Monday, February 24, 2014

And...I'm done

Yes! Tomorrow, finally, the appendage I've been sporting for nearly 6 weeks will be removed! God is so very good :0) I may do a little jig.

It was yesterday, though, that marked a much bigger finish for me.

Let's run down the stats, shall we?

I have been pregnant 6 times and have 5 living children.
I was pregnant with twins, albeit, for a fairly short time.
I have had five c-sections.
I have had one vaginal delivery, a miscarriage, in a foreign country, where we buried our child and then had to return home.
I have had one 8+ pounder, three 9+ pounders and one 10 1/2 ;0) (my sweet muffin).
I did all of this between the ages of 36 and 43.

I am not bragging but I did want to wrap it all up in a neat little package. You see yesterday, after waiting 3 days past the due date and one veeerrrryyyy faintly positive pregnancy test, my period began again. With that beginning is the end of my quest for children. There is nothing as final as a hysterectomy, fear not, but I will no longer be actively and obsessively seeking my next pregnancy.

Yes, obsessively. It sort of turned into that during the last year. It's funny when I think about it actually. I have been told I'm competitive but I don't really see it. My weight, my clothes, my hair, my house, even my kids (none of their positive aspects really come from my doing - some are blessed, some not)...I'm never really sure where people see me as trying to outdo them. Regardless, this is one area that I have seen and felt the competition. It's something I've grown to deeply dislike.

Reading "mom blogs"and immediately casting judgment because they made choices I never would, having been given the chance...hearing women I know say "why did God do this now" or "no more babies for us!" when all I really, truly wished for was another. That's all my "stuff" - no one else is responsible for what their words will make me feel (except for the mom who takes every opportunity to work her number of children into every conversation because, frankly, we're all over that ;0) ). Feeling badly about anyone else's decisions about their children (or lack thereof) is too much for me to carry around. I have too many other worthwhile things to occupy my time.

Goodness, have I even stopped to talk about the BLESSINGS I have been given in regard to my motherhood? Please see the italicized lines above to start - yes, each of those statements has been a blessing in my life! Then we can move to my husband, who started this at 39 (!) and told my mom recently that he "would have been happy with two or three but you don't tell your wife 'no' when she wants another baby." That warms my heart and breaks it at the same time but I know what he means. Although he never imagined that this would be his life, he has signed on to God's will and he's in it for the long hall. Wow. What was I whining on about back there? How could I ever want more than I have? How could I ever begin to deserve what I have been given?

So, that's my big announcement. Not the one I hoped to be making but one I'm proud of, just the same. I know it will come as a huge relief to my mom and my siblings. I forget what exactly my brother said in Slovakia after I delivered Bernadette but it dealt directly with my advancing age (in the most loving way, I assure you). :0) Only a big brother can do that. I'm sort of relieved too, from a societal point-of-view. My life choices brought me here but being the "grandmother" in a group of young women having babies is a struggle all in itself. I am blessed by the friendships I have made while raising little ones along side women who will now continue with their motherhood journey. I look forward to chatting with them during the "raising teens" period that will come for us in the very near future.

I'm so thankful because this epiphany has allowed me to realize it's time to move on and concentrate on the blessings that walk around here every day. Someone apparently left the door open and I now have a nearly 7- and almost 9-year-old walking around! When did that happen? When I was having other babies and attending to their needs. While I wasn't neglectful and while the older kids love having babies, they have lost out on a lot of "mom time". I am thankful that I can now turn my attention back to raising the babies I do have. How blessed I am to have them home all the time so that I don't miss a moment (even the moments I think I might rather miss).

Thanks for listening. I disabled the comments for this post because, well, it doesn't really require commentary. It was something I needed to write because, if you're following along, you probably need to know. If you feel you must say something, drop me a line. Otherwise, just say a prayer...I have been using the pain of this transition as an offering to help those who need extra grace. If that's you, or if you've asked for my prayers (or if you need them because you're having another baby - I'm laughing...I am!) I hope it's helped a little at least.

Having said all of this, I feel like I have to remind you that, while I'm not going to obsess and openly seek more children, that doesn't mean it won't happen (we're Catholic, ya know, and my husband just yesterday said "doesn't your temp going down mean you ovulated?" so don't look to us for NFP advice LOL). Like our dear friends, the day may come when adoption presents itself as God's will for us. Who knows? I know I'm not stressing it. I'm thankful for what I have been given. I have been given far more than I could ever deserve. I realize that I am so very blessed!