1st day of school 2013

Im kind of a big deal.

35 pictures and this is the only one where all 3 kids look decent.

Close up.

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The time crunch

My 37th Birthday is just around the corner, and I am starting to feel pressured for time.  And by time, I mean reproductive time.  We are always pushing the clock around here.  Go, go, go.

My hubby and I decided that a 3rd child was not in our cards right now.  And, I felt at peace with that decision for a while.  I even went so far as to give away all of my newborn clothes (with the caveat that they return them to me).  It felt liberating.  I felt like a giant weight was lifted of my shoulders.  I felt happy.  I felt at peace.

That lasted for a several months.  Now I am longing again to expand our family.  My reasons in favor are numerous.  I feel like I am capable of managing another child.  Every day I become more patient, and efficient and loving.  I love watching the kids grow and explore their worlds.  I get an endless amount of joy and satisfaction from watching the boys play together, work out their battles and conflicts for space and attention, and I love the relationship they are building with one another.  I also feel a small longing for a girl.  I can not imagine how it would change the way I parent or love a child, but I am curious to know.

I am also becoming more aware of the fleeting nature of my childrens youth.  They grow so quickly, and change in the blink of an eye.  I love being around toddlers.  They are so loving and energetic and flexible!  They accept guidance and redirection.  They rarely throw tantrums when given the proper options and time to make a decision.  With a 4 year old and a 20 month old-my toddlers days are coming to an end.  My older son will be in school next year and my younger son will be in preschool a couple of mornings a week. And, I can feel the stress associated with this end.  I do not want this time period to come to a close.

On the other side of the spectrum I do not long, in the slightest of ways, to be pregnant again.  I was sick for the first trimester, plus.  I was depressed for the second trimester and while I was happy and thrilled the third trimester – I was also exhausted!  Couple that with parenting 2 small kids and I wonder if another pregnancy will break me.  37 years old is not young any more.  In terms of child bearing, it is considered advanced maternal age.  There is more lab work, more tests to worry over, and more midwife care and worries.  There is also far less energy than, say, when I was 27!

That takes me to the sleep factor.  Oh, how I long for the ability to sleep and wake on my own schedule!  I am not sure why this matters so much now.  When I worked I woke on someone else’s schedule.  I have always been an early riser and I never was a late/long sleeper.  But, there is something about calling your own shots and not waking to the sound of crying that only you or your breast can soothe.  Then, there is the middle of the night waking that comes with a new babe.

The pain and recovery of the pregnancy and the birth.  Ouch.  The weight loss, the fitness level to be regained, the endless backaches, and the carrying and lifting of the babe for the first year plus.  There is a physicality to another child that scares me.  Is my body strong enough to endure that first year again!?!?!

But, even while looking over the pro’s and con’s, and notice there is nothing about my husband’s feelings or desires listed here!  I still feel like our family is incomplete.  Try as I might…my body is telling my mind to suck it up!  I am very logical and this is tearing me up inside.  The illogical (yet totally base) nature of physical desire mixed with reason and sensibility just doesn’t add up.

Is three a charm?

Up until 2 weeks before I got pregnant I never wanted children. When I was younger I would tell people I didn’t want kids. I didn’t babysit. There weren’t many babies or small children around while I was growing up. With the exception of my cousin who was born when I was in my early 20’s all the other kids were my age.

When the hubby and I met I was still certain that I didn’t want kids. Then one day something inside of me changed. It was shortly after we got married that my inner clock started ticking. I tried to ignore it a first. But it wouldn’t be ignored.

After living together for several years, a good length engagement, and a wonderful year post marriage the hubby and I had a short, and I mean 5 minutes or less, conversation about if we should try and start a family.

2 short weeks later the pee stick said pregnant. I was in shock for my entire first trimester. I did not handle it well. We now have 2 awesome, gorgeous boys.

Most of my friends seem to be content and happy with one child. These days many folks start their families later. Some are less willing to give up their perceived freedom due to careers or simply the pragmatic choice of budgetary restraints and are therefore unable to stay home with their children and then, many people simply feel satisfied with one child (and some none) . Some decide on having two, but very few of our friends have decided that yet.

I am plagued.

I want a third child. Something in my heart is telling me that our family in not complete yet. There are so many reasons why a third baby would be impractical. We only live in a 2 bedroom house-1000 square feet people. 3 kids might put us over the edge financially. I might loose my mind with three kids. Where would the 3rd kiddo sit at our dinner table? Would we ever get invited anywhere again? When would we sleep again? Oh, and I would have to get pregnant again (I don’t love being pregnant, and my lady parts are still on the fritz).

There is also the global perspective and the planet to think of. It is really a good idea to populate our planet with more than ourselves as replacements? Am I being selfish wanting a third child when so many folks can’t even have one? Hubby has valid concerns too regarding how much time he would have to spend with each. Would he get the quality time with each of them that they needed? Would it be total chaos? Would we be able to give each of them the love that they needed. What would our house be like with 5 human beings living in it at all times. Plus a dog and a cat.

All things emotional and logical inside of me say yes.

The house logistics are simple. While I occasionally get depressed that our house is so small; most of the time I am content with our small, cozy quarters. I love the neighborhood, the centrality, and our yard. I know we could make it work. Moreover, I want to make it work. I like to be challenged. And living in this house is a challenge in terms of getting everything to fit. It forces me to think about things before I buy them. It also requires shared space which is a good lesson for everyone. It forces each person to respect the others space. Plus, we won’t live here forever, although the in-laws have lived in their home for 30-plus years. Hmm, we could always remodel-budget permitting.

We have the gear. I have the space in my vehicle. I know I have enough love (patience may be a bit short in the beginning and during the teenage years). I am not getting any younger and in many ways I want to be done with the childbearing part and move all my energy and focus to the childrearing phase.

I keep getting stuck in the comments of others. Am I crazy for wanting three? Will I put myself over the edge? Do I have the personality to handle three kids?

I still have plenty of time to ponder this idea since breastfeeding full time has warded off my period. But it is fun to think about. Unless we have a girl…then all bets are off.