In the past little while, I have come to a decision that was very agonizing, and difficult for me. A decision that Rob had already made peace with months ago. We are not having any more children. I always pictured myself with 4 kids, but I know in my heart that this is the right choice for our family. But it is still really fucking heartbreaking.
The decision to have a child is one that (most) people think about for a long time before actually following through. We want to be in a stable relationship, have the means to raise a child, and you want to know in your heart that you actually want one. The reality is, even if you think you have all of these things covered, you don't. You have a stable relationship? Well, be prepared to hate your spouse with the heat of 50 million suns, all because he is snoring while you are up nursing the baby...again. Having a child will test the shit out of even the strongest of relationships. You will have to remind yourself everyday why you chose this person as YOUR person. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and just shifting your entire life around this tiny person, will mess with your head all day long.
You have the means to raise the child? Not so fast. Never in my life could I have anticipated the cost of raising a child. With your first, it's a little simpler. If you have the amazing family that I do, you probably didn't have to purchase much in the way of big things....but hold up. There's more. That nice infant carrier that your baby looks so tiny in, will soon look like it is housing a toddler. Babies grow fast yo! And soon you will be in walmart trolling the carseat aisle, and your eyes will e popping out of your head when you see the price. Even the cheaper ones are still usually about $150. And if you want one of the safest ones.....you don't even want to know the price.
apparently, safety is expensive. Who knew? Then there's formula. Now I only breastfed Joel, and let me tell you how wonderful it was to not have to buy formula. But not every woman is able to breastfeed, and not all women want to. I can tell you right now, Logan is 9 months old, and we go through a can of formula a week pretty much,and it's the expensive kind because all the other ones constipate him like crazy. Then what if you have a kid with health problems. For me, all I can say is "Thank God for benefits." Logan is on reflux meds, and without coverage, that is almost $100 a month! Not to mention he is on 2 puffers....that stuff adds up. So, to sum it up, kids are crazy expensive.
You really want a child? Of course you do. Who wouldn't? They are cute, cuddly, mini versions of ourselves. How darling! Well, let me share some truth with you all. In some of my darkest moments (thank you PPD) I asked myself, "what have I done?" I questioned my decision to have these kids about a million times. And many times I thought to myself...this was a mistake. Hell, sometimes I still think that! Kids are messy, noisy, mouthy(eventually), they suck the energy and life right out of you. And I have sat in the dark and cried while wondering if I should call my mom and ask her if she wants them? Now don't get too alarmed, this was only in my darkest times, and I know that was the PPD, and not my real feelings, but raising kids is scary. Especially your first. You spend a ton of time just trying not to break them, and all of a sudden you blink and wonder where your baby went. That absolutely is not an exaggeration. If you're lucky, you will love and cherish every second of your baby before they are toddlers....but if you're normal, you just survive;)
Many of those things played into our decision. First of all, the cost of raising 3 children is already proving to be insane, and that is with only 1 in school! I think about how stretched we are financially right now, and just think about 5 years from now, and 10...Next, pregnancy. I am not one of those women who loved being pregnant. I actually hated it every time. It was painful, I didn't have control of my bodily functions, I got uglier with each pregnancy(true story) and to this day, I swear pregnancy has made my ears bigger! My first pregnancy was a breeze, no morning sickness, I felt perfect, and until the last month when I was put on bedrest due to hypertension, it was awesome! Then after Ciena turned 2, I had 2 back to back miscarriages, one being a twin pregnancy. I lost my spirit. After that, I wasn't sure I wanted to have another baby at all. I can't even put into words what a pregnancy loss does to you. It makes you resent your own body, it takes something away from you. And each subsequent pregnancy is just not joyful. It is filled with anxiety, and worry. That is exactly how I would describe my pregnancy with Joel. I spent so much time convincing myself that he was dead, and to prepare myself, that by the time he was born, I was emotionally worn out. With Logan, I was hopeful, but then at 10 weeks I bled, a lot...I was sure I had miscarried. But then after waiting in the ER for 6 hours, I saw the loveliest little heartbeat there ever was. It turned out I had a subchorionic hematoma. I was put on bedrest for 2.5 months. This last pregnancy took so much out of me, that I just know I can't do it again.
Then there's Logan's health problems. He is delayed in a few areas, of that I am sure. I'm not sure if that's due to his episodes or not, but that's what my gut is telling me. He is still having episodes, usually months in between them, but just when you think they are gone for good. Bam! There they are again. He had one so bad yesterday while he was sitting that it actually caused him to fall over, and I could trust him to sit unassisted:( I pray everyday for my little man to be okay, but I can't help but feeling that there is something we are missing.
When Rob, and I first discussed the idea of our family being complete, I admit, I wasn't on board. I really did always picture myself with 4 kids. And the thought of never holding my newborn squish again, broke my heart. First smiles, baby smells, rocking a freshly bathed baby to sleep, nursing my newborn.....it all seemed impossible to do without one more time. But the more I thought about it, I realized that was the only thing I was mourning. The loss of all the newborn things. Knowing that Logan was my last baby. Knowing that this was it, I would never have a newborn again. But I wasn't even thinking about the lack of sleep, the worry, the pregnancy, blah blah blah. I just wanted to hold babies. So now, I am just soaking it all up. Logan is my last baby, and I am just loving seeing all of his "firsts" knowing that I am appreciating them that much more, since he's my last. And when I think about someday being able to catch up on my sleep with no more newborns to interrupt it, well that gets me through my sad moments:)