Things I know

Sometimes you just know things.  I know that I was blessed with three sisters and a brother.  I recognise the gift of siblings and the joys of a bustling home, but I also know that there is no room left inside this vessel for anymore sleep deprivation, back-ache and worry.  I know that I will not be having any more children.

The lure of newborn babies is strong.  I am not immune to the ovulation-popping experience of witnessing a random stranger cuddle their freshly made baby.  To combat this I have hocked every breast pump, every sundress, every over-priced piece of useless baby machinery on Ebay.  I will cuddle puppies.

I know that I am blessed.  Lucky to be able to make these choices.  I momentarily felt that pang of yearning when trying to conceive my second child and enduring the pregnancies of other women.  I can’t fathom that on a grand scale.

I’ve seen people close to me suffer miscarriage.  I’ve watched them sit slumped on a porch step while someone else played an ultrasound video to a room full of people.  I was a self-involved shell of a person on a trajectory of time-wasting pursuits and I wish that I had shown more understanding.

Last night I drove to my local laundromat to pick up my husband’s shirts.  It was on fire.  No one was hurt except for about $500 dollars worth of our shirts – the same amount of money I just made hocking baby items on Ebay.  Once upon a time this would have been upsetting but now all I can think of is that my babies are no longer babies and they’re already paying for the shirts on our backs.

A resident at my mother’s work once told me to watch out for the change of life baby – the one you have around 40.  I believe her because despite a fading memory she’s still as sharp as a tack and speaks with a pleasant Scottish lilt.  I told her I would heed her words.  I tell myself to heed my own.

 

Do you think you know when you’ve finished having children?

14 comments

  1. TwitchyCorner

    My word I have! I always thought 2, maybe 3…then I had one. Needed a few years to recover…then I had another… just before I could be caught out considering a third, it became very clear I had two high maintenance models and I knew I just didn’t have it in me to invite that much more joy in! However- I do find it harder to get rid of all the “stuff”. Hurry up brother and partner, make me an aunty!

  2. I always thought I’d want a big family (I’m one of 7 kids) but I am done with two. My husband and I both (thankfully) agree that we feel satisfied with our little family unit. It just feels right. Am a bit scared of the later baby theory though – could well be right – (I am one! 10 yrs between me and my older sibs – mum had two bonus babies!). I really don’t see me changing my mind though (although I am ever so grateful to have the choice too.)

  3. I knew after #3 that we were done. I’m ready to move on to the next stage now (the more independent, and no doubt more expensive stage…) And hubby just got his letter yesterday confirming that we, together, can’t make any more babies. No change of life baby for us, thank goodness. But yes, lots of achey uterus here when I smell a newborn…

  4. We knew. I never saw myself with a huge family, Even after Small Child was first born – I knew she would be our one and only. Our little girl is the best thing we have done – but there will be no more for us!

  5. I knew I definitely wasn’t done after #2. Our family just felt unfinished – against all economic sense, because a third child would require a bigger car, bigger house, etc. Luckily my husband felt the same sense of incompleteness and we didn’t let logic stand in our way. ;) After son #3 was born though, I knew I was finished and I nagged my husband for the next four years to get a vasectomy (he did, finally). There was the occasional longing – I don’t think those ever completely disappear – but the memory of sleepless nights and no freaking time to myself made those short-lived.

  6. Oooh – good post. We’re still kind of undecided, both of us would like to go for #3 but given #2 is still only 10 months, I’m probably jumping the gun a bit! Only time will tell…

  7. I too clutch at my aching ovaries when I look at other woman with new babies. My boys are growing up so quickly and I often wonder if I could have just one more. My hubby has had the snip now so it would be pretty impressive if we did and deep down I know I really dont want to start all over again. but its the finality of it that gets me. Pass me that Puppie!

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