Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Understand that Blog Lady Better Now

*Please note: I know I'm lucky/blessed to be able to have children biologically. I know children are a gift from God. I know I'm one amazing lottery winner for having the chance to be a SAHM. But this post is ranting a bit about the harder side of those things. Because that's how I work through my feelings --by writing them down. Publicly. On a blog. Thank you for your patience and kindness.

Pregnancy hormones are driving me a little bonkers lately. The dreams have been pretty crazy, too (nothing remotely narrative to share, unfortunately). I'm getting to that "big" stage where it's obvious I'm pregnant, but now everything is harder. Bending over is a joke. Sleeping is no longer comfortable. I can't shave my legs easily any more (so I usually don't unless I have to). Indigestion comes on quicker and I have to pee at least 15 times a day. And I'm only 20 weeks!

I told a couple of older gentlemen in my ward yesterday (who asked if I was "ripe," yet --seriously, how rude is that? I blame their generation. They meant no harm; they were trying to be cheerful and kind, but it was NOT a cheery or kind remark) that I wasn't even close --I have 20 more weeks to go! They were shocked, of course. I grow fast. I grow very, very fast and then I sit there for weeks at the same size. That's my normal --after six pregnancies, I would know, right? Sigh.

Anyway, it's frustrating. This has been my most exhausting pregnancy --both physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have asked Heavenly Father if this is our last child, and He seemed to be okay with it. Brandon and I both feel peace about it. But then I had a dream two nights ago where I announced our seventh child. What the?? I'd like to assume it was just another crazy dream, so we're going with that for now.

I did the calculations: When #1 is a senior in high school, #2 will be a sophomore, #3 a freshman, #4 in 6th grade, #5 in 3rd grade, and #6 here will be in 1st grade. The idea of having younger kids, too just doesn't sit well with me.

We've been changing diapers for almost 11 years straight (with at least 3 more years ahead of us). We have maxed out the passenger seats in our van. We only have 5 bedrooms in our house --every child will share because we need an office/library/computer room. I'm already overwhelmed with the duties of being a mom to small children; the laundry alone kills me every week.

There once was a blogger who I thought was cool and hip, and then I realized we had NOTHING in common, and the longer I read her personal diatribes on her community blog (she was one of many, many writers), I was turned completely off. She whined all the time --ALL THE TIME --about whether or not she should be done having children and how her womb was envious of other women (she had two kids) and on and on and on...and all I could say was, "What's the big deal?! Why all the drama!? If you're done having kids, stop apologizing for it! Just be done! Move on! If you're not sure, pray about it, woman! Have another one! Stop pelting us with your excuses, justifications, reasons, etc.!"

It's funny now because I feel just shameful for judging her so harshly. Were my answers to her dilemma logical? Of course. But does logic always mean God will tell us the answers right away? Hmmm?

A few years back I was at my aunt and uncle's house. My cousin's wife was throwing a bridal shower for my other cousin's fiance. We were hanging out and my cousin's wife and I had this conversation with a friend of hers (I may have written about it before. I'm not sure. I can't remember anything now-a-days. Because of the pregnancy. You know):

Cousin's Wife: "I'm just not sure if I'm ready to have our third baby, yet, though." (she had her third a year ago, btw)
Me: "That's okay. When the time is right, you'll know."
Friend: "Which one is this for you?" (I was VERY pregnant)
Me: "My fifth. But it's probably not going to be our last."
F: "Whoa! That's a lot of kids!"
Me: "I really only wanted four."
F: "Then why in the world are you having more?!"
Me: "Because God told us to." Shrug.

Each one of these children were planned. My miscarriage? Not planned by me. More than four kids? Not planned by me. Two girls and four boys? Again --not planned by me. No twins? #2 and #3 18 months apart?

I see this pattern emerging in our bearing of children and it's this: We are willing to do what Heavenly Father wants us to do, whether or not it is convenient, coincides with our plans, or is easy.

And I think that's why wanting to be done having children SO BADLY right now is wreaking havoc on my brain and heart. This is why I wanted twins because it would be like God stamping His approval over our sacrifice and we would be DONE. Finished. Two at the end. 7 children in 11 years! Awesome! You rock! Your job is finished!

But it's not as simple as that. I need to apologize to that blogger and tell her I understand how she feels now. How she felt. Whatever.

The longer this pregnancy goes on, the more I keep thinking "I'm so glad I'm not doing this again. This has been so hard. I can't wait until I have control over my body again" and it's crazy, dear reader. I've never felt this way.

These are some of the questions that have plagued me for the last couple of months:
Is this really our last baby?
How will I know?
Is it fair to just decide to be done and hope God agrees because I really don't want to do this again?
How in the world am I going to raise these six kids!? I mean, I'm not alone (Brandon's amazing), but still, it's overwhelming.
Should I even be talking about this publicly? Who cares, right?

There you go. There are the thoughts I had on my couch while I read "Not My Type" by Melanie Jacobson (really FANTASTIC LDS romantic comedy, dear reader. Seriously top notch. I would recommend you read it!) all day today. ALL DAY. Sigh. Which is totally ironic, since the book has nothing to do with pregnancy or parenthood or whatever. Meh.

So, what the heck does this all mean for you, dear reader? Nothing, really. I told you, I'm just venting.

But my next post will be better. Written, subject matter, etc. You know. All the reasons the four of you flock to my blog in droves! HAHA! Oh, geez. I better get off before I start REALLY droning on incoherently...


Becca said...

Ha ha. So I've been blog stalking you for a few days and I really liked this post (because I have been thinking about it at lot, too - childbearing, I mean - when to have kids, when to stop, etc etc).

Anyway, you just made me laugh about the whole situation I'm in (while also helping me think about a few things). Rants are usually my favorite thing to read, by the way.

Amanda D said...

I know you're venting and probably not really wanting "answers" from anyone, but here is what I have to say anyway:

Take the "I'm done" to the Lord. He'll either confirm it or you'll feel confusion.

However, I personally, would wait until this baby is "ripe" {:)} and born and a couple of months old to ask.

Love you!

E said...

I think i know who the blogger is you're talking about....K from Tales from the crib??? Because i remember feeling the same way.

FoxyJ said...

My mom had 5 kids in 8 years. The last four were delivered without medication, at home. She had my youngest brother when she was 31. She told me that she had wanted to have 6 or 7 because she conceived and had kids so easily, but the last pregnancy and birth were actually fairly difficult (my brother went 3 weeks overdue!). She felt a strong confirmation that it was OK to be done, and I also know that she had to have that reconfirmed a few times later, but she has been at peace with that.

After my last baby (#3) I actually did want more kids, but there are many reasons why I don't have more. But, if we are judged by the desires of our hearts then I know I'm OK because I think babies are awesome and I'd love more!

Handsfullmom said...

Wait, didn't you just post that you felt peace about this one being your last? =P

I think a huge decision like that is tough to make when you're in the midst of pregnancy. For me (because I know we're not done) during pregnancy and the newborn months, I really, really have to push away the doubts about how in the world I'll ever be able to do it again and just focus on doing it "this time." Maybe not helpful advice in your situation when you don't know for sure whether this is the last one or not.

Good luck in your decision!

Cheryl said...

I am finished bearing babies and I am totally at peace with it. In our case we made the decision that 5 was a good size family for us and then we went to the Lord and asked for his approval. He fortunately approved. I think sometimes he wants us to use our agency and make a decision and take it to him for approval. He will let you know. I have to say it is the first time I have heard a talk at conference about multiplying and repleneshing (Elder Anderson) and haven't felt guilty one iota. I love that we are in the "raising" our children phase and no longer bearing them.

Cheryl said...

Becca, I love it when stalkers comment! Welcome!

E --YES! You are too brilliant. :)

Amber said...

Oh my goodness, I so identify with all your questions. The only difference in my situation is that my husband and I are on different pages. He is so done. He was so done two kids ago. So I feel a little alone in my desire to have that peace you speak of. Anyways....

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Wait - so you are saying that you're NOT ripe yet?

Laci said...

It's hilarious that K drove that many people crazy with all of her craziness in the "crib".....too funny! She is truly a bit much!!

flip flop mama said...

Ah, what a little perspective can do. I finally realize why women say they enjoy their pregnancies! Dare I say it? I'm actually enjoying it?? :) I'm paid my dues with horrible pregnancies though.

Good luck with your decisions. I know when I got pg with this one I was dead set on it being our last, but now, I'm not so sure...