72 days down, 293 to go!
Today: April 19th (I think?)
Blog written: February 2, 2012 – a few days before I got into the “no yelling” groove. Why this post? Why now? I was searching for an old post I never polished or shared to post tonight while “staycationing.” When I read the line about being a better mother I thought it was perfect given last night’s guest post.
I really needed you today. Thanks for being there for me as I struggled to do seemingly innocent things such as put away baby gear. I couldn’t have done it alone.
The Orange Rhino
Wow. Massive emotions are flowing today. Packed up the bassinet part of the Pack n Play. Moved the changing table out of my room. Pumped only 3 oz at morning pump instead of 7. It’s official. I am getting ready to close the chapter on “having a baby under 6 months.” And boy is it SAD. Sad. Sad. Sad. Sad in a way that has me so distraught that I can’t even think of a better, more powerful word.
My nose is tingly, my eyes are watery. They’ve been that way all day. It’s just outright sad. We’ve always said (my husband and I), and all my friends, that when I stopped having babies I was going to have a mid-30’s Crisis. And they were right. Having a baby has defined me for the last 6 years. Getting pregnant, being pregnant, being sleep deprived. Getting over sleep deprivation just in time to get pregnant again and continue the process. 4 kids in 5 years will do that to you. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Except now, the time has come to be done and it scares me.
Enter this Challenge. This is my baby. I am hoping this will keep me from feeling the emptiness that I know is ahead.
That it will keep me focused on being a better mom to the 4 kids I have – not thinking about the 5th that I know I will not be having (most likely).
But let’s get real – there is still a crisis ahead. I know it. Like when all my friends get pregnant with their second in a few months, the tears will come. A lot of them. And then when they all have girls. The tears will really come. And then when those beautiful babies are born so small and delicate and perfect. Then I’ll really wish I was pregnant again. I just love the hope that comes with a new baby – something to look forward to, despite all the crappiness going on in the world.
But I know we, at a family of 6, should probably stop….it’s best for us. And it’s more than I ever could have dreamed of. I didn’t know I wanted a big family until I met my husband. We both come from families of 2 kids and then one day we watched the movie “The Family Stone” and we both knew it. We wanted that. We wanted the big, crazy, chaotic fun-loving family. We wanted our kids to have their own built in friends. We wanted our family to make big family gatherings big without having to ask friends to stand in as uncles and aunts and cousins. So we had three kids. And then we decided we would have four.
And now, we’re both saying we’re done.
But yet I haven’t donated the baby clothes that don’t fit anymore. They are packed away neatly in the attic, as if by habit. And the pack-n-play will go through the same ritual. And my husband won’t make “that drs appt” to make this officially over. We’re just not ready to say we’re done. And I’m okay with that.
But please, don’t ask me if I’m done. And if you do (because everyone does), when I say “yes, but I’m not ready to admit it” please don’t say “Well good because 4 kids is a lot already.” This is my life. Thank you very much. Yes it is stressful at times.
And yes I yell more than I would like
But I also love a lot more than I ever could imagine.
And that, my dear strangers who feel the need to tell me I should stop having kids, is something that always trumps the stress. Always. And that my dear readers, is also why I am doing The Orange Rhino Challenge.
Because I love a lot more than I ever could imagine.
Fast forward 75 ish days. The sadness is still there. I still have not hit the emptiness, but I still have the sadness of knowing that my child-bearing days are probably over. Why is that? I wish I knew so that I could move on. That’s a lie. I know why. I am just too afraid to admit it. To myself and to anyone.
P.S. I sit here debating whether or not I share this post. Because I know on the surface it kind of makes me look pathetic. It’s easy to say “Hey Orange Rhino, wake the … up! There is nothing to be sad about. There is not emptiness to feel. You have four beautiful, healthy, wonderful children. Cherish that.” If only it were that easy…