Our Family Is “Complete” and How We Came To That Decision
I’m sitting in the coffee shop, browsing through my favorite Facebook pages and blogs and I come across a random picture of a mom nursing her very new baby. I feel a lump in my throat, my stomach starts churning and my nose starts running. I choke back the tears that are accumulating.
The coffee shop is very crowded with the sounds of a live Irish band. Every one is wrapped into their own world, their own conversations, so I subtly take a napkin and softly dab the tears that escape from my efforts. All I can do is sigh within myself. When there are no words for your sadness only a deep sigh will do.
I never thought that I would be grieving a decision that Mr. Incredible and I prayerfully and thoroughly discussed. There would be no more children physically born through me.
It wasn’t a rash decision based solely on my hard pregnancy with Beaner, but it certainly was one factor.
I am one of the two percent of women who suffer from hyperemisis graviduram during pregnancy. It is a chronic, debilitating condition that strikes within weeks of a pregnancy and can last until the very end. That was my experience with all three kids. I was told by doctors and midwives alike (as well as by my own research and experience) that it gets worse with each pregnancy. There is no cure for this condition, just medication and medical support to keep the symptoms as tolerable as possible.
The good thing is babies born through mothers who have to endure HG do surprisingly well as they take absolutely everything from mom and thrive (like most pregnancies). The problem is a mom with HG is usually depleted of vital nutrients, deficient in everything afterwards.
This was a very rough pregnancy and it not only effected me but the family as a whole. The heart of the home was out of commission for the majority of the pregnancy, our finances took a hit as Mr. Incredible had to take time off to take care of the girls and I, and a year later my health is still recovering.
During my pregnancy I was asked by relatives and close friends to please not get pregnant again. Seems like a very personal and harsh request, and it wasn’t put in exactly those words, but I knew what they meant. Their hearts are in the right place as it is hard to see your loved one suffer, even if it is for a good reason.
Our sweet children that we are absolutely crazy about bring us such great joy. We love teaching them about life, relationships, Jesus and how the world works. And they just love us unconditionally. You can’t beat that!
It’s not a burden to raise them. It’s challenging and exhausting sometimes but we grow as they are growing. We really are grateful to be able to have them in our lives so naturally we would want to keep adding them to our life. Plus we just love, love, love babies.
It’s a tough decision to decide to be done with growing our family, especially when the decision is based on things beyond our control.
In short, our final decision came down to:
- My ability to endure another pregnancy (including the long recovery),
- Financially; because of the cost of medication and home health care that is required,
- and the guilt I felt while my other children had to sit on the sidelines and wait for their mother to be well enough to continue to parent them.
Poots is still having a hard time adjusting and has gotten more and more clingy even though Beaner is a year old now. When I think about the fact that she basically lost me for 7-8 months (while I was pregnant) it just doesn’t seem fair to do that to her, Riggity and now Beaner again.
We have made the decision and taken the necessary steps. I believe the reality of it hit us both surprisingly harder than we expected.
We will grieve the end of everything that goes along with a new member of the family and gather our sweet family of five and move forward.
Anticipating this decision, we have embraced and soaked up every baby milestone that Beaner has taken. It’s been bitter-sweet of course; knowing it will be the last time we will experience “the firsts”, but very sweet because it has been as if we are experiencing everything for the first time.
What about you? How did you come to a decision that your family was complete? Was it outside factors?