I went to see my obstetrician for my six week postpartum check-up. I’ll save you the nitty-gritty but all’s well down there and I’m free to go and live my life. But I’m so incredibly sad about it.
I remember growing up and thinking (in a 1950s housewife kind of way) that if I was lucky enough to find a man I loved, if we married and had two children then my life would be complete. I’m pleased – some would say smug – enough to say that it absolutely is. But my visit to the docs had me bawling like a baby. Hormones aside, I was crying because it was the last time I’d be seeing my OB for anything baby related. I’m 36. I have two healthy children. I’m done.
Even though I’ve made up my mind that two is enough for me, I get sad with every passing milestone – I’ve just had my last pregnancy, my last visit to my doc, my last blissful hospital stay with a new baby in my arms. My last weeks with a newborn. I’m living through the last time I’ll breastfeed. The last baby in 0000 clothes. The last tiny nappies.
My amazing OB – we’ll call him Danny DeVito for reasons you’ll understand if you met him – sat down and said we’d have a talk about pregnancy management for NEXT TIME. Gulp. My brain (I’m still in baby brain mode here, please keep that in mind) went something like this:
Next time? There’ll be no next time Danny, thank you very much! I’m done. Shop’s shut. Yippee. See ya later, kind sir, but I won’t be seeing you again. Nuh-huh. All over Red Rover. Thanks for the care and thanks for the memories, but this is the last you’ll be seeing of me. It’s been real.
Oh bloody hell, I’m going to lose it. This is the last time I’ll be in here *sob*. I don’t want this incredible baby-carrying and birthing journey to end! *sob* I’ve loved every minute! *sob* I want 10 more children! *sob* Babies are the best! *sob* Surely I could have just one more? Surely? *tears flowing*
Despite the tears, the decision to stop now has been a relatively easy one. My health during both pregnancies has not been the best (thanks for that, gestational hypertension) and has resulted in two early births (36 weeks and 37 weeks). The first, when I had my darling Millie, was an emergency C-section because my blood pressure started to adversely affect my baby’s health. Even though it’s rare that the same problem would happen again in subsequent pregnancies, it did, and while Finn’s health was not affected this time, I was on strong meds that really made me feel, well, quite shit for the last few weeks.
I’m also getting older and we live in a two bedroom apartment. I’ve been lucky enough to take extended maternity leave both times, leaving my husband as our sole breadwinner for the majority of the past three years. More children would require a lot of changes – changes we just can’t really afford money or health-wise.
It’s a dilemma I’m sure tugs at the heartstrings of parents everywhere. Most mums I know say that being a mum is the best thing they ever did. Having babies is what they were born to do and they’ve never been happier. I’m the same – if I was five years younger and a million bucks richer I might consider adding to the family. We haven’t been able to pull off a Tattslotto win and I can’t turn back time to a more youthful stage of my life, so no. No more babies for us. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about that decision.
Hubby is one of four children and the thought of giving my children lots of siblings appeals greatly. I can see how easy it is to make the choice to have more children. Seeing a squished little face that you made and holding it for the first time gives you a high that nothing else will match. Having babies is an addiction that is very hard to break.
I’ll be getting my high from cuddling other people’s babies once Finn and Millie are too big for snuggles. And that’s ok. I have two perfect children and I’m eternally grateful for them. I’m a mum and I’m the luckiest, no matter how many little people call me so.
How many children do you have? How many would you like to have? I’d love to know how you came to decide how many was right for you – leave a comment below