It seems like I’m getting asked almost every day lately when we are having our next baby, if we are trying yet, and so on. I always said I wanted my kids close in age, but the truth is, I’m just not ready yet! This photo sums it all up. This was a photo I sent Myles while he was at work, after Mila had been screaming inconsolably for over 10 hours straight. The look on her face says it all, “I’m sorry mom, I just don’t feel well”. This was one of those days when Myles walked through the door and I handed her over in tears and said “Your turn!”, for my own sanity. This was our lives for a good five to six months straight. With no answers, and no relief.
Accepting what is, and giving up control was my very first lesson in motherhood. I’ve never been one to easily show my weaknesses or pain, relatively and figuratively. I brush it off and keep it in. I like to be in control. I don’t like last minute plans, or anything unexpected. So needless to say, being told at 37 weeks pregnant that I was no longer allowed to work, had to be on a modified bed rest, and subsequently induced a few days later against my birth plan wishes, did not go over very well. I argued with the midwives and doctors and tried to negotiate one more week of work, in hopes of going into labor on my own, and insisted that the high blood pressure reading was a fluke because they had me worked up. It wasn’t. They induced me a few days later for gestational hypertension, and I was on the verge of a pre-eclampsia diagnosis. My blood pressures had actually been quite low throughout my entire pregnancy, and with the exception of nine-plus months of anemia, nausea, dizziness and fatigue, my pregnancy was considered uncomplicated. This literally came out of nowhere. I had no warning signs or symptoms, and no risk factors. My body just said, “Okay I’m done.” I am so terrified to get pre-eclampsia next time around, or worse, eclampsia which can be life-threatening. The part that scares me most is that to my knowledge, there is really nothing I can do to prevent it.
My only birth plan was to not have an epidural. That’s it. I was planning to just wing the rest but I absolutely did not want an epidural. Looking back, who the heck did I think I was, and why didn’t someone shake me and say “Look, don’t be a hero, and get the epidural”?! So, listen up and take my word for it! Just get the damn epidural if you are being induced, you and your body will thank me later. That’s not to say everyone needs it, or that everyone will have the experience that I had, but what I am saying is do not hesitate to get one if you think you need one! I have herniated discs in my back from years of gymnastics, and had ALL back labor. I think this is why my experience was so awful, and that I would have greatly benefited from having one. Whenever people ask me when we are having our next, I tell them I still have PTSD from my labor with Mila, every time. But in all seriousness, I am absolutely terrified to go through all that again. And if one thing is certain, I will be getting an epidural next time! The thought of an epidural and the side effects of them still terrifies me just the same, but going through the labor I experienced with Mila scares me even more. I’m honestly not sure I will have the mental or physical strength to get through it again, knowing what is coming. The moral of the story is to listen to your body. Let go of your sense of control. Be flexible. And just do whatever you feel is right for you in that moment. There will be no judgement.
Another big reason I just don’t feel ready, is that we are waiting for some of our close friends to “catch up” per say. We are essentially the first in our closest friend group to have kids other than one set of friends who has kids that are older. Between our families we only have my sister-in-law who has a son but he’s much older as well. She is now pregnant with a baby girl, which we are very excited about, but they don’t live close by, and we only seen them a few times a year. I’m not going to lie, it’s been very isolating and lonely at times being a first time Mama on my own. The next time around, I want someone close to me go through it with, who can relate. Which sounds selfish, but there were so many times I just needed someone who understood what I was going through in that moment.
There have been countless times that I wasn’t able to go do things with my friends because I didn’t have someone to watch Mila or it conflicted with naps or bedtime. Our lives literally revolve around naps and bedtime; throw that off, and we all pay the price. No thanks! Or there were times that I actually went anyway and had to bring her, but wished I hadn’t even gone because it was so overwhelming and stressful that it wasn’t even fun. Sometimes it just feels way easier to stay home. It’s not that I don’t want to participate, because trust me, I want to more than anything. It’s just that it requires so much work to do so, that it rarely feels worth it. So… to my friends without kids, and to my friends who I may not speak to as much anymore, I’m sorry! I still love you, and I haven’t forgotten you – I am just drowning in motherhood. One day you will understand, and know that I will be here if you need me.
Originally, I had planned on spacing out our children by two and a half years, which means we would need to be trying NOW for our next. Holy smokes! Not happening!! Will I go through it again eventually to give Mila a sibling, God willing? Absolutely! Will it all be worth it again? One hundred and fifty percent. Am I ready right now mentally or physically? Not a chance! So for now, I am going to finish getting my feet on the ground, focus on some self-care, and enjoy my time with little miss Mila as an only child, for now!