I am no longer renting out my uterus to tiny humans.
The two times I rented out the space, it brought periods of food cravings, stretch marks, and weird side effects. The first time I was pregnant I was so tired that I could barely make it in the front door and to my bed after work. The second time I was pregnant, I was playing mommy to a 6-month-old who eventually turned into a 15-month-old by the time his brother was evicted. After much consideration, I will no longer play landlord.
It turns out that that it was not easy to decide to not continue to add to our family.
There is something that seems wonderful about having three kids in a house. Maybe not now, but in say, 10 years when they can independently dress, feed, and maintain themselves, to an extent. After what many would call a pregnancy “scare” I began to self-assess. I realized the cons, for us, of having a third baby outweigh the pros.
On day three of “Aunt Flo’s” late arrival, I woke up at 2 AM with very messy train of thoughts: “I’ll need a new car! Red Sox tickets are easier to buy in 4s. Airplane tickets cost a lot of money. We will no longer have an empty bedroom for guests. What if it’s a girl?! I’m never going to sleep through the night. No one will want to watch THREE kids for any substantial period of time! I’ll be cutting food into tiny pieces until I die.” – Just to name a few.
What stuck out in the wake of the possible change was mainly money. In a world where everything seems to be getting more and more expensive, I wonder if we’d be able to cover the cost of a third child. The second biggest concern was regaining myself as something other than just Mom. I struggle with finding time for myself because of the boys’ ages, dependency, and lack of babysitters.
Once the decision was made that we were not going to have any more kids, I felt a sense of relief and also sadness.
I would not have to worry about getting through the first trimester, I wouldn’t have to worry about what I ate or did not eat, adding stretch marks to my belly, or the health of a new baby. Growing babies is HARD. It’s hard emotionally and it’s hard physically. And once they’re born, it doesn’t get easier, you just get to share the hard stuff.
Since coming to this decision, I have done things like pack away my maternity clothes and join the gym. We’ve taken down the crib and put up a toddler bed. I finally feel as if I am moving forward and not stuck in possible pregnancy limbo. I am able to look at my boys and see a clear picture of us as a family of 4.
I’ve also cried, knowing that I won’t welcome another baby into the family, I won’t nurse a newborn again, and I won’t spend 10 months wondering what the new tiny human will look like. The sound of baby feet hitting the hardwood for the first time has come and gone.
Thinking of all the baby firsts make me nostalgic, and I yearn for another first year of milestones from another baby.
What I have come to realize is that my boys still have so many more milestones and firsts.
There will be the first day of kindergarten, the first time they walk to school by themselves, the first best friend, and the first broken heart. I could go on and on. Instead of being sad about the what ifs of not having another baby, I am choosing to be happy about moving forward with the brood I am already blessed with. And besides, I’m not sure I’d make it as a mother of 3 under 3!