There’s an age-old phrase “the last one is the last one for a reason,” I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But what was your reason, or your mom’s, or your grandmother’s? Was it because the last one was a handful? Or because you couldn’t get pregnant again, and were unable to afford infertility treatments? Did you decide your adoption journey was at an end, or your family was complete? Did you feel whole and comfortable with the decision? Did you end up with the perfect “last one” for good reason?
Our last one, Butterball, just passed his 3rd birthday in September. It was the most bitter-sweet birthday I have handled as a mom to date. He’s my baby, and for a multitude of reasons, he is the final one. Watching the baby of our family achieve the last of the “firsts,” is heart wrenching to me. His first word was mama. His first steps were taken at 11 months. He was the last child I will nurse. The last time I held a my newborn child for the first time. There will always be a last something with children. But why do we choose for that specific child to be the last. It took me a long time to come to the realization I didn’t want more babies. I want more time with the babies I have.
I was sitting in my OB’s office at 39 weeks, farther along then I should have ever gone honestly. My blood pressure was spiking into the 150/95 range, which when considering a person with normal blood pressure isn’t extremely or dangerously high. Normal blood pressure for me not pregnant hovers somewhere around 90/60 range, which is actually pretty low. The headaches those past few weeks however, were killing me. I had been saying it for a while now at this point, the pre-eclampsia my body develops during pregnancy was starting to act up again. I had this condition with both of my previous pregnancies. My daughter was induced at 36 weeks because of the issues I began having. My oldest was nearly a c-section because of it. My last however, was the worst by far.
My induction was scheduled and as we rolled into September, I rolled into the hospital to have my Butterball. It had gotten to a point it was necessary he come immediately because I had started to spill protein into my urine. I somehow managed to drag my GIANT belly to the zoo the day before, so by the time all the monitors had been hooked up, I was actually already in the early stages of labor. This would be the only time I’ve gone into labor on my own. I’ve been induced, or scheduled to be, all three times.
After about 12 hours of grueling labor we welcomed a son to the world. We didn’t learn the sex while pregnant and it was the best decision. I’ll never be able to put into words how incredible it is to have them say “It’s a boy!” I spent the next 48 hours on magnesium. Which is miserable. But I had my nine pound baby to snuggle so I didn’t care.
Around 3 weeks old our sweet BB started to show signs of colic. Lots of screaming and not much seemed to help him. I cut dairy from my diet completely thinking it might be a dairy allergy, which my daughter had also had. It helped a bit, but it was a rough start for us.
Our sweet baby had escalated to crying for 14 hours a day, sleeping infrequently and only in short spurts. He nursed constantly, screaming while doing so. He screamed when we held him, put him down, when he was in the carrier. He’d scream while I cooked meals. At the drop-off line at school, all the moms stared at me. I could see all the pity they gave me, the bags under my eyes were enough to prove this was a normal occurrence.
My husband and I took turns, 2 hour shifts at night walking him up and down the hallway so the other could sleep. While he was still usually crying, it wasn’t a full-blown scream. One of us had to get something remotely resembling rest. We tried colic medicine, we attempted reflux medicine. We had tried everything in my house of cards to try to make him more comfortable.
My six-week check arrived. When it came to the topic of more babies my doctor looked at me “I’d highly recommend you not having more children. You’re incredibly young, but your blood pressure issues have gotten progressively worse with each pregnancy. If it came down to it, I would save you, not the baby next time.”
Well that was a pretty big pill to swallow. We had already agreed to be done having babies. I was really sick while pregnant, I had 3 kids and a husband to care for and enjoy. This was just the moment that sealed the deal for me. My husband had his vasectomy a little over 2 months later.
I’d never change my BB, and I would absolutely do it again if given the choice. There are days I think I want another baby, but it’s not true, the last one is the last one for a reason.