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My baby will be 2 next month. I was thinking recently how the end is in sight to diapers, breastfeeding and co-sleeping (although, given the chance our almost-eight-year old would still *love* to sleep with us, and sneaks in when he can; so I don’t really expect co-sleeping to come to an end soon, but it will change when the baby starts going to sleep with one of her brothers).
With my fourth and last c-section, I had a tubal ligation. I have been pondering the fact that I can’t have any more children for the last two years. Mr. Family Nature and I thought that we’d have more than four kids (ahem, that was before we had kids, but anyway). After our third was born, while I was still lying on the operating table being sewn up, the OB leaned over the curtain and said to me, “I strongly advise against future pregnancies”. I was heartbroken. We decided to have one more baby anyway.
I have found myself wondering from time to time, if we would have had another baby if circumstances had been different; if I’d had the natural births that I had wanted so badly to have. I’m not sure of the answer. We are quite content with our family of six; to us it seems perfect, but still….
When the baby was around a year old I started thinking about another baby because that was the age the other kids were when I started thinking about the next baby. I asked my husband if he would have another if we could and he said, “Woman! Are you crazy? We can barely handle the four we have now!” This in a loving, joking (but not quite joking) kind of way. Yes, yes, of course; our lives are pretty busy with four but I guess I was mourning a little the fact that there would not be any more babies in our house. Still, I told my husband that if we could, I’d have another in a second – and I absolutely would have at the time. The next day my husband said to me, “You know what? I’d do it in a second too.” I guess we’re both suckers for babies.
At the end of last week I was thinking that I was late. You know, late. Truth be told, I don’t really keep track of my cycle like I used to now that we don’t have to worry about birth control anymore. So I just figured that I had my dates wrong and tried to push it to the back of my mind. It kept nagging me though. And then I was thinking about how I hadn’t been feeling quite right for a couple of days. I told myself that I was being ridiculous! I had a tubal ligation, for crying out loud! So I searched the internet for tubal ligation effectiveness, looking for reassurance. Depending on what you read, the failure rate is as high as 2%. What‽ TWO percent‽ (I realize that even 2% is very low, but I was feeling very irrational at the time). And then I started feeling sicker … and sicker. OMG, what if I’m pregnant‽
Then I basically started freaking out. OMG, I don’t want to be pregnant! I cannot have another c-section! I cannot have another baby! I’ve given away all my baby stuff! How in the world will we manage‽
Then came the guilt. OMG, what if I am pregnant? Of course I would want the baby! Of course I would love the baby! Of course the baby would be the biggest, best, surprise I’ve ever had! *sigh* Have I mentioned before that motherhood makes you crazy?
Sooo anyway … I’m not pregnant.
My husband and I sat down with friends, I had a nice big glass of wine and we laughed over how silly I was.
And I thought about how four is perfect. I wouldn’t change things, even if I could.
The baby of the family. I never quite got that before now. Sure, I know what it means, but I get it now in a way that I didn’t before. That’s because we have a baby of the family.
Our baby of the family is the youngest of four, the only girl. She is our last biological child and there is no possibility of any more. So not only is she the baby of the family, she is the baby girl. But you know, one could say that she’s not really even a baby anymore. She is 21 months old, she is nearly two. By many people’s standards this is a toddler, not a baby.
I always thought of my babies as babies until they were much older anyway, but the difference with Baby-M is that she is the last one and that when the others were her age there was another baby here (or almost). So Baby-M is the baby of the family, and always will be. She’ll get to be a baby longer than the rest, and there will never be another one after her.
The other night I went out around 7:30 to get a couple of necessities from the grocery store. When I got back, my baby was fast asleep. Normally she nurses to sleep and she sleeps in our bed, but last night Baby-M, her brother, and Daddy all went and lay down together. And she fell asleep happily. Without nursing. Without me.
I guess I should admit that I have some mixed feelings about this. I am happy and proud of her that she’s reached this milestone – it’s a big deal around here. I also think that this is the beginning of the end of the baby years, so that makes me a bit sad.
It’s also a reminder, like many things are, of how my kids were born, all by cesarean section. Because we might have had more kids – we probably would have had more – if my insides weren’t totally f**ked up by four major abdominal surgeries. *sigh*
I’ve been a bit hesitant to post on this blog more details of my kids’ birth, and how they all came to be born by c-section. Unnecessary cesareans are a common topic on some blogs and I always shy away from commenting on them. I just don’t think my comments would come across right. I always feel like I have to say “No really, I was one of the ones, the ones that truly needed a c-section” because I know, probably better than most, how unnecessary most c-sections are. And I still wonder if people are thinking “oh sure, she’s one of the ones who thinks it was necessary” which by the way, is what I usually think when I hear women say that they needed a c-section. But then I think, blog posts and comments about unnecessary c-sections aren’t really about me, why do I feel the need to comment anyway?
It is these circular conversations in my head that make me think, “I have to let go.” This is the way my kids were born. There is nothing I can do to change that. Accept what has already happened. Let go.