Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well At Least Now We'll Have A Basketball Team

It is times like these that it is good to be an anonymous person. I have purposefully chosen to NOT reveal to friends, family, etc that I have a blog. I like to be able to talk about what's going on and putting my thoughts/opinions out there without having to worry about, "Am I offending someone I truly respect? Am I hurting someone I love? Will this comment come back to bite me in the ass?"

So, here's the part where I tell you something and you can't call me up and yell at me because you don't have my digits: I am pregnant again. With #5. And I'm not too sure how I feel about it.

I want to be excited. This baby deserves it. I want to jump up and down. I want to be so excited that I can't wait to tell my parents, my in-laws, my friends. But, the truth is, I'm just scared.

I'm scared about how I'm going to squeeze all our children into our house. It isn't small, by any means, but just the way the rooms are set up and the furniture we have, well, it isn't really built for 5 children.

I'm scared about how I'm going to be able to be a mom to 5 kids and not lose my sanity. As it is, many days I am about to fall apart. Lately, I find myself running around to the point of being drenched in sweat. This is no exaggeration. And I'm doing this running around just to get the dinner dishes cleaned up and put away before the kids go to bed. Because once the kids go to bed, I have to make lunches, prepare the diaper bag, check homework, sign permission slips, iron shirts, sew on missing buttons, fold laundry, pay bills, plan the dinner for the next day, more more MORE. I know that everyone has these responsibilities but with each additional child, it's one more person to pick up after, fold their clothes, wash their dishes, etc.

When I got pregnant with Linus (our 3rd) I could not believe it. I was in denial pretty much the whole time. I can clearly remember being in the delivery room and PUSHING, thinking "I just can't believe I'm actually having another baby!" I think it really took me about 6 months after he was born to come to terms with it all. That first year with 3 kids 3 and younger was very trying. I always thought, "Well, I've lived through it. Now I can look back and laugh." I'm not laughing.

I think the scariest part of the whole pregnancy is something you may or may not get: I am afraid to tell people for the reaction I will get. I KNOW my parents will be mad. Well, at least my dad will be. He will say, "Do you really think that was a smart idea?" Umm, Dad, we're not talking about choosing a 5-iron over a 3-wood. We're talking about having a child. And my friends... well, they will have a field day with it. "What? I thought you were done." and "How are you going to do it?" and "Girl, what's wrong with you? Are you turning into Michelle Duggar?" It's so silly - 5 kids is not that many. But I really don't want to face all the negative comments that I inevitably will get.

Being pregnant is supposed to be a time of happiness, anticipation, excitement. All I feel is apprehension, fear, and dread. I hate this - I owe it to this child to be happy and to plan for his/her arrival the way I did for all my other kids. But I know how busy I will be. I know how hard it will be to take care of 3 kids in school while also taking care of a toddler and a newborn. I will be very very crazy for a long time.

Before I found out about #5, I would occasionally have a dream that I was pregnant again, and running around crazily like I did when Linus was a newborn and I had another child 18 months and another 3 years old. I would be ridiculously busy, and while I slept I would have this overwhelming feeling of dread creep over me. I'd wake up and say "Whew! It was only a dream." But this time it's not.

I don't want to offend any moms out there. I know a child is a gift from God. We would never in a million years choose anything but full term life for this child. I really am hoping I don't get a shitstorm of comments like,"How dare you call a pregnancy anything less than a complete miracle! You should count yourself lucky! You know there are women out there who can't have a baby and you are being so nonchalant about it all. It's offensive." Yes, a baby is a miracle and a blessing. We are blessed and we know how lucky we are to have children. I know women who are unable to have children, or who want children but aren't even married yet. I feel so much sadness for these friends and I don't want to minimize the miracle of this pregnancy or any other. I don't want to even get started on the whole argument of, "If you didn't want any more children, you should have been more careful." All I am going to say about that is that for personal reasons, we have limited choices for conception control options. This month, I guess my math did not add up correctly. Presto: child #5 on the way. We have always said that any child would be a blessing, and that we will welcome any number of children God decides to give us. It is just the day-to-day logistics that is truly frightening to me.

I asked Texan Papa, "How do you feel about this baby? Would you say you're happy about the pregnancy?" We just looked at each other and kinda smiled. I don't know if "happy" is the right word, at least not right now. We definitely aren't mad, or angry, or upset. I think we're just in shock. We really thought we were being careful (relatively) and we really thought that when/if we had more children, it would be more of a decision we made than a decision that was made for us. I think a more accurate description of our emotions would be nervous optimism.

Maybe this is God's way to show me how I need to lean on Him more and on my own self-sufficiency less. Maybe - no, definitely - this child will teach me something I have not learned yet. Certainly whatever is in the future will be a joy, but it is scary too. Change is never comfortable and I believe that we are always afraid of what we don't know. I have no idea what it's like to live with 5 children. Already, when I go to Wal-Mart or the grocery store, I feel like a shepherd with all my wandering sheep. And my vehicle? Well, let's just say that any hopes of me getting into a carpool with another mom is pretty much shot now. But whatever is coming, I feel a teensy weensy bit more prepared than I was when Linus was born, because I know what it's like to have a toddler and a newborn. It's very crazy and I will just basically have an air-tight excuse for the house to become a pigsty until the baby is about 2 years old. But my sanity? Will it be there 5 years from now? Hard to say. And my stomach? Well, any chances of it ever going back to semi-normal size are completely gone now. Oh, that reminds me... I have my 20-year high school reunion in 2010. I guess I should start shopping now for an industrial-strength girdle. And searching for TWO available babysitters (can you even get a single babysitter to sit for 5 kids anymore?) I wonder if they will have an award for the person with the most children?


Dorsey said...

I'm not going to dog you for your nerves. I think I'd be the same way, and I only have two kiddos.

We used to have neighbors with 6 kids (ages 6mo - 8 yrs). She home-schooled all of them, was NOT Catholic, Hubby worked 3 jobs so she could stay home with the kids. and she found out she was expecting again. We weren't sure if we should say congrats, or not.

Take your time warming to this new pregnancy. I'm sure you'll make it through with flying colors, and even though sometimes you may be waiting for the alarm to go off and you to wake from this dream...always know that God won't give you more than you can handle.

So with that...I say...
Congrats? :)

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sidney said...

Well, first off, congratulations! Being a single mom of six kids, I definitely KNOW how you feel. It is a struggle, even with two parents. And I totally "get" what you mean about comments...boy, could I write a book about the comments (really, though, most were nice), and the stares (you know the ones...the heads visibly counting and shaking 'no' as you walk into a restaurant with your bevy of children). And I think that's why I have the "disclaimer" on my blog profile...I'm not Mormon or Catholic..just blessed to have a lot of kids, and yes, I mean it.

You will do well, and as Dorsey said, take your time to warm to it. It is a shock, and that's okay. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but don't we wonder sometimes?!? I was 41 when I got pregnant with #6, and my then-husband was on injury leave and was looking to retirement. We had just moved into a new house, and yada yada yada.

Try not to let the comments bother you, even from family (mine didn't give me such a warm reception....something about "white trash"...)Now, though, I have the respect and admiration of my family and several people in the community, and while it truly doesn't matter, it does help to know that you have emotional support. You've got it from me!!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Do you read Suburban Correspondant - The More the Messier? You should. She has 6 and is fine. Also, mom2my6pack - Wendy at Because I said so? SHe also has 6.

You will be fine.

Allow yourself to feel the way you do. A pastor told me last night that the enemy wants you to think that your emotions mean you don't deserve something or if something was from God, you wouldn't be frustrated or scared or something. That is not true. Take your emotions to God. It isn't the emotions. It is what we do with them.

Grin and bear it with respect to family and friends. Whatever. They will have their opinions, but you do not have to justify yourself.

However, do we have to have a talk as to where babies come from? I don't want to hear that this happened again and you are surprised, k?


Scary Mommy said...

I can't imagine how you feel. Actually, I can imagine, and it's scared shitless. But you will love this child, and someday soon, wonder how you ever lived without him or her. But, I get how you feel!!!

And I so wish I kept my blog anonymous. Good call.

Bridgett said...

Oh, I'm with you on the miracle vs "really, again?" feeling. I like my kids. I love them. But the thought of another birth, recovery, adjusting to breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, potty training--essentially, the first 2 years--puts me in serious denial. What? I'm pregnant? Nah, not me! Oh, yeah...

La Pixie said...

well, I have yet to have any children, but I do feel for you. I know that Im one of 4, and my mom got some snotty comments, so I can imagine that people will give you looks. and, as a former server, I can tell you that families with just one or two are more dreaded than larger families. yeah, larger families take up more time, but the kids are usually MUCH better behaved. =)

I know that you know that people with mean comments should just mind their business, but that doesnt take the sting out of their words, and it doesnt make it any easier to put up with their crap.

my dad always tells my mom "worry less and pray more" easier said that done, I know. Ill pray for you, too.

Beth Anne said...

Congratulations. I think you will find yourself excited before you know it. I only have 6 part time, but our biggest issue is space. It works, though. The kids share rooms and are all very close.

You'll be fine, but I totally understand how you feel.

gingela5 said...

Well, coming from someone who has 0 kids I don't really have much to input. But I think feelings like this are normal--I have a feeling I'll feel like this when I'm pregnant for the first time. But I'm sure when this child is born you'll be just as excited and happy as the last four! Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

The world really doesn't depend on us to keep reproducing! Think about the impact your procreating will have on the world's resources.

Yes, I'm being judgmental but I honestly do not understand American women who feel a need to have great numbers of children. Good luck but you don't deserve my empathy.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Congrats :)

A new baby is always always a blessing no matter what--a baby is true hope wrapped in a sweet package :)

Baby Favorite said...

I'm very sorry for all of your concerns and worries, and I can certainly understand your apprehension in telling family and friends. I'm sure I would feel the same way.

When my mother was 45 and my father was 47 (and it was not in vogue to have children in your 40's), they became pregnant with me. It was not planned, to say the least. They had a 20yr old daughter at home, a 16yo son, and an 8yo boy who was undergoing brain surgeries. When my mother was pregnant with me, she was having to teach my brother to walk again. Not a fun time for her at all. She said she honestly couldn't imagine anything WORSE happening, or at any worse of a time. She was depressed, anxious, and worried beyond belief. (Oh, and they were having to sell their house to pay endless medical bills!)

Anyway, long story short--it ended up being all good. I was a bright spot in my sick brother's life (and actually, I'm the only one today left to help care for him), I was the one person my mom could rely on when she was older, and in her last years, she told me she didn't know how she would have ever survived without me. We were everything to each other.

I know you know all of this already, but I just wanted to reassure you that it will work out and someday you'll look back and wonder how you too ever lived without #5.

Congratulations. :)

Deborah said...

Okay, you don't know me and I don't know anonymous (I hope) but I still want to apologize to you for their comment. Don't worry, someday they will get it back in spades. Besides, they probably wear leather shoes anyway.

We live near an LDS Temple and I see plenty of families with 5. Shoot, I'm not LDS but I've seen families at my church with 5. I'm confident if you can do 4 you can do 5 just fine. Still, I completely understand where you are coming from. I worried about how to handle my second so I am in awe of you!

DJane said...

I was a teen parent and remember all the horrible looks and comments. Forget them, I know it's easier said then done. Stop worrying about what other people think, they don't have to live your life. I would be scared as well and only have three. They are a handful. Try to stay positive so you don't end up with postpartum depression and remember to use your blog as an escape for your thoughts. Seems like you have many supporters out there!

Anna See said...

I am so glad you were able to share this and get your feelings down "on paper." I am completely confident that this will all turn out fine. In fact, better than fine! By sharing your mixed feelings you are being real, and that helps us all be real to each other. Can't wait to follow along with you on this new journey!

Good move not telling fam and friends about the blog. Wish I had done that, too!

katydidnot said...

when i found out that i was pregnant with my youngest son, who is sitting next to me right this second, i cried. for a week. it was not the right time, all sorts of shit in my life that didn't lend itself to another child, the least of which was not knowing where we'd live. i cried for a week, i did not want to be pregnant. and honestly, i know that if i could go back and do over (not knowing my lovely son, of course) i would have been more careful. and also? he's a blessing and wonderful. so i guess this can be both. be okay with how you're feeling about it. good vibes to you while you struggle with how you're feeling. feel it. and also? congratulations. and also? it's okay to be not totally okay with it right this second. just be. xoxoxo

Karin Katherine said...

I cannot relate to finding out you are pregnant and being scared or worried about it. I think it's normal though btw and I'm certainly not trying to be catty. I cannot relate because for each of my four kids I had to undergo fertility treatments with my husband. So there will be no surprise pregnancies in my future.

I also can relate to outgrowing your house or furniture situation. You will figure it out. We did. Children are a blessing and I think no one has a right to comment on how many kids someone has unless they cannot feed or clothe them. Then I'd say it was irresponsible to keep having children when you cannot clothe or feed the ones you have. But obviously, that is not your case so those nay sayers need to just butt out.

I also noticed that people from large families "get it". Its a blessing to be a from a large family and it's FUN for kids.

Now is it okay to say I'm envious of your pregnancy?

I wish you all the best.

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

You will do great. The baby will be a wonderful new addition.Everyone will adjust and love the new baby. I have four and would love another since my youngest is 6 but can't have anymore. Ignore the mean people. Don't let them get to you.

Donna-Michele said...

First let me say thanks... I love to read your blog. You have courage and humor and are honest to a level that is amazing.
Next, please understand that I am 39, and have only one ovary. I was pregnant with a child I lost when I was 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant this past April. I don't have other children. Sunday when I was a week late, I took the pregnancy test, which hubbie timed... not pregnant.
So you and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Thanks for making your thoughts so clear. It is sometimes hard to place yourself in someone else’s shoes. You make it easy for someone like me to see the other side… even as I wait a week to test again, even as I pray for just one healthy child and hope this isnt menopause. Even as my mom tells me "not to rest this time when I spot, cause if it is a 'good healthy baby' that doing laundry won’t hurt us, and if it isn't a good one, well, better to get it over with early." People don’t always know what to say, or express things well. That doesn't mean they don’t love you.
Those who love you will get it. Others who are mostly worriers may express their love and concern for you badly, but they care too. ONLY COWARDS POST UGLY THINGS ANONYMOUSLY!! And honey, they aren't worth your time.
You are wonderful, and have virtual support through this blog. Hang in there. And... well, congrats.

Pinky said...

Hey, I say don't tell friends and family. Just go on and be happy and let your belly grow and keep smiling. They'll see and catch on soon enough. When they ask, just tell them the truth. "I didn't want your negative comments to steal my joy". That will be a touch of reality, huh? ;-)

Take it one minute at a time, sweet mama.
I've felt these feelings before, too. And I've lost two babies. It's human, I say.

Much love to you.

Ronnica said...

My feedreader is really backed up, so please pardon my tardiness.

I know a family of 5 who struggled with the announcement as well. They wanted their new baby to be welcomed, not whispered about. So they sent (by email, I think) a sweet little poem announcing it (something along the lines of "we welcome and rejoice over her, so we hope you do to") so that it allowed everyone to let it sink before they had to see or talk to them.

Oh, and congrats! I want a big family. I don't know if I physically want to give birth to 5 kids, but I'd love 5 kids. One day...