As I experience the last few weeks of my final pregnancy, I feel a mixture of excitement and sadness. This has been the last time I will experience the joy of seeing those two lines on a pregnancy test, a squirming jellybean on an ultrasound or feel my precious baby wriggling in my belly.
But, I can’t just keep having babies because I like being pregnant, right?
Fortunately, I do feel my body has reached its limit in childbearing. I had morning sickness this time round, migraines and the final straw has been developing low blood pressure and anaemia. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing my legs become deformed with revolting varicose veins which are so bad that I need surgery. I think my body is trying to tell me something.
I’ve had 4 pregnancies in less than 6 years. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding almost that entire time. It’s time to give my body a break!
On the flip side, I’m looking forward to putting the baby stage of life behind us and embracing all the future has to offer. I’m also excited about putting aside the constant thoughts of ‘should we have another baby? And when?’. This is it. We’re calling it quits. I’m hoping that after the birth I get that ‘done’ feeling and the sense that we are complete as a family. God, I hope that happens!
As foster carers (see our foster care journey), it’s quite likely that our family will still grow in the future but these children won’t be from my own body. With this in mind, we couldn’t possibly have any more as we always felt strongly to save some room in our hearts and lives for other kids.
We also decided on four as we felt we could adequately provide all the things we feel are important for our kids. Kids don’t need designer clothes or their own bedrooms but, we do want our kids to have opportunities to learn more about themselves and discover their giftings through music lessons, sports and other extra-curricular activities. It’s not that these are necessary to our child’s wellbeing but that we feel passionately about providing our kids with every opportunity to discover their unique gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses. I guess this is part of our family philosophy. It’s not for everyone – but it is for us!
So…. I prepare to say goodbye to a stage of my life that I have had the privelage and blessing of enjoying four times over. I say goodbye with a very thankful heart. Instead of focusing on what has finished, I will instead choose to focus on being grateful for what I already have. I’m not going to look back but look forward with great hope and expectation for what the future holds for our family.