15 Reasons I Am DONE Having Kids (And 10 Reasons I'm Not Sure)
I dipped my spoon into the molten lava cake and ice cream I shouldn't be eating (and wouldn't be, if I fit into my favorite skinny jeans), and slowly raised my eyes up to his, only to see them trailing off somewhere in the half-empty chain restaurant. I know he's already mentally changed the subject, so I distract myself looking at the kind-of-cute waiter's tattoos and let it go (for now).
This morning, my doctor told me I could go into labor basically any moment, without the previous concern for a scheduled c-section just yet. This afternoon, I had a minor melt down for an unexpected reason - I wasn't sure if I wanted more kids. (Wait, what?) As any mother knows, the last few weeks of pregnancy are an incredible struggle. Both physically and mentally, everyone seems to tell you to "just hang in there" if they aren't busy reminding you oh-so-politely that you are indeed, "still pregnant" or "ready to pop" at that particular moment. A popular conversation among myself and friends who are also pregnant usually starts with a baby-belly complaint, includes a few lighthearted but also serious ponderings of how to start labor, and ends with a desperate attempt to remind eachother it doesn't last forever.
And today, that last bit is what got me. Am I in such a rush to just evict this little tummy monster and bid farewell to heartburn that I am failing to enjoy the end of my pregnancy? (Is that even possible, to enjoy your third trimester?) More disheartening, is this possibly the last time I'll ever have little feet kicking the inside of my body and a little heartbeat echoing my own? And so the conversation began. The insanely hormonal, somewhat one-sided, should-we-have-a-fourth-child conversation about birth control and siblings and finances between my enormous head-turning-belly self and my husband, over what could be our last meal without a new little human stealing all of our attention.
Perfectly logical, I know.
But it's a subject I'm torn on, and while our conversation went virtually nowhere, I definitely lost some sleep on it later. I originally wanted a list of reasons to remind my future baby-feverish self of all the reasons I absolutely loathe pregnancy. But then the rebuttals crept up as I laid in the dark writing. And the flutters in my abdomen (ok who are we kidding, the g-force octopus tentacles ripping apart my ribs) along with my three year old (who climbed up to sleep next to me) clutching my hair like one of her baby dolls, reminded me that there is, after all, a light at the end of this tunnel.
I'm just not sure it's a tunnel I ever want to tumble through a la Alice in Wonderland ever again, and I know I'm not alone. I hear so much about women who "just know" they are done having children, or that they never wanted them to begin with, and I can't relate. I am wondering if I will feel differently in a few days, and if, when swaddling my little baby boy, I will be completely washed over with a sense of our family feeling complete. And while I vaguely remember feeling "done" after my daughter's (child #2) birth, obviously my reasons then were not compelling enough 2 years later, when we decided to conceive again because 'things were different'.
Things will always be different. And change is unpredictable, whether good or bad. So here is my list, written mostly for my future self, of why this is my last rodeo, but also why I'm not 100% certain about it. Maybe you can relate. Maybe I'm just crazy.
15 Reasons I Am Done Having Kids (and 10 reasons I'm not sure)
15 Reasons I Am DONE Having Kids
1. I do not enjoy pregnancy. Let me start with a little bit of a disclaimer. I know there are so many women who dream of the day they see two little pink lines, and that I may come across as ungrateful with any complaints of pregnancy. I get it, and I am thankful for the fact that I am fertile and have produced the beautiful children I have. If my brutally honest dislike of pregnancy may upset you, please stop reading now.