KatieKatie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.
A Guest Post by Melissa KirchnerWell you can’t know any story without knowing the “whole” story, so let me start at the beginning.

My Christmas surprise, Tessa

When I was a 17-year-old senior in high school I got a call from an Army recruiter wanting to talk to me about joining. He came and talked, and I signed on the dotted line. It was an amazing adventure I was and still am very proud to have embarked on. A few years into my stint, 9/11 happened. Four months later I was called for a 12-month deployment to Iraq. I met my husband Tyler on that deployment!

After a year of dating and eight months overseas, we got a two-week leave. That was when our first daughter Makayla came to be more then the sparkle in her daddy’s eye.

When I returned to Iraq I took a pregnancy test before receiving an anthrax shot, and was sent home when it was positive. Makayla came late in September, and when she was about four months old her sister Tayden became more than a twinkle. After having two kids so close together, I wasn’t sure I wanted more. But seeing how amazing my husband was with our girls, I wanted to try for a boy.

So when the girls were 2-1/2 and 3-1/2, our first son Trenton was born. After that, my hubby got deployed for a year in Iraq along with his brother. It was the hardest year ever. I lived 600 miles away from family in Indiana and had three kids and a job to juggle — with my husband overseas.

A year flew by and Tyler and I talked about trying for another boy to complete our family. Success! We were pregnant with a boy! But this pregnancy was different. I was nervous and anxious about what I don’t know, and getting a call from my nurse telling me I tested positive for Tate having Spina Bifida really made my heart sink. An ultrasound sound confirmed he was okay, but the Doctor said he could still be paralyzed. We had to wait till he was born to find out.

So when Tate was born a healthy 8lbs, I did NOT want to ever feel that anxious again! I had planted the idea in my brain that I did not want more children. I think I bonded with Tate the most because I was so scared about him not being healthy. I vowed that I would do whatever it took to help him stay healthy anyway I could. So I attempted to breastfeed for 12 months. With my three olders, I did about three months then gave up because it was “too hard”. It was going great but then at about three months it changed. He wasn’t eating well. So I tried different things to help but nothing really did.I stopped pumping and strictly breastfed him. It seemed to improve the situation but my period stopped coming. I had read that this was common for moms that strictly breastfed.

Around Christmas I noticed my clothes not fitting right, but thought I put on a little “holiday” weight. I mean I do love to eat! But a voice inside my head said “what if you’re pregnant?” I cried, thinking the worst. I told my hubby and on Christmas he went to Walgreens and got a test. I did not want him to see so I locked the door and did the deed.

One BIG happy family

He heard me crying after I read it was positive and picked the lock and came in! OMG…….again!? I flashed back, when did this happen???? The next day, I called and made an appointment to see the doctor.Within a week I had my first visit and they set up an ultrasound to see just how far along I was, because I had no clue.

I started Googling everything, seriously Googled my fingers off. I wanted to know how far along I was and could not wait till the ultrasound. Nothing on Google helped, so to keep my anxiety down I looked in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I read the first few weeks and it tells you what to expect at the doctor’s office and checking the height of your uterus was one thing.

So I self checked and my guess was that I was 15 weeks already. Not too bad. That made me feel better. So at my ultrasound the technician said “What’s your guess?: Happily I said “About 15 weeks.” As he started in with the ultrasound he said “15 weeks??, um try 23 weeks!”

What????? I was almost six months pregnant when I found out! A flood of emotions came over me. I had done so many things wrong — I drank on my birthday, I drank at Christmas, did not eat great, still breastfed Tate, and on and on. I worried about where the baby would sleep, and that I only had four months to figure it out before I had two in diapers again.

With so much going on I was NOT excited to be pregnant again, then the tech said “Want to know what it is?” I nodded, “Its a GIRL!” Yeah, that made me smile because while pregnant with Tate I secretly wanted a girl!

Still, after a few weeks I was not happy about being pregnant again. I cried a lot, but everyone else was happy. So I had to stop breastfeeding Tate after 10 months because my body needed that for the growing baby in my belly. I didn’t “show” until I stopped breastfeeding and boy, did I pack on the pounds!

As my pregnancy went on I still was not excited. Friends tried to cheer me up by buying little girl stuff but nothing worked. I started to wonder if I was going to be able to bond with this baby like I had with Tate, or if my not wanting to be pregnant would kill that bond. As the time got closer I was put on bedrest because I went into labor early. This is pretty common for moms with multiple kids but I was a five-time repeat c-section so it was not a good thing! Finally after six weeks bedrest the time came! May 21st at 7a.m. I headed to the hospital for my final delivery! As anxious as I was, I was ready! After prepping the time came to get her out!

As soon as I heard her first cry the tears rolled down my face. They walked her over to be cleaned and they pulled the curtain back a bit so I could watch. When she was done and before they took her for testing they brought her over and laid her on my chest. Those chubby cheeks made me fall in love! From that moment on I knew our bond would be great. Every day is a challenge with five kids but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I was blessed with an amazing husband and God knew we could handle a “handful.”

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