Jennifer Loustau

Oct 9, 2020

2 min read


I noticed in the DNC profile of Nancy Pelosi that the narrator said she had four kids and then went on to extol about her awesome career. I got stuck on four kids. Four kids! I was gunning for four kids and I Ran.. Out… Of…..Gas……

The first kid was a surprise (See 25). The second was unplanned. I had gone out running for the first three-mile run of my life and by the time I got home I was pregnant and I burst into tears. No more three-mile runs for another five years.

The third was planned. I did a good job of planning because she turned out to be an incredible human being, but there are times when I have to remind myself that I chose to do this one.

The plan all along was to have four kids. As the oldest of five kids, I had grown up with my siblings being my best friends. They still are today. It seemed like a good idea for each of my kids to have at least three best friends. But half way through the third pregnancy, lying in bed, legs throbbing painfully, stomach upset, back aching, I revised the numbers downward. It’s an accounting term called Horizontal Recalibration. Not an easy decision. I had to run through a list of all the families I knew with only three kids and evaluate whether or not they were passable families. They were.

The deciding vote came from my OB/GYN who said in passing, “If you have any more kids, you’re going to have to strip your legs first.” That meant, yanking out of my legs veins that were so bulbous and swollen that blood circulation was impeded. Think Mother Earth with all the rivers that currently have dams being bulldozed into oblivion. Mother Earth shuddered. So did I.

One of the myths of motherhood is that every pregnancy gets easier. That may be true for some women, but it is about as true as most myths. Mine got worse each time. I felt sicker for longer. The fetuses got heavier. The nerves got pincheder. And by the end of term I couldn’t stand upright due to the agony in my legs.

My apologies to my fourth kid, my unconceived kid, but this Mother Earth couldn’t do it. As always, Discretion is the Better Part of Valor. My three kids are best friends, maybe even better friends for not having to divide their loyalty so many ways. And I’m standing upright. I did have my legs stripped eventually (See 50), but I am still impressed that Nancy can stand at that House podium for so many hours of the day, for so many years, and never, not once, have I seen her wince, plop backwards into a chair, and prop her stockinged feet on the podium. I do think the gavel would make a good foot massage tool if the handle were a little longer.