I remember when I had the Chiquita and I was like this shit is nuts! Life is a blur of feedings and poopy diapers…you’re in a state of complete exhaustion, shock and disbelief. Life as you know it is OVER.
I thought to myself, I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Why do people have multiple children, seriously? I couldn’t believe women would choose to go through this nightmare again.
And now here I am, 19 months later, and I long to have another one. Maybe because I was robbed of the Chiquita’s infancy.
I had a 5 lbs. 8 oz. baby that ended up in NICU, and it pained me that I had to leave her there – only 1 extra night, thankfully - but I couldn’t help but think what did I do wrong to make this happen to my baby?
I suffered extensive blood loss immediately following the delivery and didn’t see my baby for 11 hours. No skin-to-skin bonding time for us.
I should have been given a blood transfusion but the hospital decided against it. So not only did I suffer from normal “just had a baby” exhaustion, but I was even more exhausted for weeks while my body upped its blood supply.
One month later – to the exact date of Chiquita’s birth – I ended up in the ER nearly unconscious from blood loss with vitals so low I was sent to the nearest hospital instead of the hospital where my OBGYN was, and then nearly died during a routine D&C because I started to hemorrhage and it took the poor doctor hours to stabilize me.
And finally, if that’s not a bad enough start to motherhood, I wound up suffering from Post Partum Depression so badly that I wanted to end my life, was later hospitalized again, and then lived in a fog for nearly six months until I FINALLY got the help I needed. The full length of this trauma lasting one full year when one day the fog finally lifted just after the Chiquita turned one.
The Chiquita’s birth was obviously a very difficult time for me, and while I will always be grateful to have my baby, and while the physical pain of birthing her has disappeared, sadly the emotional scars of this trauma still sit with me to this day.
I understand that complications do happen. I understand that every woman has a birth story – no one’s birth is as easy and beautiful as Beyonce would like you to believe. Shit happens in delivery rooms…there’s screaming, there’s fluids, there’s needles, there’s wires and medications and hours of discomfort and the list goes on. None of this is new to any of my mom readers out there. I hope you all understand that I’m not saying my situation was any worse than anyone else’s, I’m just saying this was my situation and it was very difficult for me and still is when I think about the time I lost with my infant.
Which brings me to my current topic of babies on the brain. I was told by a couple friends that as time passed I would surely want another baby…it just takes time…time, time, time. And now I see that my friends were right – the Chiquita is awesome and is doing really well, we finally have established a routine, and I’m in a good place and have started to make things in my life a priority again, like working out and spending time with friends. I’ve finally found that balance I was searching for!
And then people started asking me about babies…were we planning to have another one? Did I want another one?
This usually comes up over girl talk after a couple glasses of wine and leads to my very over exaggerated, “No way will there be any more children for me! One is enough, and I am very blessed with the one I have!” [Chug wine so they move on to someone else.]
But I always leave thinking, really? Is that it? Just one [biological] kid for me? Maybe it would be different the next time. Maybe I would enjoy it more. My analytical brain starts to see everything as “the last time.”
I’ll never be pregnant again.
I’ll never hold another baby that is my own.
I’ll never experience my baby walking for the first time again.
I’ll never…I’ll never…boo hoo hoo. I’m crazy, I know, but that’s what I do!
As the Chiquita is nearing two now I’m stressing about no longer having a baby. I have a toddler now! I’m being told to get her off her bottle, get her off her paci, when will I introduce a toddler bed. Holy shit! I want to cry.
But then I remind myself of all the reasons I “Just Say No” to babies:
1. I Was a Crabby Pregnant Chick
While I (sometimes) long to be pregnant again – usually only when I see a really cute maternity outfit that I know I would rock – I must remind myself that the whole time I actually was pregnant I hated every single minute of it and complained incessantly about being pregnant. My whole way of thinking was, “You’re having a bad day? Well, add being pregnant to that bad day!” In other words anything you do I’m doing pregnant!
2. My Husband May Be in a Wheelchair at High School Graduation
You’ve all seen it. The kid at school whose dad you mistake for their grandpa. Well, friends, yes, one thing I don’t touch on much in this blog is that I am in a May-December romance. My husband is 17 years my senior, so while he says he’d be willing to have another baby, I’m sure he doesn’t want me to be changing his diapers and our baby’s diapers at the same time.
3. Don’t Mess with Perfection
I have been blessed with a healthy and loving daughter, and for that I am very grateful. I sometimes act like I have it sooo hard when I know I really don’t. My kid is perfect! Hard is people having to deal with sick children, like my aunt’s friend whose two-year-old daughter has cancer. Now that’s when you go to bed at night and ask God wtf!?!
4. My Family is Complete
Blended families can be many things. They can be frustrating and stressful, but when that family finally clicks they can be utterly amazing. I have two bonus daughters who I have always loved and adored. Sure there were moments I wanted to strangle them, and I know there are moments they have wanted to strangle me. That’s family! But when you all decide to work together, to accept each other’s good and bad, and to love each other with an open and forgiving heart you can truly heal and become a family.
5. I Was Advised to Not Have More Children
Last but not least, not more or less important than the others, is that yes, I was advised by doctors to not have any more children. My doctors feel that because my Post Partum was so severe it is not in my best interest to have another baby for fear that it would be the same or worse. While women who have suffered from PPD are at higher risk for suffering from PPD in subsequent pregnancies that doesn’t mean you will for sure suffer from Post Partum Depression again. But, there is also no way to guess what the severity would be if you did. I don’t think I want to roll the dice on that one.
So, that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Your turn blog readers and friends – what is your birth story and do you want more children?