My last three pregnancies were very hard - two losses, a diagnosis of an incompetent cervix, bedrest, and a micropreemie. Add eight children into the equation and you must think I am crazy for even contemplating another pregnancy. I am now considered to be of Advanced Maternal Age. Those three little words written across the top of my chart are enough to make me pause. My husband and I had a deal. No more pregnancies after 35. I almost kept my word, delivering my last baby a few weeks after I turned 36.
I get a similar feeling when I get an email from Target advertising its baby sale as when I received emails about my baby registry after I lost the boys,. I don't need those things anymore. At the mall, I run into Motherhood Maternity to use their bathroom. Have you noticed how cute maternity clothes are? I will never need to buy anything there again. I will miss maternity jeans. When else is it acceptable to wear cute jeans with an elastic waistband? Recently, I gave all of mine away, so I am not tempted to throw a pair on while lounging around the house.
My mind plays funny tricks on me. Every once in awhile I think I can feel movement in my stomach. Why would I assume it was hunger or simply gas? No, I let my imagination wander, fantasizing about creating another perfect little addition to my family. Then, I stop to remember the hospital stays, the NICU, and the strain pregnancy placed on my family. I pour myself a cup of tea, and all of a sudden the rumblings subside.
My last baby is slowly becoming a little boy. I am blissfully happy living in the land of Toddlerhood. I may never get to sniff the top of my newborn's head again, but there is so much more I will get to experience. Each day, I get to watch my children learn new things and master new skills. I am trading in my baby bag for a cute purse.
Plus, when I think about never having to experience morning sickness again, elastic waistbands are not such a draw anymore.
Jennifer Swartvagher blogs at www.beyondthecrib.com about her life and her adventures raising eight children, ranging in age from 17 to one year. The journey beyond the crib doesn't end when the kids are out of diapers, and no one judges us as hard as we judge ourselves. Beyond The Crib's goal is to help other moms (and dads) see that we are all in this crazy world of parenthood together.