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Pregnancy #6

My husband walked around the bed this morning to kiss me good-bye before heading off to work. "How did you sleep?" he asks.

He asks me that. 32 weeks pregnant with our 5th kid (6th pregnancy). How did I sleep? I had heartburn. I woke up a little after midnight and thought I would puke. I had Braxton Hicks. I felt like I needed my inhaler every time I rolled over. And forget about finding a comfortable sleeping position when your hips slide out of place every time you lay on one side too long.

Lately I've been doing a lot of pregnancy grumbling. Like a lot of people, I hate being pregnant. The waddling. The huffing and puffing while doing small tasks. Braxton Hicks while trying to load and unload children from school pick up and drop off. The aches, pains, discomfort, irritable uterus, post-partum, all of that. It is all so frustrating. Of course there are amazing things about pregnancy. I love the excitement of seeing two pink lines when all I've been seeing is negative, negative, negative. I love feeling the baby kick. I love wondering if all these kicks and movements give any clues to the baby's personality. I love deliveries and that rush of new parent emotions when holding your baby for the first time. I love the newborn days and tiny hands and feet. I love other people's pregnant bellies. But pregnancy... as much as I long for it when we are trying to conceive, I hate going through it.

I've been hating the timing of this pregnancy. It isn't good timing-- not for me, not for my husband, not for our kids, not for my family. It just is not what we would have chosen if we were planning it better. It has been horribly uncomfortable with the complications I had after delivering baby #4 and each week makes it progressively more so. I feel like with my husband's schedule and our distance from family (aka our help), I need to be more active, more helpful, more available. Instead, I've become something else for my husband to balance and manage and, because of the complications, after delivery of baby #5, will be even more so. All of that frustrates me. Did we plan this out when we moved so far away from family? Was this the right choice? Could we have done this differently?

Who knows. After having baby #4, my husband and I were put in the awkward position of needing to decide if we were going to have more children almost immediately post-partum. I either needed surgery now (which would end our child bearing days) or we needed to finish having children so I could have surgery then. Our OB leaned towards surgery. My husband and I had to talk. I knew for a fact I felt our family wasn't complete, that I at least wanted to have one more baby. My husband was unsure, not because he didn't want another baby, but because of all the unknowns-- how would it affect my health? What if we have multiples again? What about timing? What about miscarriages/repeat molar pregnancies? What about distance from family? (Obviously he is the practical half of our marriage.) Our original game plan after baby #4 was to do a long-term birth control option and after sea duty discuss the possibility of baby #5, except my complications meant we had to make that decision much sooner. In the end, we talked to the OB about whether or not another pregnancy would be safe. (Safe? Yes, most likely. Comfortable? No, not really.) We came up with a new game plan: start trying for baby #5 ASAP and then get the surgery right after. Right before baby #4 was 6 months old, we started trying for baby #5. The timing of this baby wasn't, "Okay, now is a great time for a baby... now that my husband has reported back to submarines," but more of, "Let's get pregnant as soon as possible to have the baby as soon as possible to have my surgery as soon as possible." And here we are. 32 weeks pregnant, living across country from family, husband on a submarine, taking care of 4 children by myself, and trying to establish life in a new duty station.

But the one thing that keeps me focused is this little girl growing inside me. I am counting down the weeks, days, minutes, seconds that I can hold her. I am so excited. We will have five precious children this summer-- 4 boys and a girl. I also feel like that there are only 8 more weeks left of pregnancy. Not just this pregnancy-- but Pregnancy with a capital P. This is it. Period. Last one. There will be no more pink lines in this family, no more shopping at Pea in the Pod (well, can't guarantee when I will stop wearing maternity jeans after carrying 5 children to term...), no more feeling the baby move for the first time, no more deliveries, no more exhausted 3rd trimester evenings where I'm struggling putting kids to bed while dealing with pregnancy discomforts... No more. This is the last recovery. The last time losing the baby weight. The last time my milk will come in. The last time nursing. Period. No more. El fin.

When my hubs asked how I slept this morning, I told him, "8 more weeks!" As the countdown has dwindled from 6 months, to 5 months, to 4 months, to 12 weeks, and down and down to now-- 8 weeks!-- the end has felt near. I can see the finish line. This last pregnancy has been my most difficult pregnancy, from the ups and downs to the discomfort to the amount of children I'm taking care of while pregnant to my husband's schedule. The complications have made each week of the 3rd trimester harder than the previous and I will be so ready to deliver when the time comes. But, as my mom has told me, there is never a "good time" to get pregnant or have a baby. We are making this work. We keep on keeping on. At the end of this, we will be welcoming home our precious baby girl. That in itself will make all the tears worth it.

Comments

Stacy Ennis said…
You are simply amazing, Kimber. You have a great attitude. I barely made it through my two pregnancies, so I really admire your ability to manage four kids while pregnant. Hang in there!
Kimber said…
I had to re-read my post because your comment made it sound like I'm handling this pregnancy well! LOL! Thanks for the encouraging words. I've definitely had a lot of ups and downs and woe is me moments. As we approach the last few weeks, I've been able to pull myself up by the bootstraps and face each day with a little more enthusiasm, just because we are getting SO CLOSE. I will be so, so, so ready to deliver when the time comes. Really not sure I could do another pregnancy after this one, even if I wanted to though!!
Kimber said…
I had to re-read my post because your comment made it sound like I'm handling this pregnancy well! LOL! Thanks for the encouraging words. I've definitely had a lot of ups and downs and woe is me moments. As we approach the last few weeks, I've been able to pull myself up by the bootstraps and face each day with a little more enthusiasm, just because we are getting SO CLOSE. I will be so, so, so ready to deliver when the time comes. Really not sure I could do another pregnancy after this one, even if I wanted to though!!

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