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.