Five is (not?) enough…
Fiala is six weeks old, almost seven. When I was pregnant with her, I told my hubby, “If, in a year or two, I start itching to have another baby, remind me how difficult this pregnancy was.” And, it was. I’m 35, and my pregnancy with Fiala was the first time in my life where I really felt… well, not quite “old,” but at least that I was aging. Things just didn’t work as well as they used to, and new problems kept cropping up. It seemed as if my body was protesting being pregnant, like, “Haven’t we already done this, like, a lot of times before??? You sure you wanna do this???” It was hard, and I was so glad when the pregnancy was over. Not just because that meant I got to meet Fiala, but it just meant I didn’t have to be pregnant any more.
I already didn’t like being pregnant, even before this last pregnancy. Some women adore it. Not me. Most women hate giving birth; I think it’s fabulous, and can’t understand why anyone would not want to experience the birthing process to its fulness. In fact, I had never met anyone like me, until recently, when I met a woman who, like me, LOVES giving birth, and hates being pregnant. (She lives down the street, and she’s really sweet, and extremely nice, and Audrey loves her 4yo daughter… I just wish she wasn’t Mormon. There are a lot of fine, upstanding Mormon people and Mormon families; my hubby’s immediate boss is Mormon, and it helps that someone above Martin understands both having a lot of kids, and prioritizing ministry, sometimes above work. However, there’s just something deeper, at a core level, that I don’t think I’ll ever share with my new friend, nor her with me. Bummer.)
While I was pregnant, there was also a deep part of me that was afraid that after Fiala was born, I’d look around and say, “Holy cr@p! Five kids!!! What was I thinking????” There have been moments like that… Like about a week and a half ago, my hubby was at Bible study, it was after dinner. Fiala was sleeping, and I needed to put Audrey in the tub. Usually, with five kids that share a bathroom, it’s, “HURRY UP!!! There are FOUR PEOPLE waiting to take a shower!! DON’T USE ALL THE HOT WATER!!!” but this time, I decided to let Audrey take a nice, long bath, which she adores. I also needed to make a batch of rice milk for Audrey’s obligatory bedtime bottle, which, since she eats like a butterfly, is sometimes the only real protein she gets in a day. The boys were all playing in the back yard. So, I popped Audrey in the tub, and started a pan on the stove. Now, I have rice-milk-making down to a science; I typically make a batch about twice every three weeks. It takes approximately 20 minutes, but I was able to pop in frequently and check on Audrey, as there’s only a span of about five of that where it’s really critical — when the rice flour is added to the boiling water, and you have to stir nonstop for several minutes. Of course, at that exact moment, Audrey hollers, “MOM! POOP!!” At that same moment, Fiala woke up and started crying, hard. Simultaneously, all three boys troop in from outside, all of them yelling/protesting/tattling/crying to varying degrees about some trauma.
So, I had five high-need kid-situations, PLUS a boiling pot of stuff on the stove, which I had to stir.
It was so bad that I just had to laugh. It was like a comedy of errors.
However, most times aren’t like that. In fact, there have been a great many times when I’ve thought, “It really isn’t hard with five. I’m really enjoying this.” Of course, it helps that Fiala is such a lovely little baby, all sweetness and cuddles.
Also, I’ve been having a hard time with thoughts like, “This will be my last nursing baby.” Or, “This will be the last time we celebrate a one month birthday.” In other words, poignant to the nth degree. 😦
I also keep thinking of a speech my mom gave when I was in the hospital. I mentioned to some friends that were also visiting the new baby and me, “When we told my mom that this was our last baby, she said, ‘Yeah, right‘.” I knew my mom was joking at the time, but what I didn’t know, and what she said then, was that what she meant was that ours was the best family she knew, and we were the best parents, and that she was so proud of both Martin and me, and loved us so dearly, that she wouldn’t be surprised if, in a couple of years, we decided to have another baby, and all the better that baby would be, and the world would be, to be in a family like ours. My jaw dropped. That was the nicest thing my mom — or perhaps anyone — has said about me, ever. I didn’t even know she thought that. What support, you know?
Then, the other night, Martin threw into conversation something like, “I’m not quite ready yet for #6.” Implying that, perhaps, he would be ready sometime in the not-so-far future. He’s done that a few times, actually. Or said something like, “If we had #6, we really would need five bedrooms.”
I shared my waffling thoughts on the subject with a couple of friends at church, semi-jokingly, and I wish I could have captured their shocked faces. “Oh, no! Don’t think that!!!”
I don’t know. Not that I have to decide right now… And, not that I’m the only one who will, eventually, make that decision… But I am surprised that I’m even thinking about #6.
The route my thoughts have take me is that either a) we will eventually have another baby, or b) I’ll have to start training to be a doula or something. Actually, the more I think about it, other than the schoolwork, for which I absolutely don’t have time, I would LOVE to become a certified midwife. Another option might be that we become certified to be foster parents and take in only little ones. There’s a couple at our church, about my parents’ age, and they have done that for years and years and years. They’ve seriously taken in hundreds of babies in the last three decades or so. It sounds both incredibly hard and incredibly rewarding.
God only knows what’ll happen. I just want my hubby and me to be in unity, when/if it comes to an actual decision time. 🙂
Posted on December 8, 2008, in Babies, Birth, Christian Living, Family, Friendships, Funny Stuff, Introspective Musings, Marriage, Motherhood, Parenting, Pregnancy, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.