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unexpected pregnancy

new baby smell, wanting another baby, unexpected pregnancy, midlife

I hate to admit it but I’ve been missing that new baby smell. I thought I was done having babies but lately, I’m having some sort of parenting growing pains and amidst all of the letting go, my uterus is trying to hold on for dear life. It’s crazy that I am saying this out loud because it feels a little like something I should be keeping to myself but what they hell, I figure when I go through these difficult times, I’m not usually the only one feeling this way.

The thing is I’ve always wanted a big family. I come from six brothers and sisters and even when it was crazy, crowded and hard there was a simple peace in knowing that I had 5 built in “ride or die” bitches at my disposal. I mean, we’re the kind of deep that if one calls to tell the others that we just murdered someone, there is no asking why or questioning our morality and sanity, there is only, “where do I need to be and what do I need to do to protect you?” These are the people I would die for or at the very least murder for. I’m not afforded the luxury of dying for anyone since having children, except for them.

Anyways, the point is I kind of wanted my children to have that. They do. They have each other and I have taught them in specific what it means to be each other’s ride or die bitch and they know that’s how family works. Family is everything. They know that. They embrace it mostly except for when they are telling the other one that they wish they were an only child. That really burns my ass because I worked hard for the two I have and they should be grateful that they have one another. That new baby smell is like heroine.

When I was a little girl, I wanted at least 4 kids. It was a many as my mom or my grandmothers had but it was a nice even number of children to love. I wanted two boys and two girls. I got the two girls. But life and circumstances just didn’t provide us with the opportunity to have four. I would have settled for 3 but then I had the miscarriage and then I was just too freaking beaten down and betrayed by my own body that I gave up. I was afraid; terrified of another loss. That was 4 years ago but it hasn’t stopped the desire for holding a newborn to my chest and inhaling that new baby smell.

We waited to have babies until after we had been married for five years. In truth, I was ready after year one but the Big Guy wasn’t so convinced early on if he was sure that he wanted kids. We had fallen in love and gotten married quickly. In all that hustle, we forgot to hammer out the details like children. It was a really shitty spot to be in knowing that you absolutely loved your husband but that you would both have to make a decision whether or not the marriage could survive the sacrifice of not having children. I knew I wanted to be a mother. It wasn’t something I was willing to forgo. I knew if I did, I’d regret it later and probably end up hating him for it in the long run. It was all coming to a head when we decided to plan to plan to get pregnant. Life had other plans. We got pregnant on our five-year anniversary getaway.

The point is we got pregnant and after the shock wore off, we were both absolutely thrilled with the idea of being parents. So thrilled in fact that we immediately planned to get pregnant again. We wanted the kids to be two years apart and so that’s what we did. Again, it was amazing. The Big Guy is not only an amazing man in general, he is an outstanding father. I mean he’s the kind of dad that you see in the movies. He not only loves his girls unconditionally, he is involved in their lives and not only talks to them but listens to them; like really listens. He even hears what they don’t say. It’s kind of beautiful and every time I see it, I fall deeper in love with him. So, we planned to go for baby #3. I really wanted a boy because the thought of raising a son with my husband, molding another boy into a man like my husband; let’s just say, there need to be more men in the world like my husband. But fear tricked me into believing that I was done.

Now, here I am, past my own personal expiration date and I can’t stop thinking of that one more baby. My ovaries occasionally twitch and I my imagination conjures that new baby smell. I get glimpses of what another baby would look like in our family but it’s too late. My time has passed. But it doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about what a son raised by the Big Guy would have been like. Then I find myself sad because I feel like we missed an opportunity to do something amazing. I’m missing that new baby smell. I’m feeling a giant hole where baby #3 should be. Maybe it’s just that time of year and I know we had it in our grasp and we lost it. We had it and it’s gone, like those damn Pokémon that ghost out on you after using 10 superballs. Once your balls are gone, they’re gone. I don’t know how to fill this hole. I don’t think there is anything I can do but learn to live with it.

I can’t be the only one who’s felt this way. I imagine there are plenty of people who have decided to forgo becoming parents or put parenthood on the back burner only to feel regret later. I’m actually certain that there are people who’ve had children and wished they hadn’t. Only I know that I wish I had our third. It’s my only regret in my life. I’ve always believed that where there is a will there is a way but, in this case, there is no possible way that I can have another pregnancy or have another natural pregnancy. I have the tools and all my parts are still working but the risk just outweighs the reward and the odds of failure are much higher. I don’t want to go through that but how do you learn to live with not being able to fulfill a heart’s desire?

How do you reconcile being done having babies but missing that new baby smell?

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unexpected pregnancy, unexpected pregnancy at 40, pregnancy, advanced maternal age, getting pregnant at 40

What would you do if you found yourself with an unexpected pregnancy at 40?

I’m not talking about the run of the mill “planning to plan” unexpected pregnancy or we were “not using birth control but thought we were careful” surprise pregnancy. I am talking about the “I was 13-years-old having my first sexual encounter” unexpected pregnancy or the “I’m 40 and thought we were done having babies” unplanned pregnancy of the “oh shit” variety. The life-changing, game changer unexpected pregnancy.

The choice of what to do next.

Unplanned Pregnancy at 40 can bring with it a little shock and awe

My friend just found out that she is unexpectedly pregnant. This will be her third child. Her other two children are tweens. This baby was not planned. They thought they were completely passed the diaper changing, middle of the night feeding stage.Yet, here they are smack dab in the middle of an unexpected pregnancy; shocked, confused and scared.

READ ALSO: Every Child Is A Choice

She and I have talked about this a lot. The Big Guy and I have gone back and forth over the years pondering 2.5 children. We have been blessed with two amazing, healthy wonderful daughters but even though the prospect of a third ( trying for the elusive boy baby) sounded good, it was nothing either of us would actually pull the trigger on, so to speak.

Now, our girls are 4 and 7 and it feels like the time has passed and the window of opportunity is closed. I’m 39, just like my girlfriend. At this point, a baby would be starting all over.

An unexpected pregnancy still results in a baby

Initially, when she told me I was shocked, quite frankly, because it was such an unexpected pregnancy but I was excited because ..it’s a baby! Then the more I thought about it and the more we talked, I was scared for her. Getting pregnant in your 20’s or 30’s is not the same as getting pregnant at 40 unexpectedly.

There are things to consider like genetic disorders for the baby, higher health risks for the mother and how old the parents will be when the child is growing up. The looks and questions that will come with having a child after 40? Strangers asking if you are his/her Grandma? Things I had never considered in my scenario.

READ ALSO: Missing that New Baby Smell when Pregnancy is not an Option

You have to consider your long-term financial outlook and you have to consider that perhaps, you or your husband, are not willing or wanting to be a parent to a third child; not willing to go backward in your parenting journey. You are suddenly faced with a decision of whether or not you should move forward with the pregnancy.

You are not the same person you were in your 20’s and 30’s and your body is not what it was in your 20’s and 30’s. Is it selfish to logically weigh all of your options? When you are in your 20’s and 30’s the threat of a genetic disorder is a far off, probably not going to happen, when you are 40 the stats are something like 1/100 that your baby will have Downs Syndrome.

READ ALSO: My Unexpected Pregnancy at 39 and what I did

I know people will reference Kelle Hampton and Nella. Or what a gift Nella is and what an amazing mother Kelle is but not everyone can emotionally or financially afford a baby with a genetic disorder. What would you do? How could you choose? And worse, what if the choice were taken out of your hands by your body failing you and terminating the pregnancy?

My friend has decided to go forward with her surprise pregnancy and embrace it as her final baby. But it’s raised a lot of questions in my mind, what would I do if I were faced with an unexpected pregnancy? Have you ever been faced with a surprise pregnancy? What did you or would you do if you found yourself with an unexpected pregnancy at 13 or 40? Would abortion ever cross your mind?

Could your unexpected pregnancy be a blessing?

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After falling backward into marriage with a wonderful man, more than I could’ve ever asked for in a person to love me, 5 years later I was getting a little worried. I wasn’t worried about the marriage. I was worried about what came next; babies. How do you know if you’re ready to be a parent?
There was no time frame on any of it but I knew, in my heart, that one day I would be married with children. I never doubted it or considered it wouldn’t happen.
One small problem, I met the man of my dreams when I was least expecting him. He asked me to marry him, when I was even less expecting it. I said yes, to the shock of myself and everyone else. You see where I am going with this?
Life just kept tossing me those lovely wonderful curve balls. I went with it and it all seemed to be playing out perfectly. My life was everything I never knew I’d always wanted, served on a silver platter. One thing was missing, a baby.

But, how do you know if you’re ready to be a parent?

It wasn’t missing because I had misplaced it or some unfortunate fertility issues. We weren’t so busy with our careers that we had forgotten about it. What happened was I married a man who wasn’t sure if he wanted children or not. I know it sounds crazy that I would have even considered marriage when I was so certain about this one aspect of my life. I knew I needed to be a mother, at some point, the way I know I need to breathe air. But he wasn’t totally sure that he didn’t want children, I am an eternal optimist, and we took a chance. Actually, I’d say it was more like the biggest gamble of my life because if things hadn’t worked out as they did, my story would be very different. Probably a lot more like Elizabeth Gilbert’s and a lot less like Truthful Mommy’s.
I remember feeling a lot of trepidation the summer of 2004. It had finally sunk it that maybe this wasn’t going to happen and then big decisions were going to have to be made. Decisions that neither of us wanted to even consider. So we vaguely discussed and kind of decided to plan to plan to have a baby. You know…maybe sometime in that not predetermined future. Personally, in retrospect, I think we were biding our time. He was trying to put off something he still wasn’t sure about and I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was trying and praying to keep hope alive in my heart. That was the summer of our 5-year anniversary.
We planned a romantic getaway to New Orleans. It was magical. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the “we’re on vacation” mojo and the ginormous hurricanes they serve in the French Quarter but we had a heart to heart and decided that we were both on board to plan to plan to have our mythical baby…one of these days. We walked around the Garden district holding hands and talking about how awesome it would be to live there. Spent nights walking together, gazing at the stars, eating rich foods on Jazz cruises in the Mississippi. We lingered in the French Quarter drinking all that life had to offer before coming back to our hotel to bask in one another’s love multiple times* wink*wink*
Then we returned home. Our marriage stronger than ever, our faith in each other renewed, our love undivided and then…I started puking and puking….and puking some more. Our plan to plan had been foiled and replaced by actual living in the now! We were both scared witless, shitless and sideways and oh, yeah excited. Me more excited; him more scared witless. For a couple months, I was wondering how this was all going to play out. Don’t get me wrong, he was very involved.
We did everything together. I read the pregnancy journal to him every night, so we knew what was going on with our baby. He read and sang to my belly. He was at every appointment. He got choked up at the heartbeat. He catered to my every pregnancy whim. He did everything right but for some reason. I felt like he felt like I had sprung this on him. I was too afraid to bring it up because, honestly, I was afraid of what his answer was going to be. Then I wasn’t sure if it was really fear or some kind of crazy hormonal paranoia. So I just went on basking in my glow and praying every night that he REALLY was too. It felt too good to be true, so I was sure something was afoot.
3 days before Christmas we went to have a 3-D confirmation ultrasound done because I HAD to know what the sex of the baby was going to be. They had told me a girl but said they could be wrong because of leg placement. The doctor had tried 3 times to get a definite sex reading and always the same. She was a good Catholic girl even in utero, closed legs and a middle finger to the world. I was so nervous, I vomited.
It was the big day; I was going to finally know the sex of our baby…our accidental, planning to plan love child. The image came up and we saw our baby in 3-D and I knew…we were ready. He was ready. He was happy. He was ECSTATIC. I had my answer, not about the sex of the baby but the answer to a much bigger question.
Then Christmas came. I didn’t care what I received under the tree because I had already gotten my gift, three days earlier in the ultrasound room. I had gotten peace of mind. All the gifts were open and the Big Guy disappeared. Then he came back in with a huge, beautifully wrapped box and he placed it in front of me. “For me?” I asked. “No, it’s for the baby. I bought it a few months back to surprise you!”  I opened the box and inside it was the most beautiful Burberry diaper bag that I had ever seen, through my tear filled eyes. He said, “a few months back”. I had worried for nothing. This is one of my favorite and most cherished holiday memories of all of my existence.
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