I have a theory that once you have three children it really doesn't matter how many more you have, your sanity is shot.
I have five.
Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, I would not send any back (not today anyway) nor do I regret having any of my children. Also, they were all planned and wanted. They all have the same dad (and mom). I conceived and birthed all five kids with my husband, Superman. We wanted them all. What we didn't realize is the emotional and psychological toll they would have on both of us.
As I said, after three it really doesn't matter. I was still mostly sane after babies one and two (both girls, fairly easy pregnancies, & deliveries). Pregnancy #3 tried to kill me. Snap rocks now, but as a conceptualized, fertilized egg he started giving me problems. By baby #4 (tidbit here, I labeled all my medical "folders" as "Baby #1," "Baby #2," etc... much to the chagrin and amusement of my children) I was as crazy as the Mad Hatter (MOVE DOWN MOVE DOWN). I also couldn't go shopping, go to church or even go to the bathroom with ease or even alone. Those little fingers under the door? Yes, it's true.
When I was pregnant with Crackle I had severe sciatica and while shopping at Vons one day with Snap in the seat (he was big enough) and Sunshine & Princess hanging on the sides, Sunshine decides to "let go" and BOOM! The cart fell over (so yeah, Snap was dropped on his head as a baby... as the saying goes...), I leaped sideways to catch my baby and OUCH! Something went RIIIIIIIIP! and I was down for the count. I pretty much limped the rest of my pregnancy.
But that is all beside the point, the point is that once you have three you run out of hands and even when or if you have a partner, they outnumber you. The early years are hard because your most intelligent conversation has to do with whether or not to put the jelly on the peanut butter or on the other slice of bread (Do Not Do It Wrong!) or maybe, if you're lucky, you can find a Blue's Clue or give Dora directions. If you're lucky.
Then you get in the Elementary school years where, if you are uber-parent, like I wanted to be, you are involved in PTA, SSC, Dance, Soccer, Softball, Cub Scouts, etc. etc. etc. (yes, we did all those things...) and eventually something has to give.
For me, I suppose, it was Crackle. I knew immediately something was wrong but it took 9 months of convincing to get my Pediatrician to agree. Then it took another year to get a diagnosis--which actually didn't matter because we were already doing everything we could. For the last 14 years or so he has been a huge focus and distraction for me. I can't work, but I can (and do) go to school -- all online.
We did have another baby after that. We listened to a couple speak about their 14 children. I felt guilty and we both felt there was at least one more child, maybe two, that needed to come and join our family. Call it whatever you want but we felt that way and it took another year to get pregnant. My baby, Pop, is my blessing. He is smart (almost too smart, actually), sweet, cuddly and even now, makes me feel loved and complete. We weren't able to have another. The last pregnancy nearly did us all in as I was put on bedrest for five months before he was born. I don't recommend that. Especially when you have four other children under the age of eight as I did.
Anyway, so my sanity has been in question for some time and I suppose I will continue to talk about this since --on a serious note-- I have battled clinical depression most of my life and until recently have been on medication. Since I only have three at home, and they are all pretty self-sufficient (even Crackle, to a certain extent), I guess I think I can handle it.
You can stop laughing now...
What I know is that I lost my mind around 1997 when number 3 child was born... And I'm still looking for it. I keep hoping that I might find it somewhere here, blogging and writing and doing and talking about what I love.
Wish me luck... Or send me meds.