Several friends told me there would come a time when I would know I was done having babies. When I was younger I thought, “No way. Babies are awesome and I want lots of them.” Well, my friends were right.
I have been pregnant seven times. Four of those times resulted in beautiful babies that were so squishy and lovable. I loved being pregnant. I loved watching my belly grow. I loved knowing I had a part in making another human being. I loved imagining what they would look like. Will they be a girl or boy? Will they be big or little? Will they be happy babies?
All four of my babies have very different birth stories and all four were amazingly cute and cuddly. My seventh pregnancy, fourth baby was a difficult pregnancy. I felt worn out most days. My body felt sore and my belly seemed so heavy to me. It was wearing on my back and pelvic floor.
When I went in for my 40 week appointment with my midwives, we learned that baby was not head down. She was transverse (laying sideways). This baby was already showing us that she was taking charge and changing the game. I had to have a manipulative procedure to have her turned and have my bag of waters broken so that she would stay head down once turned.
She was not going to cooperate willingly. We had to continue to check that she was staying head down and I had to wear a tight binding around my waist to keep her in place. This child…it is true that they show you their personalities before they are even born! She has held strong to the unpredictable, pain in the butt that she was in utero.
Labor with her was long and hard. Pitocin was needed to keep contractions strong to encourage her arrival. I stayed strong and did not get an epidural or any pain medications. At the sixteen hour mark, my body was so very tired. I was discouraged and wondering if I should just give in and take the stupid epidural that they kept trying to offer to me. I was starving and this little one was not interested in making her appearance (We didn’t know she was a she yet.).
I requested the pitocin be turned down and asked to see my midwife. I got to speak with her over the phone and she encouraged me to stay strong that it wouldn’t be much longer. I wanted to believe her so very badly. My photographer friend, who had been a student of mine, was there encouraging me as well. Without my husband, friend and mother there, the birth may have been a very different story.
After very hard pushing, my sweet, plump bundle of cuteness arrived. She was beautiful and I loved her. All those things I just went through, for a moment, disappeared. I looked into her eyes and said, “Baby girl, you are it!” I knew in my heart of hearts, I was done. There would be no more little babies. My body was pushed to its breaking point with her and I wanted to make sure I could be strong, healthy and happy for all my kids. My friends were right. When you are done, you will know it without a shadow of a doubt.
Do I still love babies? Absolutely, I will hold any baby offered to me and enjoy the squishy. I feel that I am very good with babies. I have a passion to help mothers bring their new little ones into the world. Occasionally, I get the chance to snuggle those babies and it makes my mama heart so very happy. The best part of it is…I get to give them back to the mama and go home to my kiddos. My kiddos are all potty trained, eat all the foods and are so fun to play with. Raising kids is such a journey. This journey has been beautiful, scary, sad, rewarding, and perfect for me.
How has the journey been for you? I would love to hear if you have experienced that moment when you just knew that you were done and ready to grow with your children. Please share in the comments.