I always thought I’d have a big family. After having two children, I never expected that I’d be done having babies. I’d always loved the idea of that mom with four or five kids, happily immersed in chaos and sticky kisses. But even though I met my future husband when I was only 22, we didn’t have our first child until I was almost 30.
And in that hazy, sleepless first year of parenthood, there were MANY times when we looked at each other and said, ‘maybe one is enough’.
Eventually, as our daughter became more independent and we started sleeping in longer stretches, that legendary amnesia happened. We forgot how hard that first part was, as we were so enamored with this amazing and fun little person. Our daughter was that easy breezy baby, who was always happy and surprisingly even tempered. It was her fault that baby fever hit us. Why wouldn’t we want another fun kid like her?
Fast forward a couple of years and I was pregnant again. I was three years older, and pregnancy wasn’t as much fun. It wasn’t all pedicures and shopping trips. My husband had started traveling and my career had advanced too. I had several miscarriage scares during the 1st and 2nd trimesters, and having lost two other pregnancies, I was paranoid. All that being said, I never imagined that this baby would be the last.
But here I am almost three years later, and I’m 99.9% sure that there will be no more beautiful babies. My husband is 110% sure, but I can be quite convincing when I want something badly enough. My son was not the easy infant my daughter was. He was what I call a ‘stage 5 clinger’. He wouldn’t sleep without me and ONLY wanted ME. He couldn’t breastfeed;I pumped for his first year to provide him with my milk, which took a huge amount of time away from my already busy day.
As my son transitioned from my Siamese mini-twin into a mercurial toddler, my husband and I couldn’t help but compare him to his happy-go-lucky big sister who did everything early and easily:
- He didn’t say much other than ‘mama’ and shriek in frustration until he was close to two.
- He could be fun when he wasn’t frustrated about us not knowing what he wanted, and was always affectionate…
- But I frequently compared him to a Sour Patch Kid and often sang to him a song I wrote myself called, ‘Bi-polar Baby’.
When my son was about 15-months-old I went back to school and began to work on starting my own small business. I’m closer to 40 than I am 30 (sigh). I want to give my kids opportunities to find activities they love. I spend about half the time parenting solo due to my husband’s work travel. And I like sleep. Precious sleep. All of these reasons, and more, recently got me to the point where I told my husband it was time for the ‘ol snip snip. I actually said it out loud and to his face. It was shocking to me, but he was ready to make the appointment right then and there.
So here it is. No more babies. Sorry uterus, you can weep all you like at the sight of sweet chubby cherubs, but the shop is closed for baby making business. And I’m finally really good with that.
As I look at my first-grader and almost 3-year-old these days, I may have bittersweet feelings about no more babies. Then I remember how grateful I am for sleeping until eight o’clock on Sundays, and little people who can communicate their wants and needs instead of just screaming at me. They are FUN and smart, and one can wipe her own behind now. It’s magical to get to witness their lives and watch them grow. They tell me stupidly silly jokes and are still little enough to want hugs and give sloppy kisses.
It was an exhaustively beautiful experience parenting my kids through their first years, but I’m ready to move on. So… bye bye babies, so long.
Can YOU relate? Share your stories with us!