I have never been an alarmist, most especially when it comes to my children. I firmly contend that no matter what I do or try to do, it doesn’t much matter as they’ll turn out just fine whether or not they rolled over at four months or walked by ten (months).

If you didn’t actually know me, you might even take my very relaxed attitude as a sign that I do not care for my children, which would be so very false. I don’t worry much about them, but I am fiercely protective. So frightneningly so that Daver often will gloss over things (and sometimes completely omit) that he knows will evoke my wrath, which I imagine that as a coping mechanism my children will someday learn to do as well.

Really, I don’t worry about much in my day to day life. I live under the assumption that most things will work themselves out eventually (which is a good damn attitude to have as my husband likes to worry about absolutely everything–I talk him down from his worried cloud while he talks me down from heading over to Little Billy’s house to kick his damn ass for possibly giving my son the hairy eyeball).

All bets are off however, when I am pregnant. There is something hardwired into my body chemistry that flips a switch whenever filled with HcG and I turn into a bundle of nerves. Worried nerves. Painfully freaking out nerves. There is something so huge about being tasked with becoming a healthy vessel in which a small fetus is to develop for nine loooong months that scares me. Partially, I think it is the intangability of it all: if I can’t keep my eyes on it at all points in time, something bad might happen to it, and partially it must be the uncertainty of it all, that one can do everything “right” and have it all go so horribly wrong. Me while pregnant is not a Very Good Thing for anyone until that baby actually is born all wrinkley and screamy and garden gnomeish.

Months ago, while still pregnant with Alex, I decided not to go back on OCP, take my chances (as fellow parents likely know, having sex while having a baby around is not very sexxy. It’s all “Allright, one, two, three go, Go, GO! The baby is asleep!” Not very romantic, eh?), have my very last baby and then get done with the whole pregnancy/newborn period for good. Although I don’t necessarily want to have our last children back to back, I wanted to take the pressure off myself from the whole “trying to get pregnant” thing, which was supremely stressful, and figured that our last born would come whenever he or she would.

I just don’t know if I have it in me to have another baby. It’s not actually the baby itself that scares me (hell, I have two. I haven’t had a hot meal or taken a crap by myself in YEARS. This, I am used to), it’s the fet-bryo part I can’t take. I am neither naive or stupid enough to believe that everything will be all right, I know better than that. Bad shit happens to good people who don’t deserve it all of the time. Just because I’ve been lucky before doesn’t mean my luck will hold out (what’s that phrase about the house always winning in the end?).

I fear that the only way that I can make it through another pregnancy with my sanity (somewhat) intact is to have Dave commit me to a mental institution and strap me down in a straightjacket for nine whole months. My anxiety and peripartum depression is that severe.

(I’ll put it to you this way: immediately after delivery, when we brought Alex home, in spite of the fact that he would only sleep while being held AND I literally nursed him 20-22 hours a day (no joke here), I kept remarking over and over to Dave “Man, THIS IS SOOO MUCH BETTER THAN BEING PREGNANT.” Anyone who has dealt with a newborn for an extended period of time knows that between the raging postpartum hormones and the sudden sleep dep, this is not the normal reaction).

I don’t want to regret having another one, yet I don’t want to regret NOT having another one. I don’t want to be 50, sitting around with The Daver and say “Man, I wish we’d had just one more, like we always said we would.”

It’s a tough thing to tackle, this conundrum, because there is no good answer. What’s good for the goose may NOT be good for the gander (or something. Whatever. It sounded cooler in my head). I don’t know how to decide, I mean, this is a bit bigger than what color underwear to use or what cell phone plan to choose. It’s not ‘flip a coin’ territory, is it?

So, tell Aunt Becky about you. How do you know if/when/how many children you want to have? How do you KNOW for certain anything like that? Is three kids like Three’s Company? (if you don’t yet have kids, what was it like growing up with or without siblings?)

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

15 Responses to Indecision Clouds My Vision

  • Gail says:

    Oy. Can’t answer this one for you. We had decided on EITHER 2 OR 4. Never 3, as that creates a constant series of shifting alliances in the game of 2 against 1.

    However, I am currently sitting around saying “I’m f’ing old to be doing this. I want another one. Maybe 3 isn’t so bad…”

    Let me know if you work anything out on this one…

  • Dana says:

    Let me know if you figure out the secret for deciding before you have one too many. The jury is still out for us. Two is not enough, but one of us is sure that three is perfect and the other one of us thinks that four or five would be just right.

    Rather than make a decision yet, we’ve decided to table the discussion for a couple-few years. Two is all my sanity can handle for now and I’m determined to regain a little muscle tone in my belly before committing to another one.

  • Melissa C says:

    That’s a tough one! I originally didn’t want any, then my daughter put in an appearance. Then I REALLY didn’t want any more… until I REALLY wanted more! Then my son took nearly 4 years of trying to happen, so now I have 2; over 7 years apart.

    I don’t think I could survive trying again… the heartache of not being pregnant for so long changes you in ways I cannot even describe, so I have 2 and will be contented with that.
    Even though 3 or 4 would be nice.

  • Bri says:

    I agree that it is rare, but I also loved NOT being pregnant enough to say so in that sick postpartum period. In fact, I believe it was literally my first thought as they were sewing me up after pulling him out.

    I loved having half siblings who were there half the time and I am happy to have them now as a grown-up. That said, I loved even more being my mom’s only.

    But I posted about this, so you know us. We are done done done at one (plus GMB, of course).

  • Kristine says:

    My son has a most excellent campaign to be an only child. Between my hatred of pregnancy, his first 6 months of colic, and now his neediness. I’m not sure I can take another one. We joke often about not having anymore, but we did originally say 2. And we probably will have another one, once I have a stroke or something and forget all the crappiness. But we (I) do plan to wait until #1 is at least of 5. If nothing else, I want to send him off to school for the majority of the day while I deal with #2.

  • Juli says:

    We didn’t think my husband COULD have kids (there were issues) so imagine our surprise when, five months before the scheduled wedding date, I got pregnant. Moved up the wedding, not out of shame but because I wanted to be able to wear the pretty dress (shallow much?) Pregnancy sucked large and I vowed never again. When the kid was about two and a half, I said, “Well, maybe… but I am not having kids after age 30.” 40 weeks before my 30th birthday, I told my husband, “If you wanna do this again you have to get me pregnant in, like, the next twenty minutes.” He decided instead to put in a new bathroom floor, and got vasectomized (which is not even a word) just after my birthday. No regrets. I like the kid I have just fine most of the time, and I can stand other people’s children for very short periods of time, and I’m a pretty decent parent if I do say so myself, but in general? Not A Kid Person.

  • becky says:

    You guys are totally making me feel less weird for not knowing if I want a third one.

    On my best days, I am sure of it, on my worst, I consider sending The Daver in for a vasectomy.

    It’s tough. I sort of fell into parenting when I had my first, and if I hadn’t had him when I did, I’m not certain I would want ANY kids. I always LIKED them, for sure, but I didn’t think it was for me. I like (d) my sleep far too much.

  • becky says:

    See, I’m with you, Juli. I have a timeline, as well. Since I started relatively young, I don’t want to be bearing children well into my thirties. I have three or so years until I turn thirty, so I’m assuming that if it doesn’t happen in that time, it ain’t gonna.

    I mean, I want my forties to be a time of rockin’ fresh partying. If I couldn’t do it in my twenties, I’m gonna do it then.

  • Pookie says:
  • Gail says:

    Well, thanks for making me feel like an old turd, Becky.

    :)

  • becky says:

    No problem, Gail! Always happy to help!

  • becky says:

    and Pooks?

    Hahahahahahaha!

  • Leslee says:

    I think I’m being forced to stop at 1. I think I’m ok with that some days and some days I think that I want to spit out at least one more. I didn’t want ANY and then *POOF* pregnant with my Alex. (Well, I can’t say it was completely *POOF*. We weren’t really trying, but we weren’t really preventing, either. I had this crazy notion that if I didn’t get pregnant young, I wouldn’t have any babies at all, so we were just using that if-it-happens-it-happens method. And it happened. So, *POOF*!) Now, I’ve been diagnosed with all sorts of girly problems and will find out next week if that shit’ll be ripped out forever. I’ve been asking for it to go (seriously, my first comments to the doc when the kidling was born was to tell him to take it all out cuzz I was done with it), so I guess I’m hoping that’s what they’re gonna tell me I get to have happen. But there are some days when I want a new little baby. I know my boyfriend wants a kid of his own, but if I can’t give him one, I guess he’s gonna have to deal with it, eh?

    (For some reason, the cookies option is all sorts of fuckered here on the work computer and I can’t log into my blog, which is why I’m not linking today. And I had a whole little tirade to write about. Hmph! -Totally pouting now-)

  • becky says:

    Dude, Leslee, I hope that all goes well for you. It’s one thing to be able to make the choice to have/not have kids but it’s another to have it forced upon you.

    Good luck with that, seriously.

  • Leslee says:

    Thank you. Sometimes, I think the fact that it’s seems to be forced on me is what makes me want another baby that much more. It really sucks. :-/

    And also? I’ve been meaning to tell you that whole Aunt Becky thing you do? My friend Becky off of the intarwebs, calls herself my Aunt Becky. o_O Creepy. LOL

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