If You Bring a Baby to the Emergency Room...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Searing kidney pain, accompanied by nausea and complete inability to keep even liquids down brought me to the emergency room this week, accompanied by my husband and nursing baby. I knew it was a kidney stone; I've dealt with them before. I didn't realize what a conversation starter the baby would be, though!

Some conversations were a bit awkward... Wondering how to answer the question, "Is this your first?" When no, she's the seventh. Do I just say no? Will they keep asking to find out what number she is? At first sheepish, I started answering more confidently, "No, she's our seventh."

Oh, the double takes! "Your... What???" (Seventh *does* sound a lot like second)

Yup, she's our seventh! And no, exuberant doctor with "only" two kids, I actually think your job is probably harder because you could not PAY ME to go through all those years of medical school and residency you had to deal with! (I know several moms with many children who are also doctors, so it's definitely possible, I just hated biology... The throat-slitting motion from this doctor was a little much, but she was just a very dramatic person, I'm not offended!)

My very favorite conversation, though, was with a nurse right before I had a procedure done to break up my biggest kidney stone. There I was, hooked up to all sorts of wires and getting ready to be knocked out, when yet another person wanted to talk to me about how many kids I had!

"So do you think you're done?"
"Well... She's only 4 months old, so I'm kind of trying not to think about being pregnant again right now but..."
"Whatever God gives you?"
"Pretty much!"
"My one kid is so hard I can't even imagine having another!"

Ohhhhh girl. Same. That first kid can be so killer, especially if you're not one of the "lucky ones" who gets an easy baby! I told her all about how hard that first baby is, and how much easier the second is when you already have your parenting stripes. And how much they will love each other, and how much the older child grows and changes during your pregnancy, so that you can never really know what life will look like if you add another child, because *everything* changes so much in nine short months!

By the end of our conversation she was talking with the other nurses about how "nobody ever says they regret having more kids, but you always hear people saying they regret not having more..."

YES. This is the number one thing wistful old women say to me when they see our rambunctious brood out in public. Nobody says, "Wow, my life would have been easier if I hadn't had so many children!" Nope, they always say, "Oh I just wish I could have had more..." (And it's not always their choice, as you know—we're not the ones in charge of our fertility!)

Who knows if that nurse will go on to have any more children... But maybe my baby's smile and my suffering had a little bit of meaning this week.


  1. My Mom had 9 children and wished she could have had more. She said she always felt so good when she was pregnant.

    I am the 5th child, first daughter, and I once asked her "why did you have so many children and why, when you got the baby girl you always wanted (me)didn't you stop?"...lol. Her answer? "I never had any dolls when I was growing up and I always wanted a doll!". That was my beloved Mom. :)She wanted a doll or in this case...dolls. :)

    I am glad that I have such an abundance of siblings.

    1. Too cute! It's always amazing to me how much the kids loooooove having more siblings and babies, even with the amount of time they spend fighting!

  2. So sorry you had to suffer with kidney stones i hear they are awful. It is kind of funny in a weird way, I had a similar story. When our number 7 (who was born a Feb 17th 2019) was just 6 weeks old i had really bad gal-stones that were causing lots of problems, i took myself and little man to the ER where we found out i had to have emergency gal bladder removal surgery.
    I think i answered the same question about how many kiddos we have, what felt like a thousand times. The look on peoples face some times was priceless..shock and awe!! We are thankful for each child and thrilled that the Lord has seen fit to bless us with our little flock.
    God is faithful and he works all things for good...Jesus we trust in YOU!! Hope you recover quickly!!

    1. They were surprised that my gall bladder isn't in bad condition! Apparently that's a common issue for moms and I was googling those symptoms in days leading up to this, too :( I hope you are feeling better!!!

  3. I love your cheerful witness! I live in NYC with 3 before my oldest was quite 4. I bought a custom made pin on Amazon to say, "Yes, I want more!" And stuck it on my backpack diaper bag.

  4. Praying for you Rosie, that sounds terrible! As the spouse of one of the doctors in that community, I can't help but try to figure out who said what (lol, don't tell me). I hope you aren't back there any time soon but my hubby will be one of the residents on rotation there starting next week. ;) And don't undersell yourself, I know several big family Doctor moms that say their motherhood vocation is much harder than their physician one any day. :) I love your joyful witness. I hope you are feeling better soon!

    1. It was at Winchester, not Warren (no urologist at Warren so we just went straight to Winchester), do they share any doctors?

    2. Well the residents spend year 1 at Winchester and years 2 and 3 at Warren. So he was there but he was covering L&D.

    3. Ha then yes, he probably could figure out who the female doctor was who did the throat slitting motion, she was quite a character!

  5. Hope you starting to feel better and I am sure you have the doctors and nurses something to think about! Seeing such a young mom of 7 with the cutest 4 month old! And you being brave and positive even in such pain! I know being a catholic mom many think we just got tired and maybe lazy and uninterested and stopped having kids, sadly you can become infertile even after 1,2,3 or 4 kids. I will always wish I had more but I am doing my best to except God’s will and know that even though he might answer my prayers in a different way he is So good to all of us and wow , i am blessed to have 4 considering my current state of health each babe is a miracle ❤️

  6. That baby is seriously cute! What a doll baby :) Hoping you're feeling better soon. We just had our ninth two weeks ago and it was funny how many people started recounting their big families....our nurse was one of the nine, the ped. was one of eleven, etc. It was a bit disheartening that even though they remembered their childhood family fondly, none of them wanted big families for themselves.

  7. Hope you are feeling much better and hope God gives you more adorable babies! <3


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