We are all sick. I don’t know if it’s the flu or a cold, but either way, it pretty much sucks. But it IS mild. It started with Emma’s cough and lethargy that lasted for two days. Then Lucy had a fever and a stomach ache for three days and a cough that won’t go away even after the other symptoms have passed. I have a sore throat and am congested. I’m also nauseous, but I can’t blame that on a virus. I’d be worried, but energy levels are still on the rise. Good spirits however, are not. I’m quite ready to tie them all in straight jackets and lock them in separate rooms for the duration. But alas, I don’t have enough rooms.
This morning I woke up and made a smoothie for breakfast. The cool fruity taste and texture sounded really good. I filled it full of so much yummy, healthy goodness, that I was sure that I would feel good, having started the day off on the healthy foot. The resulting nausea has made decide that the best thing would be to live the next 7 months on Dr. Pepper, Pringles and candy cane flavored Hershey Kisses.
Just the promise of chocolate and grease caused Speck to cease his “vomit dance” and settle down for a long sugar induced coma. But on to more serious things. I need some cheap “write it down” therapy.
You know, I’ve always wanted a big family. I’ve always loved seeing a parade of kids following their parents down the street. I’ve always wanted to fill up a whole middle pew at church with my brood. I’ve wanted to fill my home with babies and watch them all grow up and see the last one off to college when I am old and gray.
And I would be lying if I said that the idea of sticking it to all of those people with “overpopulation” and all of the accompanying ideas on their mind didn’t give me a sick sort of pleasure. “You think 3 kids is a big family? I’ll give you a big family!”
I think the Duggers are SUPER and I think it’s awesome that she’s pregnant with her 19th child. I really do.
So it came as quite a shock to find thoughts of calling it quits creeping into my mind. And it came as an even greater shock to find that, as I voiced these disturbing thoughts to Matt, he has NOT always wanted a big family. He thinks 4 is plenty and he is actually more excited about the idea of not having so many babies and toddlers around so that we can “do more” together. Because as a family with very young children and babies, our options are quite limited. Add pregnancy on top of that, and our options are basically non existent (limited to a 6 foot radius of our recliner).
I love my kids and I wouldn’t trade them for ANYTHING, even having my old body back. And I love babies in general, I’m just not so fond of the process. Sure, the first step is pretty fun, but after that it’s all uphill. It starts with the need to pee. All. The. Time. Were talking 5 times a night. Next is the crippling exhaustion. Then after a few short weeks (sooner than normal this time) comes the nauseousness. Shortly thereafter, the anger and short temper make their appearance. And lets please not forget the emotional instability, the compromised immune system, SERIOUSLY over sensitive sense of smell, the gagging not only when I smell the bad things, but the good things as well. The vomiting, the never ending thirst because water (my beverage of choice) is no longer allowed (Speck acts like he’s being poisoned), the resulting dehydration, UTI and kidney issues. Even if I can avoid the UTI, my kidneys still hurt. And the drooling. We MUST have the drooling and the ever constant need to spit and the need to sleep on a towel instead of your pillow. Since this is my 4th child and not my first, already in my maternity clothes because of being SO bloated and any pressure on my abdomen increases the nausea. And that’s all in the first trimester. Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, this time I have a new symptom to add to the list. I haven’t experienced this one before, but this time, I also have a complete inability to control my body temperature. I’m either freezing, or sweating. No amount of blankets, sweaters or lack thereof will help.
In about 10 weeks the nausea will start to dissipate and the drooling may subside. However the nausea will be replaced with hunger. The question of the month will be “Where is the food?”. “I ate it. Yes, all of it.” Then I will cry. And since I didn’t loose the weight I gained with Spencer, I’ll hit my max weight in month 5 instead of month 9. And in about 6 weeks, I’ll start to feel the baby move. ALWAYS a great experience… but the bigger he gets, the more I feel him move. Then he’s keeping both Matt and I up all night with his nightly dance parties.
And if my last pregnancy is any indication of this one, I will no longer to be able to walk once the third trimester makes it’s appearance.
I know. Some of your are thinking “You should just be grateful you CAN have kids”. And you are right. And I AM! I’m not trying to minimize the suffering of those who have to deal with infertility or other problems that keep you from having children. It is a horrible, heart breaking problem to have and I am SO blessed that I don’t suffer from it. But that doesn’t mean that pregnancy is easy on me.
Some of you are thinking “I had it WAY worse than you did sister, get over yourself” I know you did. But that still doesn’t make my issues any better.
Some of you are thinking “What the heck is the big deal. So you have four kids instead of 8. Get over it” Ok, how about YOU have a lifelong dream and “get over it” in one night.
And the rest of you are thinking “Stop being so selfish! It’s worth every minute of the suffering when you hold that precious little one in your arms” Yes, it is. But think about this… I’m basically a “non-mom” for my entire pregnancy and for a good month or two afterward. Is it worth it to the other kids when I’m out of commission for a year once every two or three years? I don’t necessarily think that it is worth sacrificing the nurture of my other precious little ones just for my pride. And every child takes a piece of you the moment you find out that he is on the way, and that piece just gets bigger the older that they get. The suffering and heart ache doesn’t end with when labor does. And after a while it starts to take a toll. I think I’d rather be a good mom to 4 kids, then a lousy mom to
10. Especially if I want to stay off the prozac (twitch twitch).
I’ve also heard countless stories of families who felt like they “left one behind”. I never wanted to feel that way. I never wanted to feel like I doomed the last Wilson baby to life with another family because I couldn’t or wouldn’t have any more (I blame Saturday’s Warrior for this thought).
What works for one family doesn’t always work for the next. Some people think that everything in life is “one size fits all” but it just doesn’t work that way. I was looking around the blogosphere a few weeks ago seeing these other families with their 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and more children and I was so sad at the idea that that would never be me. These other christian homeschooling families managed to make it work! How weak and selfish was I that I couldn’t. But as I was pondering this disturbing thought I was left with an impression that I am absolutely positive came from the Lord.
Matt and I were married in the Temple. He is a return missionary who loves the Lord and the Gospel and he tries as hard as he possibly can to make a good life for us. I am a stay at home mom who loves them all, I keep a clean home (when I’m not pregnant), I’m a good cook, I’m creative and I homeschool them because I love their company and want to learn with them. Matt makes a fair amount of money on not a lot of time away from home, we are both smart, patriotic, fairly attractive, compassionate, responsible, talented and fun loving people. We like spending time with each other more than anyone else. Our genes combine very well and make some pretty darn beautiful children. To top it off, we love each other more than any one in the history of the world. And we don’t just love each other, but we LIKE each other. He is absolutely my best friend (why do you think I have such a hard time loosing weight? I’d rather hang with my bud then workout). And I’m worried that we’ll leave ONE child behind? I’m willing to bet that there are about a million little spirits just praying that they are the next one that gets to come to this family.
Now when I look at those huge families, I feel pity rather than envy. They have their 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and more kids. They teach them good moral values and are raising, good, righteous, God fearing, productive citizens. What a wonderful family victory! But it’s a hallow victory. Like they are winning the battle but not war. Most of the homeschooling blogs that I follow are from other Christians, but they are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are SO close to having it all. It’s painful to see. How horrible would it be to to put all of that time and effort and love, joy, tears and heartache into a marriage and family here in this life and not be able to continue to enjoy all of the the wonderful, glorious benefits in the next. I’d rather have 4 children and have it be forever, than have 10 and have it be only for this life. It would be great to have both, but it’s just not possible for me. One size, does not fit all. And I won’t be able to “stick it to them”, but that isn’t really a good reason to have more kids anyway.
I’m so thankful that we have the Gospel in our lives and that our family is an Eternal Family. I am so grateful for the Plan that my Heavenly Father has for us. And I am so thankful for the comforting thoughts that were sent to me to help me through. We were married in the temple and our marriage won’t die when we do. Our family IS forever! I may not have my “big family” in this life. But I will have it. If I work as hard as I can and do all that I should in this life, then in the next Matt and I will have ALL of our children. All however many billion of them. And I’m pretty sure morning sickness won’t be an issue.