licking lab rats

in honor of joshlyn, who just had her 4th lab rat
For the past two years I have been praying to know if we are supposed to have another baby. For the past two years I have been struggling a lot, mentally and spiritually. It's like a WWF wrestling fight going on inside my frizzy head on a daily basis. And I mean, a full blown lights, camera action, spandex WWF fight. Somedays after an epic dinnertime battle with the 3 year old I would tell Ty, I don't think we are supposed to, and he would quietly agree. And then I'd see a cute baby, that was probably sleeping, and say maybe we should! Blast those cute sleeping babies. This is when he calmly tells me he doesn't feel like we are supposed to have one right now, and then he quietly lists all the medical reasons why he is afraid of me having another (besides that I battle post partum depression for 2 years after each one).

When we found out we were pregnant last Thanksgiving I thought, "Of course! This is it, I was meant to have another baby". I wasn't happy about it the initial few weeks, but at least my question was answered right? And then when I finally got excited about the baby we found out we were losing it. drum roll please.

Here I was again, very confused as to what the plan was for me. I know that 4 is a butt-load of kids for most people, but I am the youngest of 7 and I've always wanted to be a great mom. Growing up for me, having kids and being a great mom went hand in hand. Hence, my internal dilemma.

A few months ago Ty ended up having to work on our Saturday temple day. I was mad at him for some reason or other so I still went by myself, I really needed a few hours of quiet and sanity. It was just what I needed and I felt very peaceful that there isn't a need to have another baby right now. Believe it or not, I never thought that NO could be an answer to the baby question. But it was. As I drove home I tuned to NPR because Ty wasn't in the car (hehehe)

Yes, I'm a closet nerd. The program was a biology study all about these mother lab rats and what makes a "good" mother rat and what makes a not good mother rat. Of course I laughed at the similarity of the topic on air and the WWF fight in my head. Anyway, they studied a large group of mother rats and their babies. They noticed that the good moms licked their babies more than the crappy moms. In fact they licked them a lot more. A ratio that was large enough to easily measure and quantify. The licking stimulates the babies' (and this is where it got nerdy) brains and hormones and made neurological connections that permanently affected their DNA. This in turn made their female babies turn into good mothers that would lick their babies a lot and so on and so on. And so the chain of good mother rats continues for all humans to enjoy.

At this point in the program I'm bawling driving home. I DON'T LICK MY RAT BABIES ENOUGH! You can imagine how happy Ty was after work to have a hysterical wife explaining that we aren't supposed to have any more lab rats. Somedays I think he deserves an award for patience and sanity. Heaven knows God gave him enough of both for us to share.

So here is where I am today, the WWF fight has calmed down a lot in my head. It is now more like a quiet talk show between two old ladies. Super boring and you fall asleep most of the time listening to them. The annoying one with purple hair whose name is Comparison says things like, "All of your friends are having babies, what's wrong with you?". Or, "Look, that mom has 5 kids and she's doing a great job, you could do that if you worked harder, were thinner, ate better, were more patient etc. etc. etc." I think it's time to set her hair on fire and kick her out. The other one's name is Envy, she says stupid stuff like "Look how in love those parents are! It's because they have 12 kids!".  Envy is delusional and off her meds.

Despite these crazy brain ramblings, in all honesty even though i am peaceful about my answers, it's painful for me to be not having kids. And I don't think the pain of seeing pregnant women will go away anytime soon, and that's ok.  I know this ache that comes when being done is natural, and every woman experiences it. Whether they have zero children or 40. It's just not your time to be having babies, and that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it. It is normal that it hurts, and it is a process. It also doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with moms who are having more kids and who have lots of them.

I do know this, I have four beautiful lab rat babies. And most of the time I've tried to lick them as much as I can. I'm realizing how many licks I have in me, how many I missed out on, and how many I can muster up for the rest of their lives and their children's lives. And I'm going to be happy about my gorgeous kids and the peaceful answers I've received (and the funny ones). My Heavenly Father knows my sense of humor,  knows what my children need and knows how much my husband can handle. We've always known when it was time to have another baby, and I'm going to keep trusting myself today and try and turn off the tv show in my head.

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