I was asked a few times if I'm disappointed that the baby is a boy. Of course I'm not! I don't understand going through the excitement of becoming pregnant, maintaining that excitement for nearly 20 weeks, only to become disappointed that the baby has the wrong anatomy between their legs. Yes, we wanted a girl because we already have three boys and wanted to give Anastasia a sister, but we aren't upset at all. On the contrary, we are quite happy and thrilled to be having another boy. When we first got together I thought I'd never have any boys. My family seems to only produce girls - so each boy is just an added blessing and surprise.
The ONLY disappointment was the tough decision this created. We always wanted 6 kids and had agreed that if we got our second girl we'd cut it early. I had mixed emotions about this but agreed because Chris really feels finished (although he's said this after each child and then changed his mind and bugged me to get pregnant again). Once we discovered its another boy it became more difficult. I had started to come to terms that this may be the last baby, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for it, and I had hoped if it was a girl I wouldn't really have to make the hard decision, but I do.
For the past few days I had been trying to rationalize stopping, because rationally speaking there are a lot of good reasons to say our family is complete.
1. We have a large family
2. 4 teenage boys is already daunting (food bill wise), what if the next is a boy and we have 5 teenage boys to feed?
3. Pregnancy is HARD on my body and my EDS. I've become more high risk with each pregnancy, and it takes a while for me to recover afterwards.
4. Chris is ready to stop
5. I have been pregnant, or breastfeeding, or both for the past 8 years with only a 12 month break total.
6. We are held back by having a newborn or me being pregnant and can't do a lot of family activities because of it
7. I'm tired.
8. I tried to reason that, miscarriage included, I've been pregnant 6 times.
In the back of my head was one very loud voice saying that I'd regret not having my original 6. That was a very loud annoying voice. And I kept trying to quiet it with all the logical reasons above but I couldn't. I kept telling Chris to give me a few days and I'd try to come to terms with it.
Then today Anastasia discovered the stash of Charlie's ultrasound pictures and looking at them had me overwhelmingly sad and upset at the prospect of not having one more baby after this. It's purely emotional but it's still a huge factor. My whole life I have wanted 6 kids. My whole adult life has been spent making that happen. I have put things on hold, changed my dreams and goals, and sacrificed a lot to achieve this. I feel as if we had 6 kids waiting in the wings and if we stop we've only opened our arms to 5 and told the 6th to take a hike. I know the child isn't physically made yet but I believe in fate and I believe that everything happens for a reason. I won't be able to shake not having that 6th baby. My husband is an Atheist and this isn't a reason he'll ever understand or accept but it is how I feel.
As for the logic up above -
1. We have a large family - Whats one more child to an already large family? Welcoming Charlie into our family didn't affect me at all, I suspect it will be the same with "Stormageddeon" (the baby's nickname). A 6th child will be just as loved as the first 5 and I have always felt a calling to welcome any person into my home. I am a caregiver by nature.
2. 4 teenage boys is already daunting (food bill wise), what if the next is a boy and we have 5 teenage boys to feed? - This is daunting, but we'll manage. We always do. I'll have a good paying job at that point, we should have been debt free for quite some time, and Chris will be higher ranking. I tend to cook for an army anyway as we have an open door policy on dinner at our home. Everyone is welcome.
3. Pregnancy is HARD on my body and my EDS. I've become more high risk with each pregnancy, and it takes a while for me to recover afterwards. - This isn't one I take lightly. I will never take my health or my body lightly or for granted again. I AM looking forward to getting my body back permanently and trying to salvage as much as I can for the years to come. Having EDS is tough, every day is a challenge, but it's worth it. I fought so hard in physical therapy and occupational therapy FOR my family. My PT said she'd never seen anyone work so hard. I've had to cut a lot of dreams out of my life because of EDS, I've had to make a lot of sacrifices in my life because of EDS. There isn't a person on this earth who can fully relate to how hard I push myself daily, because they aren't me. I'm not going to just give up. There are days I want to, but I push through it because of my family. I'm not going to stop anytime soon.
As for being high risk, I am high risk and that is something to think about. However, as long as I'm closely monitored my risks go way down. I'll never have the birth I've envisioned, but thats a sacrifice I'm okay with.
4. Chris is ready to stop - This is the biggest deciding factor. I love my husband more than I've ever loved anyone (except my kids perhaps, but thats a different kind of love). He's my favorite person in the world, he's my best friend, and it's equally his decision to have more or not have more kids. If he doesn't change his mind all of this is a moot point. I can't, in good conscience, have another child if he doesn't want to. It takes TWO to have a kid, and only one to prevent it. I love him enough to put aside my feelings for his if thats how he really feels.
5. I have been pregnant, or breastfeeding, or both for the past 8 years with only a 12 month break total. - I have done a number on my body over the past 8 years, but adding a few more years into that isn't a big deal. I mean, afterall, women did it for centuries and look at Michelle Duggar - she's still trucking! I love nursing, I love being pregnant, I will miss both when I'm done for good.
6. We are held back by having a newborn or me being pregnant and can't do a lot of family activities because of it - Having a 6th would mean putting everything on hold for a few more years. I'd be pushing back going to school, getting a job, doing older kid activities.... But it would be worth it. And it's only 2 additional years. Our 6th would be born around December 2013/Janurary 2014.
7. I'm tired. - What parent isn't tired? As long as it doesn't affect my ability to be a good parent this isn't really a big deal.
8. I tried to reason that, miscarriage included, I've been pregnant 6 times. - I have been pregnant 6 times, like originally planned, but I don't want to include Baby C in my 6 kids. It sounds awful. Every year we honor the day we miscarried, October 12th, 2007, in some way. We haven't forgotten that baby at all, but I feel as if that babies time wasn't then. As if, spiritually, that baby is going to be born at some point, if he or she hasn't already, so he or she wasn't really lost. Again, not something Chris is going to understand or agree with. It's just always how I have felt.
So at the end of all of this I DO want another. I do want my 6th. I'm not sure if we will have a 6th, it all depends on if we can agree. I am NOT upset or disappointed that this baby is a boy, I just want to make that clear.