Mr. C. and I are at that point in our family time line where the question has arisen…will we be adding to our brood??
Hmmm…this is a big decision…a tough decision. How do you know? How can you tell when your family is done?
Before we had any children we were always sure that we wanted a big family. No, I don’t mean Octomom big…more like 3. That was my magic number. I wanted more than 2 but 4 felt like a little too much so we kind of settled on 3.
As soon as Mr. T was born I was sure I wanted more. I was still sitting in my hospital bed just hours after giving birth when I looked up at Mr. C. and said ” I can do that again” I felt as though I had found my calling. That after years of trying to figure out my place in the world I had found it. I was made to have babies, to give birth, to be a mother.
With the exception of our emotional and frightening start, Mr. T. was an amazing baby. He slept well, he ate well, he did everything he was supposed to do. We went to Mom and Baby playgroups, did Mom and Baby yoga and had fun together every single day. I loved being home with him that first year. I relished in my job as housewife and mummy. Dinner was always on the table. Mr. T was always well cared for. I was in heaven.
I couldn’t wait to add to our family and when Mr. T. was around a year old Mr. C. and I got pregnant. Sadly, that baby wasn’t meant to be with us and we miscarried just 6 weeks in. For a fraction of a second I was afraid. My mind suddenly registered that having a baby wasn’t just a given, it wasn’t my right as a woman. My anxiety ridden self panicked that maybe I wouldn’t be able to have another baby and for three months following I cautiously looked for any sign of pregnancy, which unfortunately can be confused with regular period signs.
Then finally 3 months later my fears were squashed by those wonderful double pink lines. My little Ms. J was about to enter our world.
Motherhood to one baby is one thing..motherhood to two??? A totally different beast. My days were not peaceful, organized days filled with lullabies and baby cuddles. They were rushed, chaotic days trying to balance a brand new baby with a difficult, independent toddler. Ms. J didn’t sleep well, there were nursing issues and she was quite the sensitive little princess. Yes, we still made time for play dates and art projects, but there were no breaks. Not a moment to myself. Between a screaming baby and a tantruming two year old I just needed some quiet in my life.
Now here we are with an even more independent 3.5 year old and a curious toddler who has her own ideas of where she wants to go and what she wants to do. We were warned of the ‘work’ involved in having children. How tiring it can be to take care of children, keep the house, make dinners, do laundry etc…it is physically tiring, yes. We were not, however, prepared for how mentally and emotionally draining it can be.
Needless to say, we are tired, both physically and mentally. So the question again, is should we grow our family or are we complete?
Mr C. says he’s done. He’s drained. He’s getting older and is not sure he can start over. So we debate the issue together often.
Do we really want to start over again? We are slowly but surely working our way out of the baby days. Most nights are sleep filled rather than sleep deprived. We are heading towards napless days, so we are able to get out more and do things together as a family. School is coming. Independence! Yay for independence. Mr. T. and Ms. J. can play together, entertain each other. We no longer need to be on them 24 hours a day. We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of daycare costs…no we are no where near done with them, but we see the light..trust me..it’s there!
So, do we want to go back to midnight feedings? Waking up every 2 hours..if you are lucky! If you even get to sleep at all! Nursing..oh nursing…was not my best memories of motherhood..I did it cause it was what was best not because I enjoyed it. Peeing with a baby sitting on the floor beside me. Showering with a baby in a bouncy chair beside the tub. Fussing, crying, spit up. Having to work around nap times and feeding schedules. Am I prepared for that again?
BUT am I ready to give up on the magic of a new baby? That new baby smell??? I could sit with my babies heads right under my nose breathing in their perfection for hours. The feel of their warm little bodies, snuggled up against me. Moulded to me while we rocked together in a quiet nursery in the early morning hours. Hearing them say “mummy” for the very first time.Their little fingers wrapped around mine. There is nothing in this life that can ever compare to that feeling.
To never feel a human being kick me from the inside? To not feel the rolls and waves of MY child growing inside me? To never hear “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”? I don’t know if I’ve had my fill of these moments of true bliss.
I never imagined I could love the way I love my family. My love for Mr. C. multiplied by the thousands. My children have brought me an unbelievable amount of joy and peace. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that I understand selflessness. I know what it feels like to have a human being be your heart. To be the reason you breathe. I found something that I’m truly good at. Being pregnant, having babies, being a mum. It’s something I love and am good at. So am I done?
Let’s face it..I’m not getting any younger. My baby days are coming to an end. If we are going to grow our family it has to be done soon. We were blessed. As I said before, having a baby isn’t a right and we have been given the gift of two magnificent gorgeous babies. Do I want to tempt fate? We had a close call with Mr.T. How will I deal if there are complications, if a new baby has health issues? Should I be grateful for the two that I have and call it a day? This is probably the toughest decision that I’ve ever made.