Three’s a Crowd (Part 1)

5 Jan

By now anyone who knows the Pickle Jar knows that we are a crazy, fun, chaotic family of five. Three beautiful children tag along with us wherever we journey, no matter what we do to shed them off our trail. If they were investigative agents… well they wouldn’t be very good at covert operations but by God they stick to you like bloodhounds on a scent. What most people do not realize is that being a family of five was not our plan. I can say that most people don’t realize this fact with confidence due to the comments we get when we are out with our crew. It ranges from the blunt “Why would you have 3 kids under 4 years old?” to the more subtle “Ohhh you guys are busy!” and everything in between. Be warned: I am about to lay a story flat out on the table. If you believe in TMI you must not have kids or you’ve somehow managed to keep them from eating their boogers, their brother’s boogers, or feeding their brother their own boogers.

To refresh my three kind readers, pregnancy is not a friend of the Pickle Jar. And as much as the Mrs. enjoys being pregnant (let me emphasize that she doesn’t) the deliveries are even more non-enjoyable. In each of our boys births there was something that went awry, mostly surrounding the fact that they were each born 8-weeks early. During Trevor’s delivery we went from potentially transferring both mom and baby to a larger hospital, to talk of a life-flight ride, to an emergent c-section surgery to reach our baby whose heartbeat could not be found en utero and included a special incision during the surgery that forever compromised the ability of the Mrs. to grow babies. Top that off with an hour-long transfer of Trev to the nearest Children’s Hospital while leaving Josie in recovery, and we had no warm and fuzzies feelings left over about delivering babies.

It is said that given some amount of time you forget the pain and trouble of a delivery and it allows you to open up to the idea of more children. We didn’t even give that a chance – three months after our second preemie baby was born I surgically altered my body to eliminate the possibility of having more children. From our perspective we had played the lottery and won big with two, (literal) million-dollar babies who were happy and healthy and kept us always on our toes. We had fought through intense adversity to get these little boys home and no worse for the wear. It felt more like roulette to entertain the thought of more kids. And so we settled in to life as a family of four. Four. Family of four.

Anybody out there like statistics and odds? Me too. Let’s digress and take a minute to play with numbers. We were told that the odds of a successfully tested vasectomy failing after the second “all clear” test is somewhere near 1:100,000 – particular to the methodology the doctor used.
The odds of you being bitten by a snake/venomous creature is 1:83,930. The odds of you dating a supermodel – 1:88,000. Odds of striking it rich on Antique Roadshow – 1:60,000. Odds that you will be audited by the IRS – 1:175. What does this all mean? You have a greater shot of being bit by a venomous creature, dating a supermodel, striking it rich, and have almost a 10x time risk of being audited by the IRS than that certain medical procedure failing. To be blunt, you have more of a risk of a condom failing and you have far greater risk of a tubal ligation yielding a pregnancy. There…it’s all on the table.

For those of you keeping score at home, we have a scorecard full of difficult pregnancies, preemie babies, prolonged NICU stays, and one tested permanent prophylactic. So it isn’t a far leap to imagine the shock and surprise we had coming to us that random Friday night in March 2016. The Mrs. had been feeling a little odd and one evening as we were headed home she dropped a bomb in the car – “Do you think I am pregnant?”. My answer was pretty adamant: No, no I do not, no that’s not possible, no way Jose. In any case we dropped by the grocery store for one of those magical sticks and 15 minutes later we had our unexpected answer – we would be a family of five. The emotions we went thru that night were insane. Everything from hints of joy to overwhelming fear raced through our minds. At one point as I was innocently putting away groceries in the pantry, the Mrs. stops in her tracks and bluntly says, “Do you have the strongest motherf-ing sperm in the universe???”. I thankfully had no answer.
We were not prepared and not ready to have another baby. We were still, as my wife puts it, “getting punched in the face” by our two crazy boys. A third kid? What, how, why…We had given away most of our baby toys, gotten rid of almost everything that had been outgrown. What just happened!?
The night we found out and the next couple of months were taxing on both Josie and myself emotionally and physically. Oh, and this reminds me to clue you in to another reason we were not planning on having another child:
That extra incision I mentioned a little while ago? In the operating room they referred to it as a T-cut, or a perpendicular cut in the uterus that (surprise) looks like a T. At this point in our story we could dive into hoop stress and how a transverse incision effects the integrity of the uterus and it’s ability to grow a baby to term, but I’ll spare you. The point is that this little incision meant this pregnancy – like the two before it – was going to be a wild ride.

to be continued…



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