My last baby, Champ, is nine months old today. By the time my second and third were nine months old, I was pregnant again. Somehow, not being pregnant when my baby is on the verge of being a toddler feels strange to me. If I’m being honest, strange doesn’t quite cover it- not being pregnant right now has brought my post-tubal-ligation-feelings back to the surface.
Having Champ was a life changer. Before our youngest was born, we thought we would probably have one more baby. We hadn’t decided yet. I experienced preterm labor in each of my pregnancies, but never actually gave birth to a preemie. This time, my pregnancy took me away from my young children when I was on modified. The birth of our youngest meant 5+ weeks of my time in the , which also took me away from my other kids. Of course, if we chose to have another baby, there was the other obvious concern- having another (even younger) preemie.
The decision to have a tubal ligation after my fourth baby was necessary for the health of my existing children. It wasn’t because I decided four was enough. I guess maybe that’s the thing that is so difficult… I didn’t feel like I made the decision for myself, more like my uterus decided for me.
The littlest guy was born eight weeks premature. Having never given birth to a preemie, I guess I feel like there were extenuating circumstances that probably made him feel like he was trapped inside the body of a crazy person.
- My husband was unemployed when we conceived and for the beginning of my pregnancy.
- We moved from one state to another.
- We sold our house in the midst of a horrible recession after owning it for only 14 months.
- Our new (rented) house is significantly smaller than our last, and instead of having a lovely attached garage, the parking is in front of our house down two flights of stairs.
- We made the decision to let my daughter move out of our home and live with her father full-time.
- I had a six year-old, just turned two year-old, and a nine month-old.
I think that about sums it up. . .So yeah, my uterus wasn’t exactly a chill resting place for Champ the fetus. In fact, my uterus was so uncooperative, that I ended up going to my in-laws (in yet another state) with my kids so that they could help me with the older three. The wonderful people that are my in-laws helped me to keep Champ in-utero three more precious weeks, until he decided enough was enough, and came out eight weeks early to the sound of fireworks on Independence Day.to a in a state you don’t live in presents a whole host of problems, but let’s just say I ended up spending way too much time away from my three older children.
Essentially, what I’ve admitted here is that I feel like having mywas smart- but that doesn’t mean it was a happy occasion… or that I feel the same “tubal ligation relief” so many others feel. You know, a thrill that they are finally “done” and no longer have to worry about surprises. The joy that comes with getting rid of four gigantic bins of was dampened by the realization that I will never need maternity clothes again.
I really just need to find a way to turn this into a good thing. This is the beginning of the rest of my life. I’m officially out of thestage. Now I can actually focus on child-rearing. My youngest three were born within 32 months. During my semi-complicated pregnancies, I was just trying to get by (of course, we also moved 4 times). It was tough to focus on enriching the lives of my existing children while I was trying desperately to stay pregnant. Now I can focus on my kids, my home, and myself. It’s like & my Birthday all rolled into one! Right? Well, that’s how I’m going to start thinking about it anyway.
In honor of this occasion, I’ve decided I need to set some goals for myself. You see, I’m working really hard on being authentic. Its much more than that though. I’m working on being authentic and unapologetic. It’s hard. I shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for who I am, what I think, or the food I eat (or really, the food I don’t eat). I shouldn’t apologize while explaining things like:
- why we downplay occasions like Christmas &
- why we don’t have cable, or even a television
- why we talk to our kids like adults, even when they are “too young” to fully understand
- why we wake up when it’s still dark and go to bed when the sun is out (even when company is visiting).
I’m sure I could go on and on here. I plan to write posts on the topics above, and as I do I will be sure to link them appropriately for all of those who are curious about why
I’m so weird, I do the things I do. I’ve got to stop apologizing for being different. Be more proud and forthright about my decisions and why I make them.
So, here I am, publicly announcing my goal to be more authentic and unapologetic. I guess I’ve started with sharing my true feelings about having a tubal ligation at the ripe old age of twenty-nine.
Does anyone have any pointers? Tips for being yourself (especially if you tend to be a little less mainstream) without apologizing or offending? Please share!