Last week, I had my much-anticipated yearly appointment with my OB-GYN. All freshly showered and lady-scaped, I traveled to the 4th floor of the hospital to my doctor’s office with that feeling of dread. No one likes to go see the lady doctor, right? Having a near stranger poking around my lady bits while my feet are up in the stirrups is about the last item on my “favorite pastimes” list.
Well, that’s not altogether true, I guess. There was a time when I looked forward to going to the doctor: when I was pregnant.
As my naked self sat on the exam table with my all-too-revealing poncho and socks, I reminisced about my pregnant appointments of years gone by. I marveled at how different it was being at the doctor for just a routine checkup rather than for a baby in my belly.
Our conversation about supplements and when I should start getting mammograms was all mundane. And then she did it. She asked me the question.
“Are you planning on having any more babies?”
“No!” quickly came out of my mouth.
“I don’t think so.”
Damn it, woman! Before that moment I knew that I was done having kids. There was no doubt in my mind. But that one question from that one person in that one moment got me thinking: Am I done having babies?
I rode home with this heavy on my mind. I thought about how much I loved being pregnant. I yearned for those new baby cuddles. I smiled at the thought of naming yet another sweet baby.
But through my warm, fuzzy thoughts, three important things to consider kept lingering in my mind.
Yes, we could afford to feed and clothe another child, but would we have enough money for sports and vacations? Probably not. Would our family have to sacrifice to make ends meet? No doubt. While I know we would make things work if we ended up having another baby, it would be a struggle and added stress on our family.
Now, when I think about our family, it feels complete.
2. Child Care
My parents currently take care of both of my children while I work. They blessed us with this gift when they found I was pregnant eight years ago and have insisted on helping to raise our children ever since. While I know that they love being a part of my children’s daily lives, juggling drop-off and pickup from school and sports for one, while changing diapers and chasing after a toddler is a lot for anyone, let alone a 70-year-old. When I think about having another baby, it’s not just me I’m considering.
Before we had kids and even after my son was born, I always knew I wanted more. I knew our family was not done. Now, when I think about our family, it feels complete. We have two gorgeous and amazing kids who keep us on our toes and make our lives better than I even thought possible—it doesn’t feel like anything is missing.
As these three reasons rumbled around in my brain, I knew that my head was telling my heart what was what. I will always have that tinge of sadness when I pack away my daughter’s baby clothes. I will often have that familiar longing of being pregnant just one more time. But I’m pretty sure I would be experiencing these things whether I had two kids or five. The last is just always hard. It’s always final.
In the end, I’ve come to this conclusion: Could we have more kids? Yep! Should we, though? My heart tells me no.
And I’m good with that.