Flash back to ten Days ago, I arrived home from work, late in the evening. All the children were asleep. I hung out with Matt, maybe watched some TV, and as we headed up to bed, I heard Mitch begin to cry. Normally, I would let him fuss for a moment, feel him out, see if it's real, or just a fleeting moment of discomfort, but tonight, I went right in to console him. I hadn't seen him all day. I held him, he immediately laid his head on my shoulder as I swayed back and forth. Instantly, I heard his rhythmic, almost a snore, breathing, indicating he had peacefully fallen back to sleep. I hugged him tighter, and swayed some more. I looked at the tropical fish mobile, hanging above his crib. The same one that hung above each of his brothers before him. The same one that is now missing a fish, because they all pull it down as soon as they are tall enough. I think Mitch did it the earliest. The same mobile that was given to me as a gift before I even left for college, from my now, mother-in-law. My eyes are now stinging, because we were moving from this home in which we've built our family.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I hugged my baby, imaging that he might be the last. Fearing I may never experience the pure, beautiful, love of a fresh newborn. The anticipation of pregnancy, wondering what the baby will be, who he will look like, will he be healthy? Watching each child grow, develop personality and hilarious little idiosyncrasies. Wondering who they will be, what will they do, who will they marry? I cry, knowing that I will never get over the amazing path to motherhood, but after 4 kids, you have to start turning from your heart and let reason back in the door. You have to take your entire family's well-being into consideration. Maybe we will have another one. But maybe we won't.
Flash back to eight days ago, I'm at the little Ice Cream Social down the street from my mother's home. I have all the boys. They are watching a magician, jumping in a bouncy house, getting their face painted, eating ice cream. I feel bloated, and slightly irritable. I'm sure I will be getting my monthly visitor, any moment.
Flash back to seven days ago. I step on the scale. I've lost 3 pounds! It's been easy because I've had no appetite to finish my meals. I've also had this weird salty taste in my mouth, but I'm pretty sure it's the Nexium I've been taking for the GERD, or heart palpatations, or whatever it is, I've been having. So I stopped it, maybe it takes a few days to get out of your system.
Flash back to six days ago. It's final. Matt and I are buying a new house! We celebrate by splitting a bottle of "Michelle" champagne. I cannot believe we are actually doing this. New job 2 weeks ago. Four kids. A puppy. A new school year. What better time to move!? Oh well, CHEERS!
Flash back to five days ago. I am making a late night run to Hy-Vee. We have no food in the house. None. As I pull up, I text one of my good friends and say, "I am attributing the now 38 day cycle to the fact that I'm just not regular yet...Not an IUD failure." To which she replies with one, an assumption that I've already taken a pregnancy test, and two, just urging me to do it. I opt out. That's silly, I'm just being paranoid.
Flash back to three days ago. I do not want to get out of bed in the morning. It's Friday. I did not realize how much these full work weeks exhaust me. I've been sleeping so soundly, and having such vivid dreams. That taste in my mouth will not go away, it's making it hard to finish my coffee, and I stopped the Nexium over a week ago. I decide I'll just run home for lunch, I throw away my nearly half full Starbucks cup as I get up to leave the office. Why am I not finishing my coffee? Wait. Why could I not get out of bed this morning? Since when do I just "lose weight without trying"? How many days has it really been since my LMP!? 40. It's really been forty days. I drink too much alcohol to let this mystery go on any longer. I divert from home, stop in Bruce Smith Drugs. Buy some envelopes to mail Mitch's birthday invites, and the cheapest pregnancy test on the shelf. Afterall, this is silly, right? I have an IUD, RIGHT!? I head back to the car. I can't take this at home, with the kids and nanny! I turn into Macy's...
...I leave Macy's texting Matt. Then my OB. Then a couple friends. There were a lot of OMG's, WTF's, "you are kidding me"s, holy shit's, and a couple "congrats" in there. I rush to my OB's office, terrified it's a tubal pregnancy, wondering what to do about the IUD, just generally, in a panic. It was fine. It was all fine. The IUD had fallen out. I tell Matt, and he says, "So you're pregnant. Just as pregnant as you've always been when you are pregnant?" Um, it appears so.
Present: Baby 5.O, May 2015. (Written on September 12th)