I read a blog post earlier that really got me thinking. It was about starting a new chapter in life. On moving from growing a family to raising one. To saying goodbye to the part of your life when you're having babies. And while I thought, have thought, for a while now, that we're probably done with that chapter - I realized after reading this blog post that I still don't know for certain.
Three kids is perfect. Five kids (including my stepdaughters) is also perfect. I always planned on three kids, I have my two glorious girls and my boy that I adore. My life is hectic and busy, and sometimes (often) I'm overwhelmed and sure I'm screwing all three of them up in different ways. I've got a daughter on the cusp of adolescence, a son who's still struggling to stand on his own without me there, and a baby who's really not a baby at all anymore. Is this it? I thought so - but after reading that blog post again, and getting all teary eyed for the second time, I'm not so sure.
I'm very, very close to having a ten year old, a six year old and a two year old. If I wait another six months, another year, I'd have my perfect three to four year age difference between kids. Another baby right now - no. I know that's not what I want. But no more baby EVER? I don't know. What she was describing was so sad to me - "Never again will I dart furtively down an aisle in a drugstore toward the pregnancy tests, never again will I carry the thrilling secret that a new baby is coming, never again will I usher a new life into the world, hear my newborns' strident cries or rub their tiny backs." I don't know that I'm ready for that. I'm not ready to say never again.
I'm willing to go with probably not. I'm almost forty. My husband will be forty four this summer. And where would I put a baby? Am I ready to sign up for another couple of years of my body not being mine? I've been nursing or pregnant for almost seven years straight now. If I get pregnant within the next year - that'd easily bump that up to a full decade (because really, I don't see Julianna weaning before she turns three in the spring - but that's a whole other blog post...)
In the end, I know that this decision may end up being out of my hands. By not deciding, my body may decide for me. I think I've got a while before I lose the ability to bear a child, and certainly, pregnancies come with more risks the older you get. Julianna's pregnancy was utter misery - my liver stopped working right, I ITCHED everywhere, and I'm pretty sure they induced because I was flirting with pre-eclampsia, my blood pressure was sky high and I was on bed rest at the very end. And I've learned that raising kids just gets harder. The problems get more difficult and the solutions so much harder to find.
I might be perfectly happy with my two glorious girls and my boy that I adore. I already have so much to be grateful for - and maybe it'd tempting fate to ask for more. But I don't know that the day is ever going to come when I can say for sure and for certain that I'm absolutely, completely done. That I know that I'm never going to have another baby. For me, for us, I think we really want to keep that door open. I don't think either one of us wants to be the one to slam the door on the possibility of another baby.
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