Sometimes people ask me why I had four kids. This is what I tell them:
"I don't know. I just did."
I had one, knowing that there would be at least two. I didn't know it would be 5 days before the first turned 2, though.
Remember in CALM class when they tell you that birth control pills can be ineffective if you are on antibiotics? They aren't lying. AND, it's good to remember that before you start the antibiotics.
Not three weeks later.
Anyway, number two was hard. He didn't sleep. Ever. For at least a year. It was a hard year that included two moves. I don't have fond memories of that year. Actually, due to sleep deprivation, I don't have any memories of that year except a couple. And those usually involve the holding of a sleeping baby and a deep seated longing for an ice cold Diet Coke.
See, those were the days when I drank Diet Coke. I was young, I didn't know any better. I blame my mother.
Okay, two kids. Lot's of people stop here. So let's say that I stop here as well. Fast forward 11 years.
This morning kid 1 left for 5 day camp and kid 2 left for a 6 day camp.
What am I doing? Hypothetically, of course. Oh man....... it's going to be crazy. Movies, books, pop, food and a clean house that will stay clean.
What actually happened?
Rewind 8 years. Kid 3 comes. By choice and because I wanted enough kids that if one died there would be others to keep me busy and each other preoccupied.
Yes, I am morbid like that. This is how my mind works. My mind also goes to places that involve lots of grandkids and big family gatherings. It isn't always about death. Mostly, but not always.
Moving on! When kid 3 was 3 months old I looked at him, for he was so precious and fat and delicious, and knew that I wanted another. He was the poster child for lots and lots and lots of babies.
There was no question. I knew.
Then I had a surprise fourth pregnancy that ended very badly. It also almost ended my life.
Remember when they tell you that if you switch birth control pills that you should use back up for a month? Well, they aren't lying. AND, it's good to remember to use the back up before you get pregnant. Not after, when you are lying almost dead in the hospital wondering how you even got pregnant in the first place.
Oh yeah, right. I switched pills.
But as I was laid up in the hospital thanking the heavens that I hadn't left my three kids motherless, and little Holden being only 9 months old, I wondered if maybe three was my number. Being pregnant was hard for me. I had a wonky heart and c-sections. Maybe I shouldn't be pressing my luck.
I started living my life like I was done. There's nothing wrong with three. And then I felt awesome. I was done and didn't even know it. But now I knew and I could get on with it.
Six months later and my uterus was telling me otherwise. I wasn't done.
Five months later I got pregnant. But because of the last pregnancy I was monitored closely with daily blood tests. My doctor called one day to ask if I had started bleeding yet. When I said no, she said to expect it soon because the blood tests were indicating that I would miscarry. I waited a week for it. Not many people have the privilege of knowingly waiting for a miscarriage. I actually felt like it was a privilege, I was prepared and for that I was grateful.
I'm not patient, but you knew that. You've seen how easy the first three came. We had a running joke that when the man sneezes I get pregnant. So with the ending of pregnancy number 5 I thought maybe my child bearing was done.
I tried to be done in my mind....again. It didn't work.
11 months of trying, which included the miscarriage, I was pretty much convinced that three was my number and that God was giving me an obvious sign that I was pushing my luck. I didn't want to push it. I didn't want to seem greedy or ungrateful. Three healthy kids is a gift.
I told God I would try one more month and then I would concede and be done.
Nine months later sweet little Amelia Eleanor made her not so graceful 9 pound 13 ounce entrance into the world.
The moment she was conceived, and I say moment but it's just a term, it wasn't the actual moment, I knew that there would never ever be another pregnancy. Regardless of what happened with that pregnancy, I was done.
No more babies for you! Again with the Seinfeld analogy.
So I could have stopped after two and today, and the for the next 5 days, I would be foot loose and fancy free. But I didn't and instead I have to spend the week alone with two of the sweetest, kindest, funniest, most loving little souls ever known to this world.
And that's not such a bad gig, if I do say so myself.