Please stop the Britney song you are playing in your head and let me tell you my story.
When J and I married, we were in the middle of getting our restaurant, Big J’s, off the ground so it was literally “grind” time. We didn’t even make time for a honeymoon. With school starting the next week after our wedding, we continued on with life as normal. Fast forward to 2017, the best year of our marriage to date.
Things were going really well for me as a healthcare IT consultant. I had limited travel and was able to work from home. Even though I sometimes worked up to 50-60 hrs. a week, grueling during upgrade seasons, at least I was able to be home with the girls. I had also just started my new business, ReLeaf Health, which was just getting off the ground. If ever there was a place where someone might feel comfortable in their life, this was my time. I felt like we had settled into married life, FINALLY! The kids were doing well, old enough to pretty much do their own thing. My career as a consultant was stable and our legacy plan was in place, time to relax a little bit… right?
In late January 2017, J surprised me one weekend and was like “Grab your passport we are going on a quick getaway, our mini honeymoon”.
I was ELATED! This was the first time where I felt comfortable leaving the girls with family other than my own mother and really getting away and enjoying ourselves. We had traveled before, of course, but usually in the states or with family/friends. This time it was just him and I and the trip was FANTASTIC!
During one of our beach days we had a long talk about whether or not I still wanted another child. As we sat there, kid free, secure financially and living our best lives; we decided that Zee and Tori were going to be it. We were done and we were ok with it. Although I had always wanted another child, since we had the miscarriage early in our marriage and then pregnancy hadn’t happened again despite our BEST efforts; I felt it wasn’t meant to be and I accepted that. Again, Life was Good!
Again, 2017, I’m living my best life. I decided to head out to Portland to spend time in our store. I instantly fell in love with the city and knew that ReLeaf was going to be my focus. I would be out there at least 1 week out of the month since I could do my consulting work from anywhere. I convinced J that I wanted to open a dispensary and not limit ourselves to wholesale so we worked towards that goal. My trip out to Portland confirmed, once again, we were at a point in life where we could comfortably leave the kids with family and still do us. This was what I wanted in life. NO MORE KIDS FOR ME!
I visited my best friend for my niece’s graduation in Kansas City with Tori. Travelling with a child who is able to walk, doesn’t have a lot of extra “stuff” and can articulate her needs is amazing! What?!?! I am traveling when I want to, gainfully employed, skin glowing, body snatched and I am enjoying life! Yep, this is it… NO LITTLE ONES FOR ME. My trip back home to KC was interesting to say the least for some unrelated reasons I don’t care to discuss but the important thing was, spending time with my girlfriends without huge mommy guilt was amazing. NOPE, NO LITTLE ONES FOR ME.
YEP, still traveling, still living my best life. Aruba was freaking breathtaking! I knew we had to bring the girls back here to experience the people, the food, the culture. This trip was our yearly “adults” only trip that we take with family and friends. I ate too much, drank too much and never, NOT ONCE, called home to check on my kids. I was finally settling into this life free of mommy guilt because the girls were old enough to understand that mommy needs adult time too! Plus, they preferred hanging out with their friends and family, totally unconcerned about me and J. God, good looking out. NO MORE KIDS FOR ME! I should note at this time: I also wasn’t taking birth control but with my fibroid filled uterus and his aging sperm, no babies were in our future… I was sure of it.
For our anniversary this year, we were going to spend it out in Portland taking care of business and attending a major festival. Well as we typically do when it just him and I, we ENJOYED ourselves. One particular night stands out. It involved some edibles, tons of alcohol and our amazing hotel suite. I’m pretty sure it was the best sex of my entire life. J & I were living the dream, we woke up the next morning all smiles and really loving the place we were in; not only in business but in our marriage and family as well.
Something was different about this hurricane or rather I was different with this hurricane. I have anxiety typically but this was a whole other level. Everything was making me feel queasy and my breasts were tender. It was the oddest thing. On day 3 of the “lingering” hurricane I took a pregnancy test just to kill any doubt I had that I could actually be pregnant.
Chile… when that test came back positive, I almost passed out. I immediately went to the store, in the rain, to get 2 new tests because clearly that first test was old and giving false positives.
I took 5 pregnancy tests that day. I was in denial. I immediately began thinking about an abortion because I was resolute in my mind that I didn’t want more children. I was sick, sick as a DOG. Hyperemesis is not a joke and she was back for round 2 with me. I did not want another child and I did not want to be pregnant. It wasn’t until around month 3, towards the end…I felt a flutter (couldn’t have been a kick, might have very well been gas) but I knew then that I was meant to be a mother again. Be careful what you ask God for, He will always deliver but it just may not be on YOUR time.
Another child wasn’t on my radar in my late 30’s. My pregnancy sucked but when Amina arrived, it felt like she was exactly what we needed to complete our family. I had no idea that I was even eager for that but I was. She changed my life in ways that I’m not sure I would have been willing to address and pray on if I weren’t a geriatric mom (my physician’s term, not mine). There was definitely an impact to our marriage as well. If you recall we were starting a business on the opposite coast so that “burden” of travel fell solely on my husband while I manage the marketing and other ancillary things from my home office.
3 kids all at different stages of life is no easy task but I don’t regret for a second having Amina. Life has changed in such a major way and there is still some adjusting we have to do as a family, but we will do it, day by day.
I have 3 brief things that will help you prepare for your oops baby:
- Plan! Avoid the “oops” altogether. Children are a financial and emotional drain. Budget and plan ahead of time
- Expect the unexpected – When you have multiple kids, I don’t care how organized you are something always seems to slip. Go with the flow, don’t stress out and be flexible. (Honestly, I am still working on this myself. Prayer and wine seem to help)
- Rest assured there is a woman somewhere with worse situations than what you are going through. Praise God for entrusting you with a new little life.
This list could go on but you get the point… well wait, #4 on my list (yall know I always have more) is to change the narrative in your brain. Resentment can take up residence in your life if you focus on the negative. Instead of referring to your child as your oops baby and thinking about all the negative ways your life changed, focus on all the good stuff. All the good memories you will be able to share with your newest baby and how he/she is a great addition to the family!
“Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” -Toni Morrison
RIP Ms. Morrison, the shit that weighs us down most, is usually our own thoughts. Give it up!
Love & Light,