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How I Unexpectedly Had 4 Kids

A Motherhood Story: How I Unexpectedly Had Four Kids

"Wow! You have four kids?! How did that happen?"

FYI — don't ever say that to anyone. It's kinda rude. It implies that having four kids is somehow weird, or that my having four kids is somehow weird. Both of which may hold some truth, but it's still rude. But, since I have never shared just how these minions invaded my life, I will share it now. (Not the actual how — I mean, ew. But, you know, the how.)

I met my husband in 1997. We knew almost immediately that we were meant to be together, and in less than seven months we were engaged, and six months after that, we tied the knot. We had grand plans — be married for five years, have a child. When that child was 3 years old and potty trained we'd have another. When child number two was potty trained, we'd decide whether or not we wanted a third. We knew that the kids were in our future, we planned on them. Very specific, detailed plans. We planned, God laughed.

Plans Change

In early 2001, my sister called to tell me that she was pregnant. I believe my exact words were, "Better you than me, but congratulations." Less than three weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant, too. My sister was a little miffed since I had butted in on her special time. It was completely unintentional, so I was a little shocked. Not at her reaction, but at being pregnant at all. This was not my plan. I had only been married a little over two years; Baby #1 wasn't supposed to come for another three years. I was on birth control. I wasn't sure how this had happened (I mean, I know how it happened, but I had not planned on this). Plan or not, there was a baby coming, and regardless of when we had planned on it, it was happening now. We embraced it. Gladly.


I was one of  those people — the ones who said that I was going to work until the baby was born and that I would go back after the baby was born. I was convinced that I wasn't going to let this change my plans any more than it already had. Other than reeducating myself in the creative napping techniques that I had learned in high school to make it through my work day, making time for doctor's appointments, and eating and sleeping like a teenager again, no major changes. But at seven months, I started almost passing out — kind of a bad thing when you're in outside sales and spend half of your day in a car. So the doctors put me on home rest. This was the beginning of the end of my career.

Insane With Fever

When my water broke it wasn't a big river like I was expecting, but I knew. Unfortunately, when I called the doctor's office, the doctor on call believed that I had "just peed a little." So, since it was the weekend, and since this was my first pregnancy and I was not quite the snark-filled creature that I am now, I hung up the phone and went to bed. Monday, I didn't feel right. I was really thirsty and really tired, and I slept a lot. Tuesday, I went to the doctor and the same idiot who was on call over the weekend was there that day and he sent me home without a thorough exam. My husband was working nights, and when he came home early Wednesday morning, he found the cat and dog pressed up against the cool glass of the sliding door. The heat was cranked up to 78 degrees, I had the gas fireplace going, and I was curled up on the hearth — as close to the flames as I could possibly get without actually catching fire. He put me into the car and took me to the hospital. Problem was, the hospital was in Atlanta, and it was rush hour. It took more than two hours to get to the hospital. I was having contractions. By the time we got to the hospital, they were about two to three minutes apart. I was certain that I was going to die.

After being rushed back into the maternity ward, a very sweet older nurse came to the room and sat down on the bed beside me. She took my hand in hers and said very gently, "Sweetie, you are not in labor." I began to protest, thinking that if this wasn't labor then they were going to have to just knock me out until it was over. She said, "You are having contractions, but they are not progressing. You are contracting because you have an infection. Your fever is over 104 and you are dehydrated." They determined that I was dilated two centimeters, and then put me on a fetal monitor, an IV with medicine for the infection, medicine to help my labor progress, and gave me my epidural because I was in pain.

Now, insane with fever, pumped full of drugs, and worn out from fighting infection is the best way to be in labor. I remember very little of the next eight hours or so. By the time I was coming around, I could feel my legs. I wasn't supposed to be able to feel my legs with the epidural. So I called the nurse. My sweet old nurse was gone and in her place was a shrew. She told me that I couldn't really feel my legs. She said that it was an illusion. Although I could feel my legs, I didn't think I could walk on them, or I would have marched down to the nurses' station and told her off. The doctor on call was awesome. He came in at about 7:30 and said he thought things should be ready to go within the next hour. When I told him I felt ready now, he snapped on some gloves and said "Well, then let's do this!" Thirty-five minutes later, I was a mother. My son was seven pounds and 11 ounces. (Oh, and after the baby was taken away, I swung my legs over the side of the bed and walked to the bathroom — much to the horror of the shrewish nurse who said, "Well, I guess your epidural did wear off." Idiot.)

Unfortunately, my new son had been the source of my fever and he took it with him when he left me. They let me see him briefly before whisking him off to the NICU. No one was telling me anything. Nearly three hours had passed before I knew that he was in trouble. My husband and I went to the NICU to see our son elevated on a crib, full of wires and IV lines, fighting the infection that had brought us to the hospital that morning. The next few days were torture. He was a fighter though — and he began improving. A little over a week later, we were able to take him home.

"Fertile Myrtle"

My husband and I had been surprised by this baby, but we had decided that we would continue with our plan — three years later we would have another kid. Well, when Baby #1 was 15 months old, I was pregnant again. Again, I had been on birth control and wasn't sure how this had happened. My OB started calling me "Fertile Myrtle." I admit that the news of my pregnancy, at first, made me cry. I felt that I would be depriving my oldest child of something by having another child so soon. My mother calmed me down, and soon I was embracing the idea of having two children so close in age. We found out that this child would be a girl, and we were happy to have one of each.

I was scheduled to be induced on a Monday. I was supposed to leave for the hospital around 7:30 in the morning. My new daughter, however, had other plans. I woke up in labor around 2 a.m. the day of my scheduled induction, and by 9 a.m. I was the proud mother of an eight-pound, 15-ounce baby girl. Three days later, we brought her home. By 7 months, the little dynamo was pulling up on furniture and beginning to cruise. By 9 months, she was running through the house. She had her own health scare — at a year of age, her doctor was concerned with how small she was and we had to have her tested for cystic fibrosis. Luckily, she was fine. Somehow she had thumbed her nose at her gene pool and was the one thing I never was or ever will be: petite.

"Potent Pete"

A few months after my second child's second birthday, my husband and I briefly discussed whether or not we wanted to have another child. We decided to think about it and discuss it again in a few months. I found out I was pregnant less than two weeks later. Again, this was a birth-control baby. My OB amended her nickname to include my husband — we were now "Fertile Myrtle and Potent Pete." Baby number three, another girl, arrived at seven pounds and 12 ounces the day before Thanksgiving in 2006. I was now outnumbered. Three kids, all under five. We were busy all the time, but our kids loved each other and we loved them.

The summer after Baby #3 arrived, my husband began interviewing for another job. His interviews took him to Texas where he was offered a job and accepted. My mom came and stayed with my two older kids while he and I took Baby #3 out to Texas to look for a house to rent. We found one with four bedrooms — each child could have their own room, and there was a room for us. It was perfect. Two weeks later, the husband left with a U-Haul full of stuff and I stayed in Georgia to try to sell the house, with the plan that we would follow at Christmas a few months later.

My Winning Lottery Ticket

Three weeks before Thanksgiving, I got very sick. I was certain that it was the flu. I went to the doctor to confirm and he said that he was pretty sure that it was the flu, but wanted to run a blood test to check the white count. The next day, he called and this was the conversation:

"Your white count looks good, but you're pregnant."

"Ummmm . . . No. That isn't possible. I am on birth control, I am still nursing, and I have only seen my husband once in the past six weeks."

"Well, (chuckle), I'd go buy a lottery ticket with odds like that!"

"Really?? 'Cause I'm not feeling very lucky!"

When I called the husband, he laughed.

So, now sick, pregnant, with three kids ages 5 and younger and a husband working out of state, and trying to sell a house and pack up everything and move halfway across the country, I began to come to terms with the fact that I was to be the mother of four. My OB declared that I was one of the 0.02 percent of the female population that is unaffected by birth control, and I thanked the Lord that I had never been a slut in high school, because this whole process could have started a long time ago and I could have been the old woman in the shoe by now.

A Whole Heart

Somehow, we got moved to Texas and into our now too small house and I found a new OB and life kept happening. When Baby #3 was 20 months old, I gave birth to a 10-pound, three-ounce, red-headed, baby boy. I now had a 6-and-a-half-year-old, a 4-and-a-half-year-old, a 20-month-old, and an infant — two boys bookending two girls. Thirty minutes after Baby #4 was born I had my tubes tied.

And that is how I became the mother of four kids. I love my kids — all four of them. The beauty of being a mom is that no matter how many times your love is divided, it's still whole. I had not planned on four, but God knew that I needed all of them. Of course I vent about how they drive me crazy, I complain about the unforgivable things that carrying them has done to my body, and I sometimes wonder what my career might have been. But I love my kids and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. It isn't weird, it's my family, and it's perfect.

Join The Conversation
LisaBiermann1379149271 LisaBiermann1379149271 3 years
yes, your story is touching.. im also a mother, have 3 kids, and pregnancy number 4 was i true shocker, im expecting twins, so i will be a mommy of 5. my kids are spaced very very well apart, first born 17years, second 11 years, and the 3rd is 3years old, and now for my twins which will be born is march next year.. love been a mom, i am also very fertile, exept, i only drop eggs every few years, but when i do the deed, i fall pregnant straight away..
Babsg00\ Babsg00\ 4 years
I loved reading this! I have 5 kids ages, 9,7,5,3 and 1. I was pregnant with my second when my first was only 7 months old...also, got pregnant while on birth control with babies 2,3, 4 and 5. I didn't cry until I found out I was preggo with number 5....I was almost embarassed to tell people that I was I get...."wow, 5 kids, God bless you" which I always say, "he did...5 times"....Life is a good way...never quiet. I never planned on having 5 babies but, I wouldn't change a thing.
Stephanie14529237 Stephanie14529237 4 years
I love your assertion! I always hate it when people treat me and/or my husband like we're stupid or wierd because we want kids at ages 25 and 21. I got the brunt of it being younger. They also thed to have a reaction akin to what I'd expect seeing a two headed cow when I tell them we WANT 4 kids. In November 2012, I was told I couldn't get pregnant without fertility treatments. On Dec 14, 2012... I got the first of five positive pregnancy tests. Some people were outraged, others were elated. One thing many new parents tend to forget, and most people who know new parents tend to forget is that it is YOUR family, and YOUR life. Whether it was planned or not... ask them which of your childeren they think you should send back... if they are half-way decent... they won't be able to say another damned word. It's YOUR family... it's nice to see someone stand up for that... for once.
DianaReynoso25589 DianaReynoso25589 4 years
I had the same problem with my water breaking and the doctor telling me it didn't. Luckily, I didn't get an infection. However, I'm sure if I hadn't gone to the hospital and let them "induce" me I would have found out in the same way. My son was born "dry". There was not a drop of amniotic fluid, even though I went to labor and delivery to have my sac checked. I was told in many cases the sac doesn't rupture where they check and can rupture near the top and the sides where they can not feel or see. I'm glad that she and baby recovered from infection.
AmandaBethCrowther AmandaBethCrowther 4 years
I'm the oldest of 9 7 living unfortunately do to fact my mother kept finding more willing guys we eventually found out thru many diffrent ways that my #3 was not my dad's my dad still at times with mom but less often as he frankly was worried abiut us and not exactly the time part see I and #2 bo we were suposed to be twins and he worried about effect a younger siblings may have on us. My twin died 7 months in utero #2 twin died after 6hrs in nicu I was idetical the 2nd set faternal. Side note if child is over 3 and has decent mental copacity they will remember from 3 yrs on things they see I was 4 in half. Mostly girls out of 9 of us only 2 boys the. 2 of girls are of course in heaven. At least all your kids sre with same guy. I laugh at #2/3 depending on how you see it she was one I'm never gonna have kids she is mom of 3
EricaFilpi EricaFilpi 4 years
I have six kids, eight pregnancies total. I am allergic to latex and part of the small percentage that birth control doesn't help. I've heard all the jokes from Fertile Myrtle to "Dude, don't stand next to her, she'll get pregnant." And I think the most offensive term I have EVER heard is "Oh you're a breeder." I love my kids, but I do like my quiet time ( Role call: f-18, m-17, f-15, m-10, f-9, m-7)
EmeliendaSilva EmeliendaSilva 4 years
I know what it feels like. I had 3 pregnancies, all big surprises too. In 2008 after having my 3rd little girl, I had a tubular ligation. About 3 months ago I found out I was pregnant, sadly for me it was a nightmare. It was an ectopic pregnancy that raptured. My life was in danger, had to have an emergency op, n have the tube removed. It's painful losing a baby even if he/she was not planned. We really wanted this baby to be a boy, since we only have girls, but some things are never meant to be. After my last check-up at the doctor, I have been told to use some king of contraceptive, because I could still fall pregnant with one tube. Now I am really scared. Is there anyone else who has had a raptured ectopic, or who has had a normal, healthy baby with one tube?
DesireeMarietta DesireeMarietta 4 years
Thank you for sharing your story, sounds like you have a beautiful loving family. My mother was also a "fertile myrtle", but not as strong for she had more miscarriages than live births (7 times preg and 3 children born, before my dad had a vasectomy). Mum has always had a bad reaction to birth control, which was why I was cautious about using the pill for the first time. But turns out I was nothing like my mum in terms of fertility, had to wait 2 years for my first son, and am currently preg with my second after 4 years of trying.
DianneOlson DianneOlson 4 years
Wow 4 kids i commend you. But it sounds like they are all loved very much. I have one beautiful 4 year old boy. Wish i had more. I'm not sure about 4 of them maube at least two or three, but being a single mom one sometimes is hard enough.
TaraKostelaz TaraKostelaz 4 years
This story is very uplifting to me. I am pregnant with baby #2. My oldest will be 6 in 2 weeks, baby is due in 5 weeks. Baby #2 was not planned AT ALL and for a long time I felt alot of guilt, like I was taking something away from my oldest. The phrase "The beauty of being a mom is that no matter how many times your love is divided, it's still whole" makes me feel alot better :)
sarahbrittanyreedeloach sarahbrittanyreedeloach 4 years
I got pregnant 5 days before my sister had her baby then when my daughter was 3 months old I got pregnant again..then my sister got pregnant when my son was 4 months old and now her daughter was just born. so my parents have a newborn 1 2 and almost 3 yr old. so lets hope number 5 doesn't show up.
TabithaDickinsonJenkins TabithaDickinsonJenkins 4 years
This sounds exactly like my husband and I...we had 4 in a span of 5 years. .I almost lost each of them to hyperemesis and extreme anemia. They make me crazy but I love them
RuthIrungu RuthIrungu 4 years
I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. in your shoes i am i don't like calling my children accident i know we have our plans buts God has other plans they are four blessings in my life three girls and one boy. Just know you are very special Mothers
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