April 9, 2012

~ Can us Moms have a moment here ~

Moms, can we just have a pow-wow here for a minute, a heart to heart and talk about something alot of us don't?

I've got alot of emotions about this topic, so forgive me if this gets messy.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Mannos are done having children.

Oh how that sentence hurts my heart.  But it's true, my uterus has taken it's final bow, my husband is getting neutered, we are done.

So why am I the only woman I know devastated by this decision.

Every other woman I know declares she is done having children while dancing a jig and taking a victory lap around her house chanting like a tribal woman "No more sippy cups,  No more diapers" - like they've broke the shackles from this awful rugged prison.

I had alot of reservations talking about something like this on a public blog, but there were so many moments in making this decision that I felt like the craziest woman on the planet and I can't help but think that other women, somewhere are feeling the same way and just aren't saying it.

Let me start by saying I always wanted alot of kids, ten to be exact.  My husband is one of nine and my mom is one of eight, all I've ever known is big families.  But once I started actually making these little people that number dwindled drastically, to at least four, maybe, maybe five or six.   I really doubt five or six would have happened, but I never thought I'd have less than four.


Sure, there have been a few crappy days when my husband and I would look at each other in tandem and say "3 is enough"  but we always knew we'd change our mind by morning. 

We did try to have baby number 4.  We tried for 6 months, and when that deadline passed we tried for 2 more months, 8 to be exact.

Now, here is a bonus fact about me.   I had 3 kids in 5 years and had 2 mis-carriages between Rocky and Luci, so if you do the math, I was pregnant 5 times in 5 years.  I pretty much got pregnant every time Jimmy sneezed on me, so I couldn't help but notice that us not getting pregnant with # 4 could be something we should pay closer attention to. 

Libby Lu is now at the age I am usually birthing my next child, not just getting pregnant.   My husband and I said a million times in those 8 months "If we are suppose to have another baby then it will just happen, and if we're not then it wont" - and it didn't.

And the more the months went by the more I felt myself being okay with the fact that I might only have 3 children.

I felt myself pulling further and further away from the exhausted mother who wears the same yoga pants 3 days in a row.    We actually sleep through the night about 6 out of 7 nights a week, while we keep a spare diaper in our glove box, we can basically go wherever we want diaper bag free.  

And the more I look at the dynamic of my family, the more I realize that it is absolutely, beautifully, magically perfect the way it is.  

So why was I so sad?

When I say sad, I mean cried for 3 days.  The thought of not having any more babies hit me like a bus.  I thought my mom was going to send me to a therapist.  She didn't understand why if I was so sad I didn't just keep trying.   And I came to this conclusion.

I am not sad because I only had 3 kids.  I am sad that chapter of my life is over.


Even if I had baby # 4 I am positive all these emotions would still be there, ready to creep up as the last one grows up.   I could have 8 kids and I would still be sad when it was over. 

I am completley content and over the moon with the blessings I have.  I have several friends struggling through infertility hell, so I don't want anyone to be confused where this is coming from. 

I just can't believe it's over.  I can't believe I will never carry a baby in my body again, I will never hold another little curled up body skin to skin and just close my eyes and sink into them.

I knew I wanted to be a mom from the time I was 5 years old, for all the times I played with dolls and doodled names of future children on elemterary school notebooks I feel it's finally here, and it's even better than I thought it was going to be.

Like my whole life was leading up to the moment I had kids and now it's over?  It just doesn't seem possible.   It's like the day after Christmas times one- billion- trillion. 

Yet so many other women have NO PROBLEM making this decision.  Again, with the chanting and victory laps around their house.  Why can't I feel this way? 

I did find peace in the fact that we did try to have more children and it just didn't happen.   Sometimes you have to let someone bigger than you make the decisions you cannot make for yourself.

And, I will say it's been a few weeks since this decision was made and I am feeling better about all of this, alot better.  Every day I get more and more confirmation that this is a good thing. 

It's still sad, and I'm still on a bit of an emotional ledge , but I'm also really excited for the next chapter.   My kids are 7, 4 and 2 so by all accounts they are definelty still "little" and we have alot of life to live.

One thing my husband and I agreed on, is that having less kids than we expected just means we can give these 3 an even more kick-ass childhood than we wanted to. 

I'm excited  about going to one of Rocky's hockey games without a baby to chase.  Lord knows I haven't gone a day in almost 8 years without changing a poop filled diaper, and to think in the next year that will be over makes me want to dance a jig and do a victory lap.

I'm excited for the next chapter, I'm excited for braces and training bras, junior high dances and them sleeping until noon on the weekends, watching my children stretch their independence and learn about good decision making, and hopefully put to use some of the wisdom we've tried to prepare them with.

After all, Our hands stay pretty full with 3.  As we speak Rocky is trying to dig up our dead dog in the backyard, Luci can't eat anymore of her dinner because her "armpits are too tired" and Libby Lu is just standing in my office with those big blue eyes peeking over the num, num, num of her binky and her tired eyes say she needs me. So duty calls and I need to go. 

I just hope I'm not alone and I hope it gets better.  I hope there are other women who felt the same way I did and I'm not as crazy as I thought.   I can say I'm very confident in my decision and that it's the right thing to do for our family I just want to make sure it gets easier as time goes on.