Joshua’s Birthday, Back Pain, and the True Joy of Motherhood


How in the world did I become so old that I have a nine-year-old? tut tut tut. This kid changed who we are forever–Alan and me–I mean.  🙂 When we went into that hospital, in Arizona, in 2005, we were 24 and 26, respectively. I’d read a few books about how to take care of babies, but that’s about it. The only diaper Alan had ever changed was the baby doll at the hospital birth class.

After 16 hours of labor and a vacuum assisted birth, there was our darling little cross-eyed newborn. I cried wonderful tears of exhaustion, hope, and pure love. I loved that boy from the moment I saw the positive lines on the pregnancy test.


Sitting in that hospital bed, hurting–aching–throbbing everywhere, unable to figure out what size nursing bra to wear,  I was drenched in milk, my face was swollen to fantastic proportions, and yet I had never been so happy in my life. We’d had no idea when Joshua would arrive, so there was no one there at the hospital to welcome him, other than Alan and me. It never occurred to us that there should be, and our parents weren’t too happy with how long it took Alan to let everyone know about it. Ha! This was before the days of smart phones and Facebook. No one had anything of the sort! Isn’t it funny how much things have changed?

We had no idea what we were doing, but you know what? It didn’t matter. We loved that baby, and we fed him and cuddled him, and he had all he needed. My parents arrived a few days after the birth, and Mom taught me how to bathe the baby. Thankfully, Joshua was supremely laid back. We thought parenting was fairly easy and so much fun, we couldn’t wait to have another one.  I was pregnant again by the time Joshua was 11 months old.


Then Caleb was born, and I never said parenting was easy ever again. 🙂  But it is fun. I tell everyone, “If you are thinking about having another baby, and both parents are on board, and you are physically capable of doing so, DO IT.”

I know birth control has done a lot of good things for a lot of people–goodness knows it helps with PMS–but I think sometimes it robs us of the family that we could have, but don’t, just because we are afraid it will be hard. Just imagine if you didn’t have your first child because you were afraid it would be hard. Most things worth having aren’t easy.



Then there are times when you want a baby so badly, and it just doesn’t happen, no matter what you do. We have been so fortunate not to have to fight that battle much. I am so thankful to have these boys. Alan and I talk occasionally–when we’re feeling brave or sentimental– about the possibility of having another baby. I don’t think it will happen, though. For a long time, I was afraid to even think about it, I was so overwhelmed.

I’m still overwhelmed, but I’m able now to think about the future again. The thing is, my back pain is crippling, and I’ve had so many tough deliveries. In fact, the last two were c-sections, and they do not encourage you to have many of those.

So no, I doubt I will ever have the pleasure of bringing home another baby, not because we don’t want one, but thanks to my own physical weakness. I can’t imagine not wanting a baby. I still get disappointed every time I take a negative pregnancy test, even after all I’ve been through.  Isn’t that silly!!??  I have four children! I’ve been blessed with more than many people dare to dream of. I can barely handle them all, and yet that’s me.

You can bet I will enjoy the ones that I have, no matter how overwhelming it is.  And if I ever run across a child in need of a home, we would be open to adopting.

The back thing is my own fault, partially. Dr. Bodnar had it all nicely fixed up. Then I moved. I quit doing my back and shoulder stretches. I quit exercising my core. I quit going to the chiropractor. I was okay for the first couple of months, but not taking good care of myself is taking its toll. I know it’s getting bad when I live in fear of going to places that have metal folding chairs, and I’m popping Advil 800!

In 2009, when I originally hurt my back, my physical therapy doctor told me this, “Since your back problems are related to pregnancy and caring for children, you should really not have any more children.”


I got better. I had another baby. I got worse again. Dr. Bodnar, my chiropractor, fixed my back up again. I was able to get through my entire JD pregnancy with no back pain whatsoever. I simply exercised and had chiropractic adjustments every two weeks. Even taking care of JD, I was doing great……until the move.

clutching baby #4

Why do we moms do this to ourselves? Don’t we know we can take better care of our family if we first take care of ourselves?

I should make it my goal this week to find a chiropractor here and to return to doing my stretches and core exercises.

I’m always wondering if other moms can relate to my back problems, or if I’m just some 33 or 34 year old with a 88 year old body. I already cannot ever remember how old I am!  Ha! Yesterday, I could barely even use my right hand, which is highly unusual, but thankfully that was all better this morning.


This is all a terrible rabbit trail, you know, I was supposed to be talking about Joshua. Of course, I can’t talk about him too much on here,  because he doesn’t like it. Hopefully, he’ll let me post a few pics of himself and his birthday cake. We didn’t do a real party this year. Alan took our three oldest, plus Joshua’s two best friends (a set of brothers that live right behind us) swimming at the pool. That is Joshua’s favorite place to go, so he was as happy as he could be.

This was SO much easier than a real party. I may not ever do a party again…

“Mom, instead of buying me a cake, will you make me one of your cakes, you know, like you make?”

“Can I hug you forever, my child????”

I CANNOT decorate a cake to save my life, but by golly I can bake one. 🙂

Another Joshua quote that melted my heart:

“Mom, you know a lot about parenting some kids. When I grow up, I’m going to call you up!!!”

Seriously. I’m going to go hug him forever.

Happy Birthday, “Josh”!  But to me, you’ll always be Joshua.  🙂


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