that in my heart I feel done but knowing I won't have another squish gets to me. And I'm just 23 so knowing there's. 20+ years of fertility left gets to me sometimes. But I'm looking forward to moving on and getting rid of everything baby related. Moving on to the next chapter makes me smile every time I think about it. I can't wait to see my kids age and see what life brings us.

Kasee said...

I know exactly how you feel. My last baby is now 6 years old and in 1st grade. I homeschooled him for kindergarten, just to get a little bit extra time with my last one. When he started public school in August, I went through a mourning period. I didn't know what to do with my new-found time. I moped around the house, staring at the pictures of my 4 happy, healthy kids on the walls. I felt empty. I felt the loss of my angel baby more than I had in years - my second little boy was stillborn 2 weeks before my due date. And it didn't help any that my oldest is away at college. College!!

I'm glad that my husband felt so strongly that my body shouldn't go through another traumatic pregnancy that he underwent a vasectomy. Because I know that I could ultimately talk him into another baby, but he's right: our family is complete. We're fine, just the way we are.

Or so we thought ...

My estranged sister got into some trouble with the law. We now have foster-custody of her 3 little kids, ages 4, 3, & 2. And it may be a permanent placement. Adding them to my household of kids ages 19, 12, 9, & 6 hasn't been easy. And I babysit an 11-year-old, too. Parenting children that have never had structure, discipline, or good food is not easy. On any of us. But maybe this is exactly *why* we were done. The fates just knew that Lily, Jake, and Ryan would need us. Thank goodness we are in a place in our lives where we CAN help. If our oldest wasn't away at school, or if we had that "just one more" baby that I was pushing for, we wouldn't have room for these guys. And they need us.

I guess, though, that while my head understands that we didn't *need* another baby, and I'm thankful now that we didn't have more, I will always miss the feelings of being pregnant and giving birth. I'm a jealous of every pregnant woman that I see. I get angry that I can't feel that feeling again. The I won't get to buy cute tiny baby things again. I don't know if I'll ever get over it, if I'll get to a place where I don't feel that pang when a teensy newborn is in my view. But my life is hectic enough that I can push the jealousy away, far enough away that it's tolerable. That I almost forget about it. Because I am happy with my life. I love my kids with all of my heart. And my niece and nephews, too. My husband is my best friend. And we'll move forward together. Forever.

Michelle Knopp said...

Thank you for sharing your heart! I cried when I read this. I can absolutely understand what you mean. I have 3 boys. Like you, I had my first at 19. Unlike you, they are fairly spread apart in ages. They are 12, 5, and almost one.

It's funny, I know I want one more. I know I'm not done yet. I don't know why and I know I'm not ready right now.

I could totally relate when you said you knew your fourth would be a girl. I wanted my third to be a girl, and I did grieve for a few weeks after I found out we were having another son. Of course now I wouldn't trade him for anything! But, I just have this feeling that I was meant to have boys, so when/if we are ready I'm almost certain we will have a boy and I feel good about that.

My husband will need a little convincing, but he also admits that he feels like we are not done. My family thinks another pregnancy will be too hard on my body. I guess only the future will tell, but I'm certain that my youngest won't always be my youngest.

Diana Chastain said...

I totally understand what you are going through. We were Team Green until delivery day and the first thing my husband said when we saw he was a boy is "Okay We're done". I don't know if I'm ready to be done. To think that could be my last pregnancy...I feel so unprepared. I don't know whether I want another yet as my son is only 3 week old. But I feel mostly it's because I'm just not ready to make that decision yet.