The Last Time

I have been asked a LOT if, because we are having a girl, this will be our last pregnancy.

It will most likely be our last pregnancy, but not because we are having a girl.

When I was pregnant with Charlie, Cortney made no secret about the fact that he would be perfectly happy with just two kids. Two boys. The Sluiter Boys. The Sluiter Brothers. A family of four.

I said I wouldn’t know until he was here, and less than two hours after he was born I finally looked up from staring at his wrinkly newborn face with tears in my eyes and said, “this can’t be my last baby.”

Within a month of finding out I was pregnant with Alice, after barfing for the thousandth time in a day plus running after two boys and breaking up bickering all day, I announced, “THIS IS IT. I can’t do this again. The first trimester is too dang exhausting. This is the last baby!”

And Cortney rejoiced. In fact, I had to tell him to maybe hold off on making any “appointments” until after the baby was here.

So the decision to be done after three was made long before we knew #3 would be a girl.

I thought I would be a lot sadder about going through my LAST pregnancy. I didn’t mind being pregnant with the boys once I got through the evil first trimester, but this time EVERYTHING has been different. For one, the first trimester ended and while I do barf less, I still get gaggy at random times–especially if I am congested and can’t breathe out of my nose.

I’m also just as exhausted as I was through the first tri. My doctor tested my iron, but it turns out I’m just exhausted. Working and having two kids at home knocks me on my butt. The eight hours of sleep I make myself get per night is not cutting it. In fact, I find myself struggling to stay awake while I drive to work at 6:45am, and when I get home I’m useless. I can’t bring myself to empty the dishwasher or reload it. Making dinner is a huge exertion, and getting Eddie to get his homework done, both boys to have baths, and both boys in jammies by bedtime takes all the strength I can muster. Then I almost fall asleep on the couch until I just go to bed.

And I can’t keep track of anything! I have missed appointments (even with the reminders); I have missed turn in deadlines for Eddie, and I have missed deadlines for myself.  I have had a blog that is half-broken for two months now and I just don’t have the energy to get anyone on the phone and crab about it because I will probably cry from being so tired and over it.

I am also starting to feel BIG. At 22 weeks, I caught myself waddling in the hall today. WHAT? Going up and down steps is starting to wind me and lifting Charlie (or too many books) gives me a cramp.

I know! This is a rant of whining!  Which is exactly why every time something hurts or I want to lie down and cry (or sleep), I tell myself: “this is it. The last time.”

What I will miss is the excitement of that ultrasound around 20 weeks. The feeling of the baby moving and grooving inside me. Of being one with another person. I’ll miss the help my students give me because watching me try to bend is too ridiculous.

I’ll miss the back rubs that Cortney gives me (without me even having to ask) and the way Eddie says, “bye mom and Alice!”

Even though I feel like my body is mad at me for being pregnant, I know it will be a little bittersweet once Alice is here and I know that I will never be a home for a growing human again.

Cortney and I always said we would know when we were done, and we just know.

Alice is the last piece of the Sluiter Family Puzzle.

We just know.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I love how your pieces have all come together …

  2. So happy your puzzle feels perfectly complete. I have 3–boy, girl, boy and even at my ripe ol age of 40+ I don’t feel done. I will never feel done.

  3. I feel ya. I feel like a lot of people assume we kept trying for a girl. NOPE. The girl just happened. Not planned whatsoever. We would have been thrilled whether it was a boy or a girl.

    But we are soooo done. Not because we “finally got a girl” as so many people say. But because I cannot be sick for another whole pregnancy. Physically and emotionally, I just can’t go through it again.

  4. It’s kinda good to know that it’s the last one, isn’t it? 🙂

  5. Ashley Mitchell says

    We have had a lot of people ask if we are trying for a girl and then seem disappointed when I tell them we are done. The sex of my children was never a driving force in the number I would have. I feel your pregnancy pain. My pregnancies were awful the entire way through. While there are a couple aspects of pregnancy I will remember fondly, I am beyond happy that I never have to go through it again. Knowing that we were done also encouraged me to sneak in as many extra snuggles as I could the second time around. There is something liberating about feeling that my family is complete. And I think I am addicted to selling the baby stuff we don’t need anymore. 🙂

  6. My head almost bobbed off when I was nodding through the exhaustion section of this. Though I have been diagnosed with low iron and low blood pressure (both which will make me much more tired), I’m also pregnant with a full time job and two kids at home. My husband keeps asking if I need to try a different iron, or go back to the doctor, and I’m like “Dude. This is pregnancy. And it is exhausting.”

  7. The Sluiter family puzzle… I love that, and I know exactly how it feels to be done. xoxo

  8. I felt that way, too. I miss having babies and I miss being pregnant but the last time was SO hard.

  9. I’m glad it is going so well!