Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time Heals All Wombs

If you're new to me over here, let's start by sharing that I've been struggling with the idea that I am done having babies for over a year now. We have two kids, one just turned two and the other will be 4 this summer, so we are through the intense suckage that was the six months of two kids under 2. (I won't sugar-coat this. Serious suckage.) After Funk was born, I pretty much demanded that I get an IUD at my 6 week check. You see, Funk was a "surprise." A good surprise, no doubt. But a gift I expected to be getting in September as opposed to, say, February. In those bleary-eyed early moments, I could not fathom adding another cry to the chorus.

I didn't even think about having another child until Funk was a year old. At that time, I knew where my husband stood on the issue (no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks) and I wasn't even that passionate about having another. I just didn't want to say for sure that we were definitely done. I wanted to leave it a question mark, rather than a period. (Get it? Period. I funny.) He agreed, I think mainly because in his mind the topic was already closed and there was no harm in letting the issue sit and gain perspective.

Except that this approach kind of backfired on both of us, because I think we both expected that I would get over it. And I so did not get over it. In fact, what we have here, ladies and gents, is a full-fledged baby fever.

I've got a FEVER! And the only prescription is MORE BABIES!!

There are pros and cons to having another child. And truthfully, if love and families were a simple mathematical equation, there's no reason we would have a third (although let's be honest, on paper, when you add it up, this would stop logical people from ever having a first child.) But it's not logical and it's a tricky issue. Issues of the heart usually are.

I know that I want another child. I want Noise and Funk to have another sibling, someone else to add into the mix, and I think Hubs and I are good parents whose parenting technique can sustain and nourish another child. We can support another financially, though things would be tighter, but this does not bother me like it should. After all, what better reason to tighten your belt financially than to add more love to your family? We need more chaos! We need more hugs! We need more Democrats! (Just kidding about that last one. Sort of.)

Hubs comes from a two kid family, and that's his perspective. I come from a three kid family, and that's my perspective. I think he's fairly decided on the issue, and we're not talking about it much. My feeling on the issue is that when one person in your marriage does not want more kids, that is the end of the discussion. I'm not interested in bringing someone into this family that isn't as eagerly anticipated as its siblings, and I don't want to be "the one responsible" for a coerced choice. I refuse to debate this with my husband, because he feels what he feels and I feel what I feel-- it's not a "me VS him" argument, and I refuse to let it devolve to that. I'm not angry with him at all about it, and I won't resent him in 20 years-- he just feels how he feels.

So how do I make peace with my own gnawing yearning and sadness?


Heather said...

Truthfully, we were where you are. We had a serious talk, and I won. (Okay, it's not a competition. I'm really just kidding with that.)

I can empathize. I really can.

I thought hubby was adamantly opposed, but it turned out he was more opposed to an unhappy wife and he could see my points in my pro-baby arguments.

I've always heard that you only regret the kids you DIDN'T have, never the ones you did.

This one will be our last though.

Lulu said...

I think you are dealing with your sadness and disappointment in an incredibly healthy way. You articulated beautifully all the reasons to have another child, and more beautifully still all the reasons to concede to your husband on this tender topic. You see the promised joy (and chaos!) a third child, and the contentment in a family of four.

That being said, when I had my last bout of baby fever, I opted for a four-legged baby. That otterhound is spoiled rotten, but in the best possible way.

Michelle said...

Wow - I think this is a post that I very well could be writing in a few years. You know we only have one at the moment, and you may or may not know that we're trying our darnedest to bring #2 into being -- but beyond that it's a really BIG question mark for us.

Gruff thinks 2 is perfect - the whole "man on man defense" strategy appeals to him. He is the oldest of three kids (though the youngest sis is 12 years his junior) and I am the oldest of two. I always loved the larger families I knew -- and I'm not talking about going all Duggars, just having three or four kids. I'd love to keep the options open for a #3, but I just don't know how it will go.

And if he "wins" and two is our limit? I'll be coming to you, because I think I'll have that same gnawing yearning and sadness you're talking about.