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?)