When do you know you are done with babies?
Today as this is posted I will probably be attending my local birthing unit for the last time. The last time ever. I have to take the little guy for a weigh in as he hadn’t hit his birth weight last week and we weren’t discharged.
Knowing this will be the last time does make me feel incredibly sad. The birth unit and ante-natal clinic is where I have had the majority of my pre and post-natal care with all my babies; my scans, seeing the consultant when the little guy had issues with his cord and returning for checks and baby hearing tests. I have given birth to all of my three children in the mid-wife led unit. I’ve used their birthing pools every time and just had fabulous care, with minimal intervention really. I’ve worried about my after pains, the joys of postpartum bleeding and panicked over breastfeeding with my first, to be reassured and supported every time. I’ve had numerous cups of tea made for me, showered in the same room three times and crawled from my bed to the toilet, aching all over from three different labours.
But I know I won’t be doing this again and this is really hard to stomach, which is a truly insane thought. As soon as I had the little guy I vowed immediately I would never have anymore. With a labour and birth that was the worst of the three, I knew never again!!
That’s what’s crazy about pregnancy and birth. You forget all the crap immediately. I look back on pregnancy and see the kicks, my amazing body shape, feeling special, maternity leave and just being excited to meet my baby. I causally forget the first trimester: nausea, the vile taste in my mouth, tiredness and permanent hunger. I forget no alcohol, no current fashion, cutting down the gym, constant wees, Braxton Hicks, tiredness and worry and caring for my other children. I was the most stressed and worried through this pregnancy as I didn’t know if I would cope when he was born. Looking after three is new and scary but I’m doing it.
Casual amnesia: It’s the same with the labour, birth and the newborn bubble. I love the birth unit. The time with my baby after they are born. Being looked after by the amazing midwives. Coming home, cuddling, resting and eating! I forget all the pain, the soreness, the tears, the bleeding, leaking, sore boobs, plain old exhaustion and no sleep!!
Paternity leave is lovely but my hubby will return to work and reality will resume. The bubble bursts.
The thought though of never being pregnant again or going through the birth and newborn stage is such a hard thing to deal with. It’s such a massive, amazing stage of your life and it’s over. The focus now is on bringing up my little brood, making them happy and keeping them healthy. I’m getting older and so is hubby.
Despite this I think I’ll never, ever be done with being pregnant and having babies. Seeing those two blue lines on a test. The excitement. Hiding it for a while and praying all will be ok. I love and hate it equally sometimes. It’s almost an addiction; maybe almost primal and biological.
However I know I’m done with having children. I couldn’t split myself into four. I know that. I wouldn’t be able to work and we wouldn’t have the space unless we extended or converted the loft.
Three babies is enough for us and knowing that is enough for me.
It is hard to say that’s enough. Sending hugs.
I wasn’t ready to say it but after having a difficult birth with my youngest and both of my girls having heart problems I have chosen to have no more to save the stress and heartache. I would have loved another x
I’m so glad you wrote this as it sums up so many of the feelings I have. My second has just turned 1. As with her sister, I have found the first birthday to be an incredibly reflective time. I have just gone back to work and my baby to nursery with her sister. All around me friends, family and colleagues are having their babies. I can’t help but be jealous a bit. But I remember all of the things you’ve listed and I know that those wonderful and unique early moments don’t come for free by any means. As I rock my youngest through a bad period of teething at night, struggling to stay awake, I know that deep down I don’t want to go through it again. But it’s hard to accept that there won’t be another one of those life changing moments where a new baby joins our family and that special newborn haze where the only thing that matters is being at home together.
Wonderful post and thanks for sharing what I’m sure many of us think. I bet it is a biological thing which has us feeling this way!
Enjoy these early days even when they get tough and know that new excitements lie ahead when your three get older!