I’ve had my last baby, and I am at peace with it.
I cannot believe I am actually saying this out loud, and even more of a surprise, is that this feeling of completeness actually feels good. After I had my third child, I still had this lingering desire for a fourth, but with our infertility struggles and the shallowing of our wallet from the money spent on multiple infertility treatments, I thought the possibility of having a fourth was slim to none. Plus, my husband was completely done…or so he thought!
The day I saw a positive pregnancy test was an unbelievable sight. The positive sign sparkled like a girl’s diamond engagement ring. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing while my husband couldn’t believe we would be paying for four cars, four colleges, and four teenage appetites, haha!
My pregnancy with my fourth child was a rough one. Although I experienced nausea, vomiting, and anxiety with my previous pregnancies, my fourth took the trophy. During my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time in bed because I was so sick and all of this time in bed left me a lot of time to think. I was fairly sure that I did not want to experience another nine-month stint of feeling physically and mentally miserable again. I had been either sick and pregnant or breastfeeding for the last few years and my body and mind felt taxed.
Then the delivery day arrived. As I held my baby girl for the first time, I felt those magical sparks, the sparks that electrify your entire body. The feeling of your heart not only growing bigger, but fuller. The feeling of holding your newborn child in your arms that is wondrously incomparable to anything else in life.
Could I really be content with never experiencing this again?
In my heart I knew I wouldn’t be able to have this experience again because my husband actually had a vasectomy a week before our fourth arrived (haha, he wasn’t letting our 2% chance of conceiving prevail again). I wasn’t thrilled he was getting the vasectomy, but understood and respected the decision; however, I wasn’t quite sure that i truly felt at peace with the finality of actually being done with having kids. There is a difference between wanting something you can’t have versus being sincerely happy and content with what you do have.
A feeling of completeness
It wasn’t until my fourth child was about three months old that I arrived at this peaceful feeling of completeness. I had gotten into a semi-swing of being a mom to four under 5 years old and one evening I looked around the living room and saw all of us snuggling on the couch, and I felt it. I felt a sense of peace gently cradling my heart knowing that this was us, a complete family of six.
Of course, the idea of never having another baby in the house pulls at my heartstrings because who doesn’t love the baby stage, but I have recently gotten a glimpse of the “big kid” stage and I can see the fun ahead with this stage too. My oldest is in kindergarten this year and my 4.5-year-old daughter is an old soul who acts more like she is 10 instead of four.
In the past few months, I have definitely noticed a difference in being a mom to these “new big kids” in comparison to their younger years. While the thought of my kids growing up brings instant tears to my eyes, I have enjoyed this new phase with my “new big kids.”
They are growing more and more into their own person every day.
Enjoying the present
They are discovering more about life and developing new curiosities every week. I went from a full-time pretend play pal to now sharing that responsibility with being a sounding board for their ever-developing minds. Our conversations are more complex and the questions being asked are getting more thought-provoking and intellectual. I am proud of myself for feeling strong and excited about this new stage; however, I also recognize that this may be a little easier for me to accept because I still have a baby at home and still get to experience the sweet baby snuggles; the pure smell of baby breath; the deliciousness of baby rolls; the excitement on a baby’s face from something simple as a smile; and the precious coos and noises. I will continue to indulge in and savor every second of the baby phase with my youngest because truth be told, I will miss it immensely, but I’ll also continue to focus on experiencing all of the new feels with my “new big kids.”
I have also found comfort in our family being complete because of the challenge I have felt in being able to provide each of my children with the attention they deserve. The more children you have, the harder it is becomes to balance time with each kid, and spending quality time with each of my children every day is extremely important to me. As an only child I got constant undivided attention and while I recognize I can’t give constant undivided attention to four children, I can spend bouts of undivided quality time with each of them to make them feel as special as they are.
I don’t want my cup to “runneth over,” instead I want to enjoy every sip of childhood with them.
Our journey to having a family has been nothing short of easy and it feels good to finally feel like I can close the “baby-making” chapter of my life. The last seven years have been hard, but with the closing of this chapter in life, there is no longer heartache over the longing for a child; no more desperation with every failed infertility cycle; no more pre-natal anxiety; and no more hoping that the “deed” could actually make a baby.
Most importantly, there is no more longing, but a lot more living with the four incredible children we have been so blessed to have. Our story began with a girl and a boy simply wanting to be parents, to being tortured by the villain of infertility, to being a complete family of six—THE END!