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For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted four kids. Both of my parents came from larger families and I loved seeing the way they supported each other and were there for each other into adulthood. Four was my number. My dream. My goal and hope.
There were many, many reasons we decided to adopt our fourth baby. And when we made the decision I found that there were many positive reasons beyond even just the obvious ones. A large one for me was that I wouldn’t go into a fourth pregnancy. I wouldn’t carry a baby for 9 months knowing it was the last time I’d ever have that experience. I wouldn’t give birth and cry tears of both joy and sadness knowing that it’d be the last time we’d have that incredible moment.
My third pregnancy was my last pregnancy. It was my last time giving birth. My last time nursing a baby from my breast. And I had no idea at the time that it was “the last.” I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful I just treated it like any of my other pregnancies and didn’t have the emotions tied to it that I would have if I’d known then that it was IT (especially since I dealt with postpartum depression, I think it was a blessing to not have that knowledge at the time).
Adoption is hard. It’s emotionally draining and faith testing. It took ALL of me to walk that process and path and through it I never had the time or mental energy to even focus on the fact that I wasn’t pregnant with my last baby, that instead someone else was. When the thought would creep up, I’d push it away. I’d focus my thoughts on that third pregnancy, delivery and nursing experience. Everything with my third baby was just so perfect that it truly was the best note to end on.
I reminded myself that my delivery with her was my easiest. Nursing came naturally and wonderfully. Being my third I had that beautiful mix of mom knowledge and expertise while also understanding how much I needed to soak up each moment since it’d pass so quickly. It couldn’t have been any more perfect.
And our fourth? It was a completely different experience than any of the others. Adoption is a whole different ball game than pregnancy. Watching someone else give birth to your child is a completely different experience than giving birth to that child yourself. The tender emotions evolved, the physical differences, the fears and concerns. It’s just it’s own totally unique thing that made it easy to not focus on all of those lasts.
The last time holding our baby for the first time. The last time our baby would meet their siblings. The last time waking up for a middle of the night feeding. The last time for all the firsts. All the little moments that create a life.
We are both very content in knowing this is it for us. We have our four. They are perfect and my every possible dream has been fulfilled in their entrance into my life. When we had just one, or just two, or even three children I never felt whole or complete. I’d look at our family photos and think “something is still missing.”
Now? I feel a joy and contentment I’ve never known before. I love having photos taken of our family because I know that those photos will never change. They won’t ever be put aside to have to be replaced when another baby is added. This is it. We’re us.
My husband and I always agreed that when it came time to be done having children that he would be the one to make that permanent move. It’s just so much easier for the man to have a vasectomy than the woman to have tubes tied. And I also knew I’d never be able to actually go through with such a procedure, I knew I couldn’t emotionally handle it!
Going into the vasectomy I felt nothing. It was an item to be checked off a list. I didn’t feel emotional or hesitant. When the nurse had me sign a paper saying I agreed to the procedure, I didn’t hesitate. When the doctor met with us and looked me in the eyes and said “Are you sure?” And then even when he asked me again “You are sure, right? The wives are the ones who change their minds.” I felt confident in that yes. I’m sure. I’m sure. I’m sure.
Even when they took Zach back for the procedure I was casual and joking. I waved by to the little Parker babies that will never be. I sat in the waiting room catching up on social media and relaxing.
Then the dr came around the corner. Peeked his head into the waiting room and said “It’s done.”
Seeing those pink lines. Feeling that rush of joy. Those first baby kicks. Hearing that heartbeat. Seeing that ultrasound. Wondering boy or girl. Preparing a nursery. Packing a hospital bag. Itty bitty adorable sleepers.
That first cry. The announcement of “its a…” The first night in the hospital soaking in every little detail. Skin to skin. Meeting siblings. Getting to go home.
First bath. First giggle. First roll. First tooth. First word. Firsts, firsts and more firsts.
Yes. I’m sure. Yes. I’m content. Yes. Our family is whole and complete.
But it’s done. Yall. It’s done.
This beautiful phase of life. The one I’ve waited for for as long as I can remember. Excitement, anticipation, babies. My babies.
I know there is so much joy to come. I know we still have other firsts ahead of us. First day of middle school. First time driving. First serious relationship. First wedding. First grandbaby.
I know each phase of life is just that – a phase. An era that goes by. Time can’t stand still. We can’t keep having babies forever. This day had to come. It’s enviable.
But still knowing it’s done. Having that finality to it. It’s hard on my mama heart.
I truly consider motherhood a gift. My children are my blessings and my joys and being their mother is my passion. I’m so thankful I met a man who felt that same passion about parenting. Who wanted the same things as I did and had the same priorities.
I’m so thankful to be a mom. Their mom. My four. Forever.
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