September 5, 2018

How We Decided Our Family Is Complete & Why I'm Sharing Our Story

I want to start by saying that some people don't choose to be this open about their stories or life, but it's a personal choice and one that I always discuss with my husband before doing so.
I've become that parent that says "You'll never be ready for children. You can't have a plan." I say it because I know it's true. When my friends and I would discuss their children, I would tell them that it wasn't possible for me yet because I have trouble waking up to an alarm. It's true...I love my sleep. I was afraid of 1. not waking up to my child crying or 2. sacrificing my best friend, sleep.

We weren't not trying when I got pregnant. We knew we wanted more children (me being a Stepmom to Ethan is still considered being a parent in our book) and had discussed our future family. We didn't have grand plans or a huge house, but we had love and hope. I was getting sick off and on when Chuck suggested I buy a pregnancy test. I was so sure that I wasn't pregnant that I grabbed a test while grocery shopping and laughed about it. Next thing you know I'm getting sick every day and we find out that I've been growing this baby for 13 weeks already.

SO many things happened during my pregnancy. If you've been here a while, you've read the stories. Nothing prepares you for the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy. Besides all of our troubles, I really loved being pregnant. The days I felt good were great and it was so special to me hearing her heartbeat at appointments and realizing how the human body does such amazing things. Unfortunately, there were many scares and long days. I would do it all again in a second as long as my baby was safe...but there was even a point when I thought we lost her. I'll never forget being in a hotel bathroom hours away from home and experiencing that scare. Emergency rooms, medical terms, bedrest, NICU stays...we experienced a lot. You think you've overcome some tough times as a married couple and then this stuff is thrown at you.
I grew a lot those 7 and a half months. I'm a very anxious person, and as situations and phone calls kept happening I tried to keep as calm as I could for the sake of our baby. I didn't want to make matters worse, so I handled one thing at a time. I was extremely blessed with a supportive family to call and text and friends who always checked in on me and our careers that were flexible and let us rush out to doctor's appointments and specialists at the drop of a hat.

Chuck was already talking about more babies before Bella was born. I wasn't at a place to discuss it and I wasn't quite sure what my stance was. Being a Mom to an infant is wayyyyy different than coming in to someone's life as a Stepmom at the age of 4, like I did with Ethan. I knew it wouldn't be the same, but I honestly was no where near prepared mentally for the long nights, worrying, crying, anxiety and all the scary, raw moments. I know not all pregnancies were like mine, and not all post-partum journeys begin in a NICU, but it took a toll on me.
I was tired. I didn't want to think about a hospital ever again. Sometimes I hear beeps of a machine on a TV show or commercial and it takes me back to the cold NICU room where I felt so vulnerable and helpless. I sit and zone off and the tears pour. I wish I could escape those distant memories- but some days I can't, I'm just glad they're distant. The doctor's don't know why I had a high-risk pregnancy and all my complications, they've simply advised to wait 2 years to have more children.

We have decided that our family is complete. We have everything we have ever wanted and more, and that is how we knew. We have one child of each gender, a perfect little family of four. Sometimes I wonder how Bella will be once Ethan is more grown and out of the house (I'm sure not until at least 20 years old LOL), but she is already socializing around children at the sitter's house she goes to 5 days a week. She's a very social little babe already, and we will keep her involved in activities to work on that. I question things way less than I do question them, so I know our decision is right.

People say "are you sure you want to be done?" and "not even one more?". I'm sure part of the decision, at least from my end, comes from the trauma of my pregnancy. I am SO VERY thankful that Bella is happy and healthy and thriving now, but it was absolutely traumatic and tears fill my eyes the minute I think about what things looked like and how they could have been. I'm not willing to risk another baby's life or mess with the "what if's?".  Chuck put it perfectly when he said "we have everything we have ever wanted, life is pretty perfect." It's true, we are complete.

Everyone's situation is different. Every journey is unique. Some are tragic and don't end with a baby entering the world and while I can't relate with their stories I still acknowledge them. It's a personal decision to share our thoughts and feelings on this topic and not every parent is able to have things happen as naturally as they did for us. We realize each and every day how very blessed we are. 
Some people in today's society don't realize that a simple question on your parenting choices or when you're going to have children can affect someone so deeply. Please take a minute and think before you speak. You don't have to have the same beliefs that your friends do, but please respect their decisions.

Thank you for listening to something that has been on my heart and mind, and always being so kind and supportive. 

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