I have been shocked over the past year at the ferocity with which I have responded to the ‘having any more?’ question and the joy with which we have purged ourselves of newborn stuff. I always thought I would be someone who had lots of children and yearned for more. Joni and Wilbur were so wanted, everything in me wanted them RIGHT THEN and I know (times a million) how lucky/fortunate/blessed we are everyday to have them. However, I think we are done – and no one is more surprised than I am.
The thought of going through another pregnancy fills me with dread. Aside from the attention you get when you’re pregnant (which I LOVED) it was mostly awful. I had a problem with my pelvis that meant that everything was painful, from about 12 weeks onwards. Just getting up and going to the loo at home would leave me in tears from the pain. This was hard to deal with. I gained a lot of weight and hated not being active and not enjoying pregnancy. I think if i’m honest with myself I had antenatal depression and should have accessed some extra support for that. I suffered mentally and physically for months and no one outside of my family and close friends really understood. I was bombarded with midwives, doctors, physios, employers and random people talking about the ‘aches and pains of pregnancy’ and ‘normal ups and downs of hormones’. Actually it was a pretty grey time. I was unsupported at work and made to feel like a failure and fraud. Just the memory of that makes me never, ever want to do it again.
Then there’s the birth – cesareans are horrible to recover from. Recovery is long, frustrating and my stomach is ruined. They were necessary – we wouldn’t be here without them – but another one? No thank you.
I reckon all that would change though if I really felt that yearning for a third child – I think my brain would gloss over the pain and the sadness and we would have more. But actually, surprisingly, we feel complete. The four of us together seems like a pretty good arrangement – not because of the obvious practicalities (cars, houses, holidays) but because it feels right. It feels like our family is done. I don’t even think we need a pet. We are ready now to face the world, the four of us – we are ready to grow and learn together. I am ready too. I am ready to work more, be a bit more independent and be a mother of two children rather than two babies.
Is this how it works? Do you just get to a point where you feel done? Or will the I-need-Another-Baby-NOW Hormone Train hit me next year when I turn 30?