Happy Mother’s Day

by Ashlynmathews on May 10, 2015

Mother’s Day is very special for me. When my husband and I started dating, he’d tease and tell me he wanted five kids. Five kids! After babysitting other people’s children for extra cash and having to watch my own younger siblings, I was fine with the idea of one kid, possibly two. When it was time to start a family, I realized I couldn’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way.

I think my OB/GYN was tired of seeing me in her office, wondering why I was doing countless pee tests. They were all negative. I insisted she draw my blood. I was a registered nurse. The pregnancy hormone, HCG, can be detected earlier in the blood than in the urine. Finally, after a year, she referred me to a fertility specialist. I did pills first. Nothing. I progressed to painful intramuscular shots. Nothing. Stressed, and worried we’d never have one child much less five, my husband and I went on a trip to Hawaii. I did a pregnancy test before the trip just to make sure I wasn’t pregnant. I wanted to down a few alcoholic drinks.

Much to our surprise, and after wondering why I got so sea sick snorkeling, we found out with a pee stick that I was pregnant! Two years later, we did fertility again. Another son was born. We tried a third time, hoping for a little girl. Instead, we were blessed with two more boys. We didn’t have five children, though many relatives have asked us if we’re going to try again for that girl. We tell them our family is complete with four. It’s an even number, you see, lol.

I am so blessed to be a mom. The first child was the hardest. As a new mom everything was well, new. But having him helped me be less worried with the second child.

The twins by far were the hardest part of motherhood for me. That first year, I don’t think my husband and I left the house. I’d tell my friends how the hubby and I broke down and cried because we were so sleep deprived. Eventually, we learned to let certain things go–a clean house, washed clothes, unused plates and utensils–and did what made life easier–ordering take-out, putting aside our ‘we’re super parents’ complex and begging for help, and parenting smarter, not harder by using the nifty things out there to help raise twins.

Now the husband and I look back on those years with smiles on our faces. Our four boys have brought us so much joy and laughter. Kids say the most memorable things, don’t they?

As I reflect back and think of how far they’ve come– they’re very self-sufficient at ages 7 (twins), 12, and 14–I realize there was always more to life than writing and finishing that darn story in my head. The writing bug bit me in 2010. My debut book published in 2012. I mentally and physically crashed in 2013. In 2014, I went indie. In 2015, I think I’ve finally found the balance between writing that next story, and living life with my husband and kids. There isn’t that compulsive urge to write and write.

On Mother’s Day, I woke to a clean house, thanks to the twins. The laundry was done, thanks to my 12 year-old. The dishes were unloaded and loaded, thanks to my 14 year-old. And I’ve got enough booze and chocolates to last me through another go at writing my next book, thanks to my hubby.

The family and I went to lunch at a Hawaiian restaurant. My kids love Hawaii. I believe the island of Kona is our good luck place. After lunch, we went to the store, and I brought home two rose bushes to add to my garden. Every time those pink and yellow roses bloom, I’ll remember this Mother’s Day. And every time I hear my children’s laughter, I’ll remember what it took–painful shots, multiple ultrasounds, lots of blood draws, and the disappointment of another negative pregnancy test–to bring them into mine and my husband’s life.

They might be little stinkers, fighting like cats and dogs sometimes. But they’re my little stinkers, and I’m so grateful to be their mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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