Posted in Birth

Shades of Gray

Katie, just moments old…

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After two terrible pregnancies, I want another baby.

I’m certain that I am one of the worst pregnant women ever.  Morning sickness kicks in for me at 6 weeks and doesn’t stop raging until I give birth.  Not a mild, “my belly feels off” feeling, but rather an “I think I might die” all-day sickness. With both children, I was on anti-nausea medicine until they were born and still vomited often.

Knowing that I was carrying a child, who was thriving and growing because of me, provided a tremendous sense of purpose. I pray that I never forget the feeling of having my two newborn babies placed on my chest, skin-to-skin, still slick yet beautifully sticky.

I want another baby.

I went into labor with Katie for the first time at 24 weeks.  I was ultimately put on full bedrest and still went into labor and delivery eleven times, where they had to work to stop my labor.  Thankfully, I was never on bedrest with Matthew, but the contractions began in earnest at 26 weeks.

I will never forget their first kicks, those tiny flutters that proved they were there.  I will never forget delivering them.  Their births were perfection.  Absolute perfection.

I want another baby.

When we brought Matthew home, I cried every night, worrying that I had selfishly turned our world upside down.

Now, when I see them together, I realize that those fears have washed away.  Katie adores Matthew and clamors to comfort him or make him happy.  They giggle together and their connection deepens each day.  It is clear that they have grown to need each other.

I want another baby.

I will be (gulp) 40 next year.  We’ve been so fortunate to have two healthy babies, but with each passing year comes higher risk of us not being so lucky again.

I believe that it is because I started so late that I am a good mom.  I am more patient, more aware of what matters in my life.

I want another baby.

We are fifty percent of the way through potty training.

When am rocking Matthew to sleep at night, I can’t fathom that he’s my last baby. His skin is so soft, his flesh still so squishy, so yielding to my touch.

I want another baby.

There are days when the two children that I already have completely wear me out.  Most nights, I fall into bed and I can barely stay awake long enough to say goodnight to Craig.

In the morning, the sight of Matthew’s face, his immediate desire to nurse, and Katie’s exuberance and delight in starting a new day, bring me joy and purpose like I’ve never known.

I want another baby.

There are days when I am short of patience, when I have to count to ten and remind myself to just breathe.

But, if there is anything in this life that I am certain of, it is that I am a good mother…that I am patient more often than not.

I want another baby.

There are Sunday mornings when I dream of sleeping in.

Then there are Sunday nights, filled with tickles, hugs, laughter, and the knowledge that we are good parents, giving our children a safe and happy childhood.

I want another baby.

Neither getting pregnant, nor staying pregnant come easy to us. With parenting comes never-ending work.

But the nurturing and loving part more than balances it out.

I want another baby.

But do I need another baby?

Here’s where I’m stuck…how do I differentiate between want and need?

How do I know when to quit while I’m ahead?  I have two lovely, healthy children who bring me tremendous happiness.  I get to sleep through the night.  I didn’t get a single stretch mark from either pregnancy.  Surely if I have another baby, that will catch up with me?

How do I know whether or not I’m just being greedy?  If two is wonderful, is three necessarily better?

Would another sibling be a gift to Katie and Matthew, or would it result in them having less? Less time, less opportunity?

Will I regret not having another?

I’m stuck.

And time is not on my side.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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