For the most part, Luke and I both grew up as only children. When we were doing premarriage counseling, we only skimmed the surface of talking about the size of the family we would have. Maybe 3, I think, was the number we settled on.
But here's the problem. We went from 1 baby to 3 babies in just 2 pregnancies spaced apart by only 22 months. From double coverage to zone coverage. We never played man-to-man coverage. And the biggest problem of all?
Hello, my name is Jessica and I am addicted to newborns.
I just love everything about them. From their too-big skin, to the tiny noises they make to the way they stick their tiny little butts out when they stretch. And the head smell? Intoxicating. I read recently that there was a scientific study that confirmed that there really is a chemical reaction that occurs in women when they smell the head of a newborn. What person on earth didn't already know this was happening?
But you know what else I love? All of it.
I love the 6 month old who belly laughs at the ridiculousness of her 8 year old sister. Because, y'all, this right here makes me want to have 8 more. I can't even handle that laugh.
The two year old with the butt cheek hanging out of her panties? I love that. The way she calls EVERY.SINGLE.BUG. a "pink bug!" (stink bug). The way she seems to grow during just one nap time and wakes up speaking in fuller sentences than she did just a couple hours ago, makes my head spin and my heart swell.
The 4 year old who is old enough to understand how to make a joke and is usually the first to laugh at their own hilarity. The 6 year old who begins to read overnight and the almost 10 year old who has her own style. I mean, those boots. That skirt. I couldn't pull that off, ever. I mean, hello, SIDE PONYTAIL.
I love it. All of it. This gig of motherhood and watching these people grow is, by far, the best thing I've ever been allowed to experience. I just knew Ella would be our last biological baby. And then, well, Abigail happened.
I just knew Abigail would be the last birth, nursing experience and toddler that would come from my womb. And, you know, EVELYN.
I'm so glad we didn't stop having babies at our predetermined number of 3. I can't imagine all the life, laughter and joy we'd have missed out on.* Yes, it's hard. It's hard a lot lately. Luke and I haven't had a date in WAY TOO LONG. Every night, I fall into bed for a couple hours before I begin the up and down that is my nighttime. I'm exhausted and tired and I would love to have a couple of hours to myself every day just to sit in silence. I think about a few years from now if we don't have any more babies and all the ways our lives would seemingly be easier. But I know that easy is a lie that Moms buy all the time. No matter how many kids you have your life as a mom is never easy.
Is Evelyn our last baby? Who knows. We've always kept the option of adoption open. I don't plan on being pregnant again. Ever. Ever.
But I've said that before. And each of those time I really meant it.
And if I watch that video of Evelyn belly laughing enough, I'll toss that idea right out the window. Or maybe not. Maybe we will stick to it and not birth anymore babies and adopt a few kids who need a large, crazy family and live out our days.
So to answer the question
of all of you nosey people who ask me while standing in the grocery store people want to know, I'm sure:
Are you going to have any more babies?
Short answer. Probably not. But who knows. Because all of this, this life. It's hard. But then my almost 6 month old belly laughs and my ovaries kick into high gear and I question every oath I took during her pregnancy that I would never, ever, ever again do this. And I maybe send my husband a text about wanting a homebirth next time. So, you know, there's THAT.
I'm off to watch that video of my baby belly laughing while simultaneously taking whiffs of hot trash in our garbage dumpster so I can remember what morning sickness feels like.
* By no means do I think that having 3 kids or less means you're missing out or that everyone should have a big, crazy, colony of kids. I'm just saying that for us, stopping at 3 wouldn't have been right.