one baby, two baby, three baby…more?
When I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter, I was absolutely terrified. Having children will do that to you, you know.
Actually, looking back, all three times that I’ve discovered that I was pregnant, fear has been my first emotion. Fear of failure. Fear of not being able to provide. Fear of something that might happen years and years from now that might make the kids look back and say, “Man, I hate my mom.”
Are these practical fears? Absolutely not. Were they the fears I did (and still) have? You bet your butt. But now, I’ve realized (as I’ve covered a few times now) that all I can do is go with the flow. And if I forget this, C reminds me. Because there’s no point in stressing on something that I can’t directly control, right at this moment. (I’ve got a slight control complex, if you couldn’t tell.)
What made us decide to have 3 kids?
Growing up, I was one of three kids. It was always either me and my brother Ashton against our other brother, or the two boys against me. Normally the first one, but the latter wasn’t completely unheard of. Three kids is a lot. Not that there aren’t people with more kids, but I’m looking back at my pre-Bug self and laughing. I can hear myself now-
“Absolutely not. I’m not having any more kids! 2 kids is perfect- I have two hands. Two arms. C and I are two people, so he can handle one when we go out and about and I can handle the other. They don’t make shopping carts with more than 2 seats in the front!”
I could tell you every reason in the book as to why I swore I would only have two children. And once I ran through those reasons, I could probably come up with a few more, too. But, reality is different than what we tell ourselves sometimes, and this was one of those examples. We had one more child- something I swore I wouldn’t do. In fact, when C and I first had a conversation about children, we were on different pages. I wanted 2; 3 max, but I wanted the third through adoption. C was okay with having a few children, but wasn’t on board for adoption. After we had two girls back to back, we discussed several times trying one more time for a boy because “third times the charm.” (Yeah right.)
How could you not love being a mother?! not want to add to your family?!
Again, as I’ve stated before- I did this to myself, I know that. BUT- 3 kids is A. LOT. Now, there are moms out there with more, and I seriously applaud them. I was just telling someone this morning that I probably look like a circus in the morning when I load the kids into the car- running back and forth, chasing after Bear because she knows she’s not supposed to go in the street but flat out doesn’t care- (she wandered into our neighbors garage one time. That kid is going to give me a run for my money.) Loading in Bug, then wrestling Bear into her seat, and coaxing Monkey out of the drivers seat where she’s inevitably made herself at home, “ready to go.”
Outside of the obvious reasons on why three kids are tough- I’m outnumbered. C & I are outnumbered. Larger car to fit said children, huge bulky stroller, all that. But feeding, clothing, pampering these children- again, stock in Luvs diapers is where I really need to be spending my funds. Plus, not wanting to have more children doesn’t mean I don’t love the ones I have, or that I don’t seriously love being a mother.
my pregnancy stories
With Monkey, everything was fairly normal- until the very end. I was a small frame before pregnancy, so I didn’t really ‘show’ until about 6-7 months in- and then I blew up. I gained a total of 70 pounds, with a majority of it being water weight that I couldn’t seem to shake. Shortly there after, I started swelling- and if you wanna know how bad, just picture the Michelin man, and you’ve got the gist of what I looked like. I was induced at 39 weeks because I couldn’t even fit into those slip on sandals at that point- I was swollen, and there was no going back. The discomfort I would experience on a daily basis was otherworldly- and I worked all the way up to that point. Honestly, the day of my induction, I even went into work for a few hours because I was so paranoid that everything wasn’t in order for the person that was taking over for me while I was gone.
After a 24.5 hour labor, my little Monkey was here- weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and every bit of perfect that I had hoped she would be. I cried when the doctor handed her to me because I just couldn’t believe I had done it. Within a week, PPD had hit me like a ton of bricks, and I was spiraling. I struggled my way through the first six weeks of motherhood feeling lost, broken, and hopeless. I remember one morning where she was crying and crying, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t nurse. I was up the entire night, trying over and over. When my clock hit 6:30 am and I knew my mom was awake, I loaded Monkey and myself into the car, grabbed the whole gallon of distilled water and the entire formula container, and took her to my mother without much more than a few words of muttered explanation. The struggle was overtaking me, and I didn’t know what to do about it.
When Bear’s time came around, I was running around for a majority of my pregnancy- chasing after Monkey! When I hit about 38 weeks, my blood pressure started to become an issue. I had already had labor pains- at one point, actually going in, convinced I was in labor- but unfortunately, no labor. That’s when they discovered the high blood pressure, and decided to induce me to be safe. Bear was a precious 7 pound, 2 ounce baby with a full head of dark hair, and cheeks for days.
After the delivery, they diagnosed me with preeclampsia– I was on blood pressure medication for the six week recovery time following, and it seemed to level out for the most part after that. I also resumed my anti-depression medication about 7 months after delivering Bear. After her colic, and then reflux, my PPD was at an all time high, and my morale was at an all time low. I couldn’t find the motivation to do much of anything- which just made me feel lazy and even more useless.
Last, but certainly not least, we have sweet baby Bug. She was C’s last shot for a boy (and you can see how that ended!) At around 36 weeks, my blood pressure shot up. We gave it a few days to settle, and then I was put on bed rest. That lasted about a day- (its hard to practice “bed rest” with two toddlers,) before my OB made the executive decision to induce me due to concern over the preeclampsia. At this point, my regular OB was out of state on Spring Break- so I had a stand in doctor who was absolutely amazing through the entire ordeal. He took swift and proper action, and scheduling my induction. Throughout my laboring, my blood pressure would sky rocket, and would only stay semi-reasonable if I laid on my side and stayed very quiet. So yet again, visitors were limited, and I ended up requiring a blood transfusion as well.
After it was all said and done, I delivered her with no epidural, and left the hospital a total of 4 or 5 days later. Believe it or not, Bug was discharged before I was- I was so nervous when they took her little ankle monitor off that someone would sneak in the room while I was sleeping and run off with her that I didn’t sleep much the two extra days that I was there with her. When I was finally discharged, I had a whopping 13 pills a day to take- blood pressure, magnesium, potassium, iron three times a day, and my anti-depressants.
the final straw
Outside of everything else, my body was tired. 3 children in 22 months can definitely wear you out, believe it or not. Two had always seemed like the perfect number, but I’m so glad that we have Bug as a part of our family. I can’t imagine us without her. However, the day I was finally discharged from the hospital, once all the excitement had died down, C and I laid down to try to take a nap. After a few minutes of silence, we both agreed that our family was complete- “No more babies” was the exact phrase spoken, if I’m being honest. We’re both young, but we know our limits, and being overpowered by 3 spunky, outgoing daughters is where we draw the line.
I faced a lot of push back from doctors when I first started discussing having my tubes tied, but this is something that I’ve been sure of since I found out I was pregnant with Bug. They tried to convince me that because of my age, I didn’t know what I was talking about; I surely would want more children soon, if not just a year or so down the road. “When your oldest starts kindergarten, you’ll regret it! Wait 5 years, and then we can talk about it!”
I never want to cause the girls any sort of misery or unhappiness, and that includes situations caused by living outside of our means. I’m confident that we can provide and care for these three beautiful little girls, and that’s all I need to know. I’ll leave the rest of the grand-babies up to my brothers!