You know, I always said I wanted 5 kids. At least. No, I’m not joking, I’m not clinically insane and I’m deadly serious. I wanted 5 kids. It sounds incredibly mean to say it but lately that feeling has ebbed to being practically non-existent, and the reason is quite simple: Edith.
I adore my daughter, I idolise her and I wouldn’t change her for the world. She is a shining light that has been gifted to us, and I thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with her. Alongside all of the, but not negating it, she is hard work. She still doesn’t sleep and has days where physical contact is a stipulation of every waking second. Days when I can’t go into the kitchen without having to put her on the breast to sooth her. She has most nights with at least 4 wake ups, all of which take a toll on me. She is headstrong, and I struggle with that.
If I’m totally honest, I’m afraid I’d have another child like Edith. There, I said it. I’m scared that I couldn’t cope because, God knows, I haven’t coped well with this child a lot of the time and I’ve always been a mother that struggled to understand why other women had more and more children when they had suffered something like postnatal depression or didn’t enjoy their experience with their child. Aren’t you afraid that it would happen again?
Then comes the ache. That dull, overbearing ache at the thought of never having another baby. At never holding life within me again, sharing my body and watching my bump grow. At never giving life, nurturing a new life. At never watching my children fall in love with a new sibling or my husband give himself over to another child the way he has the children we have now.
That ache is difficult to describe in words. The chances are if you have decided not to have any more children you will understand what I mean and you will get the ache too.
Watching Mum’s with their new babies? That fire in their eyes while they look down at them. It doesn’t get any less with their growing, but there is something about a new baby that is so totally the mothers.
I can honestly say now that most days I don’t want any more children. Our family is so happy and in such a beautiful place. I’m finally beginning to feel like I can cope with my life, my children and my work load again. I look forward to each day as opposed to dreading it, which if I’m Frank has been an all too frequent occurrence over the last year. I’m not going to say my family is complete, no one knows what is around the corner, but at the moment I feel like changing things would upset the balancing.
I’m becoming a wife again, a friend, an entrepreneur. All things I felt I was slowly losing to motherhood. Things I felt were slipping through my fingers and out into the world of screaming, temper tantrums and over tiredness. I can feel my relationship with Adam, who for the record doesn’t want more children and only really wanted two, changing and going back to how it used to be. Regaining some of its passion, some of our friendship.
I’m becoming me again, or rather, a me that I actually really like. So in the question of whether or not to have another baby? I’m thinking I may have changed my mind and joined team not, for now at least.
It sounds like you have it tough so I don’t blame you at all. I wanted three. But with a step son, and a toddler I know for sure I want another, but ideally I would like another two. But having said that I just don’t think I could cope with it. I totally understand your decision. There is no rush. 🙂
I totally sympathise with the ache of wanting another baby but it’s not worth it unless you both want another. Otherwise you’ll have another load of hard work and a resentful husband. Enjoy your beautiful family and discovering yourself again ? X
Thanks Fiona – it’s so hard isn’t it?! H x
We know we are done. But I don’t really know why I know that
It’s a tough one to pin down isn’t it Jodie! I still keep saying never say never but… never! H x
I said I always wanted three. I’m now pregnant with number four. You’d swear I loved pregnancy lols… it’s a really tough decision!!
Haha go you! I can’t quite admit that she is my last but I don’t think I’d cope with another like her…. toughie! H x
It’s such a tough decision isn’t it. Ismail imwanted 3 kids in total, but now my little man is 17 months and miore independent I’m slowly clawing back my life again. I’m sure you will figure out what’s best for,you and your family.
It’s such a tough decision isn’t it. I said I wanted 3 kids, but now my little man is more independent I’m clawing back my pre-baby life again. I’m sure you will make the best decision for you and your family.
Thanks Jemma, I know exactly what you mean. Once you start to get back to your previous ways it gets even harder! H x
We have decided to stop at two and although I am very content with that decision there is still that small fire that you talk of. Maybe that never goes away.
Oh I hope it does Emma – I will find myself overwhelmingly sad at time if it never fades! H x
It’s such a tough decision, deciding whether to make the family bigger when it already seems so perfect even through all the stresses and ups and downs it brings. I think it’s really good that you’ve become yourself again but I think you’ll know the right decision 🙂
Thanks Alice – it’s a tough one. The thought of her as my last baby breaks me, but the thought of toying with PND, teetering on the edge of coping? Even worse… H x
Goodness…. I couldn’t have summed up the turmoil in my own head and heart any better. I have two gorgeous girls… 3 and 2 with a 17 month gap. I was certain I wanted a third so everyone who asked during my second pregnancy whether this was it I was always happy to answer with a knowing “let’s see”. I still don’t feel like I’m finished … I just feels like there’s another baby there…. But as time passed I began less and less certain of how I felt. I developed post natal depression and was effectively robbed of the first year or so of ny second. Looking back I think the depression started far sooner… Whilst pregnant… I remember saying to people that if I didn’t know I was pregnant I’d think I was suffering with depression…… But that’s not what really had me doubting… It was the bit about starting to find myself… Starting to actually cope.., to find time for myself…to go ‘out out’…. Gradually regaining a sense of myself as myself and not just a mummy. And I’m still not sure I want to go back… BUT! Somehow the urge has taken back over! I’m 42 in August so we’ve decided to give it one last shot. And leave it to fate! We have a timescale… If I’m not pregnant by August then we’re calling it a day. I can finally start to regain my house by getting rid of the mountains of baby items I’ve amassed and not being able to relinquish! And I can finally plan that fitness routine knowing that any attempts to find my long lost figure won’t be kiboshed by another baby bump. I’m am already blessed so it won’t be a disaster if nature has determined it is already too late. But before I can finally let go, I need to know that we’ve given it our best shot. And so .. For the next few months at least… The hope of a third fills my dreams and my waking thoughts…
Oh best of luck with a third Claire, I hope you will get there 🙂 x
Oh the ache, I know that one!
I always wanted two kids at least, if not three. My aunt once joked she thought I’d have six, and for a moment I thought “why not?” But then reality hit…
My pregnancy was horrendous, from the HG to the OC, I knew I couldn’t do it again. I knew it for sure. But then I fell totally in love with O and when I realised around the 3 month mark (especially when I had to give up breastfeeding) that I’d never do any of this again I fell apart. We actually decided before O was a year old that we couldn’t do it again, no matter how much I wanted to. We even wrote a promise to ourselves (I found the card again yesterday funnily enough). But my heart broke completely.
The older O gets, the easier it gets in many ways. I can no longer imagine changing our little family of three, it just feels wrong. In that respect I guess you’d say our family is complete. And I know now that it is no just because of the difficult pregnancy… Both Tim and I have chronic health issues and O is really hard work, always has been. Don’t get me wrong, I love him more than I could have ever imagined I would, but between little sleep for several years and his incredibly exhausting thirst for knowledge (he’s very advanced in both literacy and numeracy and wants to know more all the time) I fear how we would cope with another child like him!! My friend even told me on several occasions that if her first child had been like O she might never have had her second child either, which made me realise it wasn’t just me not coping with the demands of motherhood but that we really have been blessed with a child who gives a lot but needs an awful lot in return, you know?
So I hear you completely, I really do, and hard as it is to admit these things for fear of how people will read into them, they are exactly how things are 🙂 xx
I’ve always thought you were very brave to know your family unit and admit that is how you feel Amanda, I know you have to suffer for your choice to have an only child in the same way a mother of many suffers – the comments, the looks… He won’t miss out on anything, I have to be honest and say I never did as an only child – and the relationship I have with my mum now is testament to that. Thank you for the lovely comment xx
I can really relate to this, we wanted 4 children up until we had Toby! I’ve written this week about coping with raising a high need child because Toby’s been so incredibly difficult in his 18 months and I’m terrified of baby girl being the same, or if she’s not then a future child being so. Enjoy your lovely family and enjoy being a version of you that you’re happy with then who knows what the future holds!xx
Thank you for the lovely comment Hannah! I’ll check out your post, its nice to know I don’t stand alone in these concerns. H x