I like being pregnant. I love little babies. I will admit, I absolutely have baby fever. When we found out that we would be having a third baby, I knew it would be our last. I was looking forward to doing it all one more time. I had plans to savor it all, relax and enjoy the ride. I had plans to cure my baby fever.
NOT SO FAST
On March 9th, 2014, it all changed. The excitement and anticipation of adding to our family transformed to worry and fear. That is the day we received Thomas’ diagnoses. I wrote about that day here. My whole pregnancy changed. Instead of being excited and preparing our house and family for a new addition, we dove into learning EVERYTHING we could and meeting doctors and other families who were familiar with spina bifida. An overwhelming fear and grief came into our lives. Long gone were the days of enjoying the pregnancy.
We met Thomas with a planned C-section. It was a hectic day. The doctors brought him out into the world. I was allowed to see him from around the curtain and I could hear him cry then that was it. He was taken away to the Children’s Hospital via medical transport. No precious first few moments of bonding in our little family bubble. I know this was completely necessary for Thomas’ well being and it saved his life being able to get him to a hospital quickly, but I feel as if that “last birth” that I had once dreamt about, was stolen from me.
Following Thomas’ birth, there were NICU stays, surgeries, complications, more doctors, PICU stays and A LOT of worrying. We may not get a first step video or even a first word. There are definitely days that this adds up on all of us, but let me be very clear, I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING. I learned a lot about myself and I met this little soul who stole my heart with his sheer determination and strength.
I feel unfinished. I want a last pregnancy that I can enjoy. I want the gender to be able to be a surprise. I want those cherished days in the hospital where you have time to get to know your new little one and the door is constantly opening as family and friends come visit out of happiness. I want a birth on my terms. I want my older kids to meet their new sibling, not in an intensive care unit. I want to celebrate a little soul discovering the world in a natural way. However, adding another kid may not be the ideal thing for us as a family. I, of course, have the ever present guilt over all of these feelings. My kids are amazing and they are more than enough, but I know I will always carry this with me. So, yes, congratulations on your pregnancy and yes, your baby is adorable, but please don’t take offense if I keep my distance at times. It’s self preservation.