THE LAST FIRSTS: A BIRTH STORY
A few things you should know before reading on:
- I have delivered two 9+ pound babies and one 8 pound baby naturally, never yelled and never said I wouldn’t have another.
- We currently have 4 beautiful children and my husband and I have always thought we wanted 5 kids.
- I have a high pain tolerance – like I broke my leg when I was 8 months pregnant with baby #2 (bad enough to warrant surgery that I couldn’t have because I was preggo) and I never took a stitch of meds.
- I sometimes have a big problem with change.
- Closing chapters in my life has always caused me so much stress. Even when I know it’s the right thing.
AND WHY, you ask, are all of these things relevant to the story? BECAUSE…. About five minutes after our sweet little Lola (baby #4) joined our family last week… I declared to my husband that the baby factory IS CLOSED!
Why is this such a big deal?… Because I didn’t expect it.
Let me rewind a bit and tell you that I was induced 5 days late with my first two 9+ pound babes, labored 14 hours with baby #1 and pushed for over an hour before having an episiotomy and his giant head still ripped me inside and out as I pushed for another 30 minutes. (Yeah, sorry for the visual) Baby #2 came quicker but still a hard labor with more pushing than I would have liked and lots of ripping again.
Baby #3 was a little different story. And quite exciting. You see, I and no one else really believed I was in labor with babe #3 a week before my due date, until it was time to push. Honest. I just didn’t believe it even though I was in a lot of pain and contractions were stacked on top of one another, I really thought they’d go away (like Braxton Hicks contractions) and even though I was going to the hospital to be checked, I thought for sure they’d send me home after some basic tests. I was so calm and cool my husband even asked if he could stop for a coffee on the way but my mom instinct must have kicked in telling him, I thought it was best to just get to the hospital. I mean it’s totally normal to just walk into the hospital under your own power, chat with the doc in the hallway (even crack a joke) and then deliver 10 minutes later, right?!?! Oh yea… that’s how it happened. I went from totally thinking I was in control to begging the nurse to get the doc because something (haha…a baby, not something) was coming out and I NEEDED to push while she explained to me that I needed to relax because there was no way that was probably true since I was just smiling at her. I’ll spare you the words I then said to her in a Darth Vader voice as I pointed my finger at her very curtly. She quickly agreed to check to see how dilated I was and was surprised to see a sweet babies head popping out. Yup, the doc barely made it in the room as I caught babe #3 myself in 2 pushes.
Now, imagine how that could have played out different if we stopped for that coffee. No way… I’d probably die if we ever delivered in a car. I mean I love watching those videos of someone else as long as it’s not me.
After all that pain, 3 huge baby boys, and crazy delivery experiences I still never said, “No more babes”.
Ok, now let’s talk about baby #4 and why the baby factory is closed. I think this is because a combination of a few things…
- I’m old(er) and each pregnancy gets harder, not easier.
- I’ve had 4 babes in 6 years which means your body has to work 4X harder to recover (I just learned that from the doc).
- I have some health concerns we found late in this pregnancy that will require attention now that baby is here.
- This 4th time around, the whole delivery experience left me feeling less than happy. I couldn’t reach the stirrups or the hand bars. The on-call doc was more concerned about finding boot and leg covers to put on than the fact that I was pushing. And despite my repeated requests for someone to talk me through what to do, he never uttered a word. All of the above left me feeling scared and out of control which led to a lot of pain and a lot of screaming (I mean movie style hooting and hollering).
- And let’s be honest… after 3 beautiful boys, we have a girl. If we had 3 girls, we would have wanted a boy. So a little piece of me feels like, we now have the best of both worlds.
Let me say, I feel beyond blessed to have had the privilege and honor to carry 4 healthy children and the fact that the human body can create, grow and birth another human still blows my mind. I truly cherish the gifts my children are and I cry happy tears regularly that I was chosen to be their mother. BUT, soon after Lola was born and I had time to initially process the crazy beautiful painful miracle that just happened to us, I smiled through my tears, looked to my husband and said without a doubt, “I need you to believe me when I say this, enjoy every minute of this baby because she will be our last.” And I meant it and I still mean it today, a week and a half later. I can’t really explain it other than my family feels whole. And I’m learning that stressing over change or not having a plan or the end of something doesn’t bring any value to my life.
I am a mix of emotions right now… happy and sad and struggling to fully understand how I can confidently say aloud that I believe we are done having babies. Surely, I am not alone on this, right moms?
I mean we’ve already had our last first car ride home from the hospital. And soon it will be our last 1 month picture and before you know it, our last kindergartner, and last first dance…. Ok, you get it and I’m crying.
But seriously, life is not always going to be what we expect. But it’s how we react to it, that matters.
So instead of dreading my last firsts with Lola, I am cherishing them. I am also cherishing the fact that you and this community all inspire and empower me more than you realize. I thank you.
So here’s to committing to become a better version of ourselves daily while “lovin’ life” together.