I pushed with every drop of energy I had left and Margot's head was born. I reached down and touched her, gave one final push, then pulled her up to my chest and held her skin to skin.She didn't make a sound. She just opened her eyes wide and looked up at me, like she knew it was me all along.
Above is a tiny excerpt from the birth story I wrote after my third daughter, Margot, was born. Her birth was the most challenging thing I've ever done—mentally and physically. She didn't come easily, or fast. Quite the opposite, in fact. The 24 hours or so before she was born were dark— moments I never need to repeat. But that moment she finally arrived? The moment she was finally in my arms, staring into my eyes? That was ethereal.
Here's the thing—once you've had three babies, people start to get worried. They assume you're done. In fact, they probably assume your last one was a mistake. If you tell them you aren't done, they think you're a crazy person. If you tell them you aren't sure if you're done, then they start giving you reasons why you should be.
Margot's first birthday is coming up, which means everyone is wondering if we're "done," or if it's time to get pregnant again. Ask my husband if we're done having children, he'll say "Yes, for sure." (He'd run and get a vasectomy tonight if I let him.) But if you ask me? I'm a little less confident in my answer.
How can you know that for sure? How can you experience the greatest thing ever and not want to do it all over again?
"I'm not sure."
"I think so."
"We're done for a long time."
"We're done for right now."
"We're done until I want another baby."
I just don't know if I can say "I don't want anymore kids." It sounds so final. Harsh even. How can you know that for sure? How can you experience the greatest thing ever and not want to do it all over again?
Yes, I pretty much despise the achy and vomitous symptoms of pregnancy. When I think about labor pains, I get the chills. But finally meeting your baby, fresh from heaven, sticky and sweet? That's something I'd do a million times over.