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17 August 2015

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Jenny

Oh! Beautiful.

I am so sentimentally attached to all of my baby stuff. We need to take down the mini-crib in my room that the toddler hasn't slept in in weeks and I am reluctant.

In the normal course of life, now would be the time we would be looking to the next baby, but with all the changes, now is not a great idea. I'm not getting any younger and pregnancy is hard. But a baby of my very own? Heaven.

And then I wonder if I am grasping at a past I squandered. Five kids? I thought three was the bounds of sanity. Is it selfish to want to do it again? But I detest being pregnant and still have aches from the last one.

And. And. And. But. And.

Sigh. Housecleaning is fraught.

Barbara C.

As soon as I filed for divorce, I gave away all of the baby stuff that I kept holding on to (especially since 2 of my 5 pregnancies were surprises). But now I knew it was off the table.

At the same time as my youngest (now 3) gets bigger and bigger I am torn between being relieved and a little sad.

I think you touched on something about the notion of being a life giver. Even though at the time I couldn't imagine have another baby, it really freaked me out when I almost had to have an emergency hysterectomy after #4. I know a uterus is just a uterus, but at the same time it felt like I would be losing part of who I was.

Erin

I am the same age as you, but in a very different place. I've been married 20 months and have a 10 month old. As I move the newborn items and clothes to the basement I hope and pray that I'll have a reason to pull them out again. Pregnancy came surprisingly easy the first time, but I still feel this pull between savoring this time and weaning in hopes of conceiving. As you say, no guarantees.

Melanie B

I'm not ready to pack up the changing table yet, we haven't started potty training in earnest. But I know Lucy is ready and I could do it any day now if I only could find the focus. And she's still sleeping in the crib in our room but that's mostly a matter of inertia. Most nights I nurse her for a bit and then put her in the crib awake. I could just as easily put her down in the crib in the girls' room. Or in a toddler bed. And Dom would be happy to have our room be our room again. Though Lucy calls it "my room."

But I'm feeling reluctant and maybe it is because I wonder if she's my last baby. I have a hard time accepting that. This is the first time I've had a two year old and not been pregnant or taking care of a baby. It feels weird. And I'm not sure I'm ready to stop having babies but I'm not sure that having a sixth c-section is really a sane risk either. And pregnancy is so hard and I do want to have more energy to focus on my big kids who need me more and more. I already feel like I don't have enough of me to give to the homeschooling effort.

But I find myself thinking about "next time I go to the hospital" an awful lot. In that weird pre-planning mode. At my last physical I expressed my dissatisfaction with the OB at the last practice I was with and the NP gave me the name and number of her favorite OB. I asked her to write them down for me. Still sort of planning for the "what if."

I just turned 41. If I get pregnant now it will be treated as a high risk pregnancy. It will be a high risk pregnancy. But I'm not really ready to close that door yet either. I just lent a friend my co-sleeper and I kind of want to have it come back to me.

Melanie B

Also, I really love the title.

Jenny

Yeah... I had my 5th c-section almost 6 months ago. At the same time, my olders (twins almost 9) are in 4th grade (homeschooled) this year--which feels like the beginning of "middle" schooling, and I don't want to short-change them in that regard. I'm 38. All the reasons you so eloquently stated, plus my own versions of others... It is hard to know, isn't it?

Amber

A beautiful post. I'm at the point - with five kids and at 39 years old - when I feel like, ok, I'm ready to move on. I can look at other people's babies and no longer feel that "oh, I'd like to have another one!" Instead I think how glad I am to be on the other side of postpartum depression/anxiety and frequent night waking... and not pregnant either. I realized recently that I've spent about 11 of the 14 years of my marriage either pregnant or dealing with postpartum depression/anxiety. And at some point, isn't enough, well, enough?

But yet as a convert I sometimes wonder if I'm still too shaped by the secular world. Should I suck it up (offer it up?) and disappear down the pregnancy/depression/anxiety hole yet another time? Is that what a "Real Catholic(tm)" would/should do? I know that isn't the bar I'm supposed to be measuring things by... but yet I can feel so insecure about it. I mean, really - "only" five kids!

Anyway... a great post. Thank you. Amazing how these seemingly mundane household tasks can spark so much thought.

Kristin

Lovely post. I'm in the same boat just with 7 kids. Not sure if I can handle a 7th c-section. Part of me would love another, then I think about how much work they are!

Monica

Wow, I'm having the same issues now that my fifth is walking. I nearly died after he was born, so we're thinking no more, although we always acknowledge the fact that God is in charge and may have an alternate plan. I read somewhere else that all the work we do to be open to life really does make us open to life (by the grace of God, of course), which means that it's hard to get to the end of the child bearing, no matter what the reason is. Maybe the solution is to focus our openness-to-life skills in other areas? There are so many ways, like being open to the life God is unfolding for my older kids, for a simple and practical start...

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