I wondered if I should give up trying to conceive Baby No. 3. Tough days in the mom trenches mixed with frustration over my irregular cycle clouded my mind with doubt. Losing my patience with my four-year-old always brings on a wave of mom guilt, making me question if I could really handle raising three kids. Maybe it wasn't a good idea. Maybe I should forget about it.
In the back of my mind I knew I was feeling anxious and frustrated, which shortened my patience with everyone around me. I needed more than one or two mom nights out to cut through the fog of pregnancy disappointment.
I didn't realize how mentally and emotionally exhausted I became. It's wearing on me, holding in this rolling sea of complex emotions. Feelings I struggle to put into words. I place my fingers on the keyboard willing them to come out. My mouth opens to speak, to spill my thoughts to my husband or my best friend, but no sound comes out. My fears of secondary infertility, among other things, choked back the words.
Why it felt like something was missing: because one day there should be five of us on vacation together.
Last month we went on a week-long family vacation. We rented one side of a duplex by Lake Michigan and our close friends rented the other side. It was my kind of vacation: low-key and relaxing. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing.
As with any family vacation, there were some rough patches to deal with, such as my daughter's fear of bugs and crazy late bedtimes. The highlights of our vacation included catching the sunset on the beach with my husband and drinking wine while playing games with our friends. One of the best parts of our vacation was having us time after the children went to bed. Let me tell you, it was great to reconnect with my husband without feeling constantly rushed or on edge about one of the kids waking up to interrupt us. Even date nights have a time limit. Our time together was really time together without baby-making being the primary focus.
The change of scenery was good for all of us. My kids loved receiving a week filled with undivided attention. Watching my kids play and explore, it really hit me that they are growing up fast. My toddler is nursing less and loves exerting his independence. My four-year-old is fast approaching kindergarten. My increasing concerns about adding a baby into the mix dissipated. I was only coming up with excuses why I probably shouldn't have another in an attempt to dull the growing ache with each unsuccessful cycle.
As my mind cleared one evening, I realized what was nagging at the corner of my mind. Why it felt like something was missing: because one day there should be five of us on vacation together. I became optimistic, shedding doubts about wanting to get pregnant again and filled with a new resolve to figure out what's going on with my body.