I had my first child at the age of 18 years old. When I conceived her my then boyfriend whom became my husband, didn’t think that he could produce any children. So when we did actually get pregnant with our first child we were over joyed. My first pregnancy was wonderful. I don’t remember hating pregnancy (although, I do think we totally forget the bad parts of it at times). I loved also being a mom.
However, with being a mom it also brought on many challenges. Financial ones are always usually on the top of the list, PPD (Postpartum Depression), stress, and really just the ability to hand a new small human being. While babies are not always hard, there are times where having a small child can really kick your ass to say that lightly. That doesn’t always get easier with age. I tell people all the time that as children age it’s not that it gets easier but that it’s just different.
After my first-born 2 years later I had my second and then just four months after she was born I found out we were pregnant with our third (so much for not being able to have children). I would be lying if during this journey there wasn’t times where I regretted three children. Mostly when all three would be upset, when I couldn’t meet each child’s needs in the moment. When I wanted more one on one time with the children. Going out in public at times. And yes, most definitely financially. Especially, when we finally divorced. Oh, the guilty that rained over me for having three children and then also putting them through a divorce.
My husband and I struggled financially, emotionally, and I think even spiritually our whole relationship. I still say out of the relationship my three children with him were still the best thing our relationship produced. In the end I think they do help us become better people. As much as the first several years of their life is a totally blur over time I still saw another child. Years would pass and I would still see her. I knew she was a girl. And while I couldn’t see exactly what she would look like I KNEW one day she would be mine.
I first saw her before I had even divorced. It’s strange but in some ways I want to say that apart of me waiting was thinking about this child. But some how I knew this child wasn’t going to be with my then husband. After our divorce, I started to accept that the little girl I kept seeing was not real. See, growing up I could sometimes see things of my future. I don’t consider myself psychic or anything but you could say I have had a special ability to know things. But, there have been times where it wasn’t right OR it wasn’t exactly the way I thought it would be. I started to believe that this was one of them.
When my met D my now husband, he was not interested in having any more children. He felt my three was plenty for us. Like many men he felt money wise this was already stretching us thin and honestly!? It was. I would mourn the idea of this child. I actually started to get into the idea of acceptance that she was just not going to happen. And then one day he surprised me and well, lets just say, I had my fourth child and yes, she is a beautiful little girl.
My pregnancy with my last was my hardest. Her birth and after birth was no walk in the park either. In fact, my life has been forever changed since. After her birth I did HONESTLY think I was done. There wasn’t much of a question in my mind. Not only did I have to suffer through a very scary after birth ordeal, suffer several almost life and death health complications but also I had been in between jobs and money just was constantly tight. More children just didn’t feel like a responsible ideal. By the time I reached my 30’s I no longer had the same mind-set as I once did in my 20’s. I felt like was too short and no one is really prepared for children. And while, yes, I do find this still to be true. I also knew after many struggles I wanted more for my children and yes, more for any more that could ever possibly come.
But another thing that I had learned with my last child is that sometimes life takes you places you never have dreamed. Even though I had longed for this little girl, when I first got pregnant with her, I was terrified. I felt we had made a MAJOR mistake. I thought that I wasn’t prepared, I felt that I wasn’t going to be able to be a good mom, and I felt that everything I hoped for her would not be delivered. I feared that I would have the same life I did with the first three….
But that just didn’t happen. This child SO proved me wrong. Yes, things did happen. Yes, money was tight at times. But OMG did she bring something that I never imagined. She brought so much joy to my heart. I love my kids ALL of them. I wish I could remember having this much joy with them when they were small. I KNOW at times I did too. But this wasn’t the same. I was now with a man I really did LOVE. And he too, really does LOVE me. What was amazing was? I knew that. You don’t know how much of a difference having a child with a man you have no doubt in your mind LOVES you.
Having just one small child in the house and bigger kids was actually nice. I loved watching the big kids fight over her. Help her, and grow this bond with her. And while they do fight. I feel that having my daughter was still one of the best decisions we had ever made! She has been a wonderful addition to my life and I no longer regret the idea of having her nor my other three. Each child has brought something amazing to my life. Something that no other human can give. Each child has given me worry, tears, heartache, but also love, joy, anticipation, and a longing to see the big humans they become.
A while after having my last, I dreamed of this little boy to my surprise my oldest daughter also had a very similar dream. I thought to myself, how odd. For also the first time ever, I even had a name. I never had a name with my other children whom I also did see before they ever came. The hard part like last time D was pretty clear that the baby factory was forever closed. He explain about how we get to do more now that the kids are older. Fact! How expensive it is to care for what we have now. Also fact! How hard my pregnancy was, my health conditions, etc that another baby could bring new risks! More facts that I honestly, can’t deny.
So why is that here I am working at a job I really like. Money is actually pretty good for us right now. I have four children who I love, I feel are thriving, and we are able to do more for now than ever before and yet, my heart still longs for this one last child. I feel so empty inside. In my thoughts it’s “there will be grandchildren in the future” I think to myself. Or, “you want to be a midwife in the future, you will see plenty of babies”. I even would try to understand exactly what was it I really wanted.
Was it just a baby? I mean let’s face it my favorite part of raising kids is the 1 and 2 yr old stage which is like the SHORTEST stage of childhood. I mean one cannot simply want a ton of children just for this stage alone, this also includes the infant stage. Which to me is nice too but also I think we tend to forget the crying, sleepless nights, not knowing what the hell they want because they can’t tell us. We are just masked with the thoughts of teeny tiny little socks and clothes we forget sometimes all the work that goes into that teeny tiny human!
I logically know and agree with every point my husband made. I did. They were all true and they were all things that I had to think about. I thought to myself that maybe it’s time! I would tell him to hurry up and just go get a vasectomy and get it over with. I hoped that if the door was permanently closed that being able to move on would become easier? I thought as each day I enjoyed my job it would be more reason to not want another child. I knew having another child I would probably l want to be home. But funny thing was, I didn’t exactly feel that way either. I had a different perspective this time on that too. I was really feeling like I could do other things. I didn’t HAVE to be a stay at home mom.
My mind had changed and I started to see life more as opportunities instead of scary things that can happen. I thought of all the joy my last daughter has brought to our family and who one earth wouldn’t want to experience more of that. I wondered if in part she was my happy pill and I just wanted more of it. I thought as well, how that too probably wasn’t the best thing. I didn’t want to have a child to “fix” a feeling. That in, having a child to “make” me happy. I know in all hearts of hearts that’s not a good reason to have a child.
So, then what…. WHY did I want another child? And why, is it so hard to let the idea go? I kept wondering to myself that if this feeling hasn’t gone away maybe it’s because this is something I am supposed to do? But I also wasn’t about to go against my husbands wishes. Having a child is just as much decision as it is his. I wouldn’t find it fair to make him do something he really didn’t want to do. Even though I could see all the possibilities and joy another child could bring he just couldn’t. Nothing I can do can change that for him, he has to see that himself.
I wasn’t sure if another reason I felt this way was simply the dream. For so long I kept seeing this child that after a while that dream started to feel more of a reality. I saw all my other children why would this one be any different? I then was also not sure if my children had just “happened” or if my force of my wants and desires some how made them possible? I don’t know and that probably seems like a stretch but I just didn’t know. I talked to other moms who felt done and the thing that seemed to ring true for majority of them was they just knew.
But I didn’t… I knew for a good while after my last child I wasn’t ready for another child and then one day I just was. My husbands retort was then, when does it stop? What if we have another child and once again the feeling comes back??? I had to think that this too was a very viable possibility. He spoke many truths. I don’t know how I know this child would be the end but I do. Don’t ask me how I know this it’s just a feeling. But I also know this isn’t a decision that I can take lightly. I fear of holding resentment to my husband, my past choices, etc on not getting to have this experience one last time.
Sometimes I even think would I regret my choice if we DID have one more. Would things change? Just because M was this great addition doesn’t mean another child would be. I know saying that sounds harsh as if any parent doesn’t want their child. BUT, what I mean is it doesn’t mean that I will feel the same way I did with her. Maybe this child could be more difficult. My my health will take a turn. I even have risks of death. What if I left my husband a single man of five children? I have to think about these things.
So then I have to ask myself, are my days of having babies over??? Is this longing for another child just my body not accepting yet that my reproductive days are over? Is it just that I am having a hard time accepting that I am getting older? Or that my life is changing to a new avenue of all big kids and no little ones and that’s a new world for me. A world I still haven’t fully adjusted to? In part I think no to most of these questions. I do have faith that if we did ever have one more child (and yes, I will say unless some how us getting fixed still brought another then that child was totally meant to be) but honestly, this would be the final one. BUT if we did, I DO actually have faith but I don’t believe my husband does.
So now, I have to walk a road of knowing the possibilities of what might have been for him. Remaining content in what I have now and just looking to our future. I don’t know if one day he will change his mind OR if he won’t. I don’t know if *I* will change my mind. There are PLENTY of days where I think in my heart I AM done. What is actually funny was I DID feel done, when this idea of a child came to play I wasn’t happy about it actually. I was like NOPE! I fought it, HARD. But when I accepted it my heart-felt at calm and that was a hard pill to swallow. Because it was then something that felt apart of my path but it wasn’t a path I was going to lose my husband over. So I was left with confusion.
I now am just a place of stand still in a way. Taking each day as it goes. I have decided to just focus on us. I decided we will live our lives and if this child really truly is meant to be, he will be. (or she, I could be wrong). And that’s okay. It’s okay if this isn’t right now OR even EVER. The goal is to really learn to be content with whatever the outcome is. I refuse to continue to feel sad for a loss of something I don’t have. That doesn’t mean at times those feelings won’t come. But for now, I am blessed. I have four very healthy and happy children (most of the time). I am so proud of the people they are becoming and I look forward to watch the new journeys with them as they are getting closer and closer to being out on their own.
I am excited at the thought of one day being a grandma. Seeing them in relationships, their careers, them as parents etc. I am excited to see the adults they become. I have waited a long time to see these days and they are so close (for the bigger three that is). I look forward to watching M grow. Doing things with her. I mean I have never had in a way just ONE child lol. As the kids leave one by one eventually it will be just us three. I don’t think that’s a bad thing! So I know in my hearts of hearts I will be able to move on with my family but I wonder still from time to time… What if….
Do you really KNOW when you are done? How do you cope with the fact that your partner wants a child more than you and vice versa? How do you cope with just the idea of just NOT having children even when you DO feel done? This are questions some day I hope I can answer, but for now, what about you? Did you know? Do you have a spouse who wants more but you don’t? Or do you long for another and your spouse said the baby factory is closed? Do we ever really feel DONE?