Being done having babies. I know for myself that’s one thing I was hoping would never end. It kills me to say Yes when people ask if we’re done. I always want to put a disclaimer on the end of that yes…but I don’t want to be! Except that would be too personal and take way too long to explain to an enquiring stranger. Even now trying to talk about it, I find it hard. Not because I’m so torn over not having more babies. On the contrary, I’ve been blessed to have peace in this part of my life…for the most part. I admit there are times when I’m a bit melancholy. Like last Tuesday at a friend’s baby shower. Or yesterday when the old hag came for her monthly visit. Just the excitement of…hmmm I’m late…can I be pregnant? and taking that test…even if it’s negative…is something I can miss.
It amazes me that I have so much peace over it. I thought for sure I’d be a mess. After all I AM the lady who’s always pregnant and has a lot of kids. I can’t believe the number of people who ask me when I’m due. Yes, I have a belly that makes me look pregnant but it’s their assumption that the babies won’t stop that prompt them to be so presumptious. If I only had two kids I think people wouldn’t risk being wrong and asking me the “when are you due” question.
I think part of the reason this process has been a bit easier for me this time is that I’ve had practice at getting use to being done. Yes, I said this time. You see, I believe in God led fertility, my husband…not so much. Yes, he’s gladly accepted the children and for that I’m extremely thankful. While pregnant for my 9th my husband said we were done. We made an agreement if I had to have a c-section that would be the sign that we were to be done and I’d have a tubal. She was a vaginal birth so a tubal was avoided.
One day I asked my husband if he ever thought of having another baby. He admitted he did and that month I ended up pregnant with #10. With that pregnancy the complications came on early. This helped cement my husband’s resolve…we were done…pregnancies were too risky and he was getting too old. He didn’t want to be the elderly parent at graduation. We had the c-section = tubal pregnancy agreement again. He also mentioned getting a vasectomy if it was a vaginal birth. It was a vaginal birth so a tubal never happened…neither did the vasectomy (thankfully!).
I tried to respect his stance, I went through the motions, did things that needed to be done, but I didn’t have peace about it. There were times when I seriously considered “sabotaging” things so a pregnancy was more likely (initiating when I knew it wasn’t “safe” or attacking the latex raincoats with pins hehehe). I knew I couldn’t live with the guilt if I’d done something like that to him. And if he’d found out, it would be a serious problem within our relationship. So I did what any reasonable person would do…I talked to him.
During the conversation I let him know that I didn’t want to be done and therefore was giving birth control over to him. I would truthfully answer him if he asked me where I was in my cycle. I also wouldn’t stop and remind him if he needed to use something like I had been doing. If I was to never have another baby, sobeit, but it wouldn’t be because of my actions. This lasted for a few years until I suddenly found myself pregnant with #11.
His first question when seeing the positive pregnancy test was…how did that happen? lol I realized then that giving the responsiblity over to him was a good thing, there was no doubt that this was meant to be, not something that was plotted. I told him he wasn’t the only one in control and that I probably ovulated early making cycle day 8 an unsafe day afterall.
This pregnancy was AWESOME! I was the healthiest I’d been in decades. Even with bedrest at the end, it was a fairly easy pregnancy. She was a baby that hated the head down position so a c-section was a fairly good posibility. Luckily she decided to cooperate and was a vaginal birth so a tubal was avoided again. I noticed something strange after #11 was born….my husband wasn’t as adamant that we were done as he had previously been.
A year after #11 was born I found myself pregnant again. Unfortunately this pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I really didn’t want my childbearing years to end on such a sad note. Luckily my husband didn’t say anything about being done and we were pregnant again within a few months. While this pregnancy wasn’t as great as #11’s, it went fairly well although delivery did not. On the second day of my induction my water broke on it’s own, I was fully dialated and ready to push but baby boy didn’t want a normal delivery. He was presenting with his shoulder and he was stuck hard. We tried a lot of different things to try and move him out of the birth canal but nothing worked. There were no if’s and’s or but’s about it….I needed a c-section. And as has been the status quo for almost 11yrs…c-section = tubal. I was done birthing babies. There’d be no more itty bitty ones in my life (until I became a grandma that is…but not yet).
I wish I could explain how and why I’m at peace about it, but I can’t. I truly thought I’d have regret and remorse over this, but I don’t. It has to be totally from God, it’s all I can attribute it to. The fact that the signs were so clear according to our long term agreement helped tremendously.
I’m enjoying my last little bundle as much as I can but I’m looking forward to the future too. There is more to having a mega family then having babies. There are kids growing up, exploring, learning, and maturing into adults. There is having conversations with your kids that don’t involve gross bodily functions or schoolwork. There is life after babies. I can either fight it, or accept it. I’ve chosen to accept it. Don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier there will be times when I miss the baby part of being a mom. Hopefully it won’t become a burden and I can get through it easily enough.
Kim is a mom to 12 kids ages 24 to 1yo. She can also be found blogging at her personal site Musing Rambling and All Around Blathering or her slightly neglected food site Growlies for the Gang