I was waxing poetic about my birth stories and a new friend-type-person’s birth story and another colleague’s partners’ birth stories in our adjunct office suite a few days ago, and the male member of this conversation sighed happily. “Doesn’t it just make you want to have more babies?” He looked all glow-y. And, all empathy and support and appropriateness, I said:
“OH GOD NO. UH-UH. NO.”
I may possibly have snorted first.
And that’s how I feel about the idea of having any more babies. No thank you to another pregnancy (if it was like my second pregnancy, I don’t know that I’d survive it, and I mean that very literally). No thank you to the inevitable downs and lower-downs of sleep deprivation during yet another set of early years. No thank you to worrying about conceiving, worrying about pregnancy loss, worrying about childbirth complications, checking whether the newborn is still breathing in its sleep. No thank you to moving all breakable or dangerous items out of yet another baby’s reach. No thank you to my body changing size and shape dramatically over the course of three years and never seeming to have any clothes and bras that fit properly.
Or rather, hell no.
I don’t know whether we’d have decided to have a third child if my second pregnancy had been pleasant and easy. But if I’m good at one important thing in life, it’s making a decision and then making whatever it was be the right decision.
I truly loved giving birth, learning about pregnancy and birth, being involved in my own care. I love breastfeeding and caring for my infants, snuggling my toddlers.
And yet, at a gut, snort-at-the-idea-of-another level, I am so very happy to be good and done! This is my family; we’re all present and accounted for. Now maybe in a year or two I can buy a bra that will fit for more than a month.