The Birth of a New Era


Welcome to the first edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama!
In the month of January, we start afresh, a new year, new ideas. Hence, our participants have looked into the topic of “Birth and New Beginnings”. Take a look at the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants.

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Photo by HUgo Quintero

In April 2010, we welcomed our fourth child into our family with the birth of our second daughter. As with our other children, she was born peacefully at home with an unassisted birth. Later, as our older children were off playing and we were marvelling at this new human being, my husband turned to me and said, “You know. This is the start of a new part of our lives. We are moving from child-birthing to child-rearing.”

I bristled at that statement. After all, we had been child-rearing for 7 1/2 years, ever since the birth of our first child; it wasn’t anything new. However, what I struggled the most with was the idea that I wouldn’t be having any more babies. Were we really finished having children? Would I never again feel kicks and rolls as I carried our child in my belly? Would our new daughter be the last child to nurse at my breast?
I continued to struggle with this idea. When I began giving the baby boy clothes away and then later when I gave away newborn girl clothes, I cried a bit. Later on, size small diapers and our space saver high chair went. I told myself that it was time for the clothes to go. They had been purchased when our first children were little. If we were to have another baby, by the time he or she wore them, the clothes would be quite out of date. I could make new little diapers if need be and a highchair would be easy to pick up. I thought about not having any more children and about having a fifth child every single day.
Sometimes my husband would make a casual comment about having another baby and I would cry out, asking him why he tortured me so when I was already torn up about the idea. It wasn’t that I was set on having another child. I think not knowing was the worst for me. I wanted to settle on an idea – either of planning to have another baby or of trying to accept that my pixie of a fourth child was my last baby.
Sometime last summer, my husband’s comments about having another child escalated. One day, I realized that he was struggling with the idea in his own way – wanting to have another baby but thinking four children was a good number for us. That was a turning point for me. It helped knowing that I wasn’t struggling alone. We left it at that. We aren’t opposed to having a fifth child but neither are we planning on having another. I have given most of the little baby things away, but I’m still holding onto our baby scale just in case we might need it. Our slings and carriers are still in heavy use, so I haven’t had to visit the idea of passing those on yet.
I still vacillate between the decision to have another child or not. One day a couple of weeks ago I was completely set on not having any more children. A few days later, I saw a picture which had me remembering my children as little babies and the desire was back. We haven’t made any headway into making a firm decision about having another child or not, but what I have found is peace.
Birth is profound; magical and ordinary at the same time. It changes us in ways we can never envision. It creates parents out of people. Birth has given me much besides just my children. I have grown so much by being a mother, and I continue to do so every day. Every day is a new beginning with new possibilities and new opportunities from which to grow and learn. It isn’t something we can plan but it is something we can accept and find our own peace.



Visit Authentic Parenting and MudpieMama to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 27 with all the carnival links.)

11 thoughts on “The Birth of a New Era

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  4. So glad to hear your own thought processes on this topic. We had thought we’d be “done” with two, but after this last beautiful pregnancy and birth and our sweet newborn, we feel inspired to try for another (sometime). And then — will we feel complete then, or not? At that age for both of us, does it matter what we feel?

    When I’ve talked with people who know for sure they’re done and have moved out of the baby stage, they sound so sure and at peace, enjoying the new phase of their lives. So I can see the beauty in that as well, though I’m sure I’ll always look nostalgically back at pregnancy and birth and babyhood. I hope that whatever we decide, we enjoy where we are. It sounds like you’re working on just that.

  5. You birth and rear such wonderful people, you *should* have more🙂

    We figured Ailia would be our last, because of our age and various other things, but my entire being has rebelled at the thought of stopping after two ever since … well, ever since I was pregnant with her!

  6. Pingback: Carnival: Birthing and New Beginnings…and Better Mothering « alivingfamily

  7. My husband and I have one child and both of us come from a long line of only children. However, much like you, it does become a tough issue figuring out if you are really done. I struggle with it at times and figure that the universe has a plan and in time I will know if I am suppose to have more children. I love the way you are working through this.

  8. Such a lovely post… Minutes after this baby’s birth I thought I was done… But now I know I have to have another baby… and if possible soon! I couldn’t imagine really being done… It will be so difficult when that time comes!

  9. I love that you shared your thoughts on this – I am struggling with so many of the same thoughts – especially thinking if my dd will be the last to breastfeed…and we have tubs filled with little clothes that I need to start parting ways with…three is a good number for us but in my heart of hearts I want five…only time will tell! thank you for your post!

  10. I am the mom of 7 and expecting my 8th child and I still am not sure if we are done. Logically I would say yes we are done. My age would say yes I am done but it is a hard struggle emotionally. I envy my friends who know when they are done after one or two kids and even take drastic steps to prevent pregnancy and I envy my friends who trust their god and nature to provide them with as many children as possible. I am neither of those people. What to do what to do….

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