Posted on June 11 2015
I caught Baby Fever around 2006. My husband and I had been together for almost two years, and I knew that we were going to stick it out until we were two old farts spraying kids off the lawn with the garden hose (okay, my husband will probably do that... I'll bake them cookies and knit them sweaters). He wasn't quite into the idea yet, and for any woman who has the primal urge to procreate, but has a partner who isn't sure about it, you know that the disappointment can be intense and the urge to persuade your significant other is great. And I did try to persuade... quite often and with gusto. Eventually, he warmed to the idea, so we began trying. And trying. And trying. For the next two years, we never used protection and I did "Happy Baby Pose" to try and direct the flow of sperm, and I rubbed the Goddess' belly in our local metaphysical store, and visualized my big, happy pregnant self over and over again .... but nothing. I was trying too hard, and it wasn't happening. In November 2008, I learned about charting your cycles to pinpoint ovulation. So I tried it, and miraculously within a month I was pregnant! Our daughter was born in a hospital (induced/epidural/episiotomy) in October 2009, and while the hospital portion of the labor and delivery was not at all what I had wanted, once we got home I could finally focus on bonding and creating a connection with this beautiful soul. Baby Fever: BROKEN. For the first year. I didn't get my period back until Maya was 19 months old, and by that time I was chomping at the bit to get pregnant again. After discussing our sporadic moving habits, our frequent job changes, and our general wanderlust however, we decided that it probably wasn't the best time to try conceiving again. We had almost accepted and become comfortable with only having one child, though we both had siblings and reminisced about how much fun (and how many fights) we had with them growing up. Didn't we want that for Maya? Would she be "missing out" if she was an only child? Or would that just mean more attention and love just for her? We never really figured out the answer to those questions because in September of 2012, after being only 3 days late for my Moontime, I decided to buy a pregnancy test just to reassure myself that I was definitely not pregnant. As it turns out, I definitely was pregnant according to that blinding "+" sign in the little test window . Sophia was born at home after a very quick 2.5 hour labor, one day after we moved in to our very first mortgaged house. The birth went wonderfully smooth, but was followed by a horrendous bout of mastitis, which reoccurred (though to a much less degree) a few months later. Aside from that ordeal, things have gone pretty well. Having two children has it's benefits for sure: they can keep each other occupied. They are eachother's best friends, even though they can also be eachother's worst enemies. The younger learns so much from the oldest (and yes, there can be a few downsides to that, but for the most part it's great), and the oldest protects the youngest. Having two (or more) children can also be more exhausting. Resources must be doubled (clothing, food, toys, etc) though breastfeeding, growing some of your own food (if you have the time, know-how, and/or desire), purchasing used clothes or using hand-me-downs from siblings or friends with children, and keeping the toy situation simple and easy can really make a huge difference in how overwhelming acquiring and maintaining those resources can become. Our youngest daughter is about to turn 2. I haven't gotten my period back yet, and honestly this time I'm fine with that even though it would be useful to begin charting again. As of this moment, I am firm in my decision that I do not want any more children. I love my daughters immensely, and I am so grateful that they exist here with us, but I feel like I am done with that part of raising children from sprout to beautiful flower. My daughters are still young; the youngest still breastfeeds, and my oldest nursed until her 3rd birthday so I have to be prepared that Sophia may do the same. Maya actually would have nursed longer, but I was pregnant with Sophia then and I simply was not physically comfortable sharing my body anymore. I love that I chose to breastfeed my daughters, but I am getting to that point where I want my body back. I want to sleep through the night and feel truly rested in the morning. I want to be able to leave the girls with a relative for the weekend while my husband and I take off on a romantic excursion somewhere along the coast. I am grateful for these experiences, and I would not change it for anything (and I mean ANYTHING). I take joy in watching our girls grow and develop their own personalities; I love snuggling with them and comforting them and playing with them; and I love their beautiful energy that is tangible whether they are sleeping or creating a gigantic mess. That being said, I do not want to go through the process of pregnancy, or taking care of a newborn and then a toddler all over again. The direction that I am heading in life, and the person who I am, needs more time for creativity, passion, and freedom, and with each passing year it seems to get a little easier, and I seem to become a little more relaxed, and excited even, knowing that little by little I am more and more free to pursue what I have longed to pursue. I am not a woman who can devote her entire life to raising children. I know some woman who are, and they are some of the most patient, loving, nurturing women I've ever met. I can be patient, and I can be extremely loving and nurturing, but I want to focus more time and attention on me. And I want my girls to grow up knowing that it is okay, and necessary to focus attention on yourself sometimes; that by nurturing yourself you are better able to nurture others; and to spend time doing the things you're passionate about. Some women can do that while raising a lot of children, and others choose not to. I am choosing not to, and I'm okay with that. How many children do you have? Do you want more? Why, or why not?