What A Girl Wants

January 27, 2010

My husband had a vasectomy last year. There was a lot of discussion around it – another baby would not have been unwelcome, and so I wasn’t eager to close off the possibility – but we both knew that it would be madness for me to risk repeating the more or less pretty awfully terrible anxieties and stresses and mental and physical health concerns that I endured in my pregnancy and delivery and post-partum experience with Jasper. “You can’t go through that again,” my husband said, repeatedly, last spring. “We can’t go through that again.

He was right, of course. The pregnancy with Jasper wreaked havoc on my mind and body, as did his birth, as did the post-partum aftermath of that pregnancy and birth. In many ways, I’m still recovering. But still, I have moments in which the loss of the possibility of another pregnancy, another birth, another baby weighs so heavily upon me that it’s difficult to breath, in which the closing off of that future feels a little bit like heartbreak.

It’s a visceral, irrational thing, this feeling – a little bit like thwarted puppy love, like an unrequited crush – I know that I don’t need to have this desire fulfilled, I know that it’s probably better for me to not have this desire fulfilled, I know that the reasonable thing, the rational thing, is to reject this desire and put it in its place, but that knowledge is powerless, in those moments when that knowledge doesn’t stop the desire from pulsing and aching and drowning out everything but the want.

(I think about what we would name this child, I ruminate over whether Emilia and Jasper would prefer a little brother or a little sister or whether they’d care, I push aside the anxieties around another difficult pregnancy and birth and think about that feeling of fullness, I think about how we’d need a new vehicle, perhaps a new house, and then I think about how we couldn’t really afford it, anyway, and about how hard the depression was, this time around, and, really, we had a vasectomy, so it’s moot, this issue, and it’s all for the best anyway.)

And I have another moment, and I think: Beatrice. Oliver. Olivia. Alice. Theo. And my heart flutters, a little sadly.)

I don’t know whether, in those moments – and they are only ever just moments, sometimes protracted, sometimes not – what I’m yearning for is another baby, or just for the possibility of another baby, for fertility and promise and the experience of knowing that my body can do this, that it can grow and nourish and bring forth and nourish new life. I don’t know. I do know that when I look at my children I feel grateful and whole; I look at them and I don’t feel any lack, I don’t feel that anything’s missing, I know that we are complete as a family and that everything about us is good.

But then I have these moments, these utterly destabilizing moments of want and I’m confused. Just, confused.

Does this ever happen to you? How do you make it stop? Do you want make it stop? Or do you just keep your running list of baby names and make it a little game make-believe where you pretend that you have infinite abilities of baby-making and infinite resources for baby-sustaining and you can have as many or as a few babies as you like and you never wreck your body and you never get depressed and your boobs are glorious, resilient fonts of nurturing liquid gold that never ache or scab and you just get to live out the fantasy of motherhood as it never, ever is and then you have a shot of vodka? Or what?

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    Forgotten January 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    My mom has always told me that I will know when I am done having children. She said that I will know in my heart of hearts that I am finished. I have 3 little ones. When I was signing the paperwork for the c-section for the third, they brought me papers for them to tie my tubes. I was pissed. I had specifically told my doctor that I was not taking that possibility away because I didn’t know if I was done yet or not. The nurse was the one who decided to bring them. She figured since I had 3 that I MUST be done. She now definitely knows better than to make that assumption about anyone ever again. I’m getting divorced and I don’t know that I’ll ever have any more children but it does warm my heart to know that I can still try later if I want. When I was little, I always said 2 would be my limit because I grew up as one of 3 and I thought it was too many. I was soooo wrong. Be happy knowing that you still have the ability and that if need be, you can have some little swimmers forcibly evicted from his roadblocked tubing and relocated to your baby-making girly parts if you guys change your mind later…

    Rose Jane January 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    With all the anxiety of past pregnancies and post-partum, I think one has to also consider the possibility of being able to handle miscarriages. I know that some may consider this another kettle of fish, but I think it’s a reality of jumping into the, “trying to have another baby” game. I have two healthy, happy children, but just had two miscarriages, trying for our third. I never thought it would happen to me. But as I am discovering from others, it’s a reality and something that happens to many who have had successful pregnancies in the past.

    Forgotten January 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    My mom has always told me that I will know when I am done having children. She said that I will know in my heart of hearts that I am finished. I have 3 little ones. When I was signing the paperwork for the c-section for the third, they brought me papers for them to tie my tubes. I was pissed. I had specifically told my doctor that I was not taking that possibility away because I didn’t know if I was done yet or not. The nurse was the one who decided to bring them. She figured since I had 3 that I MUST be done. She now definitely knows better than to make that assumption about anyone ever again. I’m getting divorced and I don’t know that I’ll ever have any more children but it does warm my heart to know that I can still try later if I want. When I was little, I always said 2 would be my limit because I grew up as one of 3 and I thought it was too many. I was soooo wrong. Be happy knowing that you still have the ability and that if need be, you can have some little swimmers forcibly evicted from his roadblocked tubing and relocated to your baby-making girly parts if you guys change your mind later…
    .-= Forgotten´s last blog ..From the inside looking out… =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    If my husband reads the last line of this comment, that will NEVER happen.


    Forgotten January 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Sorry. :-)

    Maybe I should say gently coaxed out with sharp pointy objects…wait. That won’t help either.

    Well, there would be some numbing stuff involved! Does that make it better? ;-)
    .-= Forgotten´s last blog ..Fortune… =-.

    danish January 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    My husband says he only wants one kid. Our son is almost 4 and I recently have changed my mind and would now like another. I am in the southeast with pretty much no social network and no family close by. My parents and newly pregnant sister are in the northeast. I do not want our child to be an only child. My husband is an only and insists he is fine that way.

    I have been spending a lot of time fantasising about a daughter or another little boy. And the chance to nurse again! I nursed him for 16 months and would love to be able to do it again.

    Then I think about my son and how it was a relatively easy pregnancy, and he is a great eater and sleeper, and do I want to risk the polar opposite?

    Also, I am 37 and my husband is 39 so we sure are getting up there in age.

    As you can see, I go back and forth. Three of my coworkers are expecting so it is really on my mind often these days.

    lo glo February 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Biggest regret – not enough kids. I have two, growing amazingly fast, now thinking of fostering – if you can do it, I would seriously think of more, those tough days of raising little ones go by faster than you think and who would your son have to complain to (about his parents) if not another sibling? Mine are attached at the hip and I am happy that I have at least given them the gift of each other. That said, all kids should be wanted in the home -

    Angie@The Crew January 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    This is the most natural feeling. I am actually in the midst of that same feeling because of a dream I had of the birth of a new baby(a girl)a couple of nights ago. We have discussed more children but I will be 40 in July and hubs is going to be 42 in June. Hubs hasn’t done the vasectomy yet so I think we are both battling it together. The fears of course are money and the idea of never having all the kids out of the house. My other fear is that lil man who was my last one was 11lbs. 1oz at birth and although delivered vaginally left behind bad hips and minor other isses, would the next one be bigger yet? EEEK

    Just wanted after all that to let you know that it is so normal and to me it comes and goes and probably won’t go away until I can no longer bear children. Hugs to you and LOVE the names

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    It IS good to know, thank you :)

    Linda January 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I was able to have just one child and even that was a stroke of good fortune (and much assisted reproductive technology). Subsequent frozen embryo transfers failed and I (we) decided to let it go and not try another fresh IVF cycle.

    My longing for another child hasn’t stopped and I don’t expect it to. I could argue both sides for having tried again, so I know I’ll always have some lingering regrets and doubts.

    How to make it stop? I dunno. I suspect it won’t really stop, so I just reconcile myself to it. I guess I just get on with it, be grateful for the good fortune in having my daughter (a dear friend is making her peace with knowing she’ll *never* have a baby) and occasionally muse about that child who will never be. (Incidentally, I’ve named her Beatrice or Alice, too.)

    It’s part of the story of my life and it can’t help but inform who I am. I feel determined not to wallow in it, but it’s a sweet sadness just the same.

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    *SIGH* That sadness must be so much tougher than mine, no less for being sweet.


    beanski January 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Dude, I cried signing Christmas cards this year because in my mind “someone is missing” from our family of four. I think about names too, probably more than I should. It is pure insanity considering how miserable I’ve been for the last fifteen months. Like, I know I SHOULDN’T have more kids for the sake of my current kids and my marriage but I still WANT to. I do not understand the such contradictory feelings. I think part of it is that I want a do-over. I want another chance to prove to myself that I can be a good mom. I feel like I got cheated with my second baby; a hard, never sleeping baby that tested every single inch of my patience. A baby that was not planned and was born too soon after his big sister.

    If you find out how to get over it, I’d love to know.

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Right back at you. Whoever figures it out first, shares, deal?

    Jessi January 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I had my tubes tied at the end of my last pregnancy, because I knew that even though I would love to have a house full of kids, I don’t want another pregnancy. I don’t want to do that to myself again. I think alot about being a foster parent or even adoption, but it’s not in our cards right now. Mostly, I’m okay with that. (Of course Maren’s just one, so we’ll see if I’m still okay with that in about 3 years.) That longing is so bitter and I don’t miss it. I hope you find peace with it.

    K-Line January 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I have only one child (my choice, my husband wanted more) because I had a very challenging pregnancy (daily vomiting for 7 months) and terrible post partum anxiety that lasted far too long – and likely rewired my brain chemistry, to be perfectly honest. Nonetheless, occasionally (very infrequently) I wonder about having another child. It’s completely theoretical. I do believe it’s about knowing that I could do it, that maybe it would be different and better this time. Because early parenting of my child was so horrible I don’t remember much of the first 3 years.

    Thing is, whether you have 5 kids or none, eventually you make a decision that the “having children” phase of your life is closed to more additions. I mean, if you’re single at 40 and wanting kids but convinced that parenting in partnership is necessary – you’re still making that decision. If you can’t have (more) kids and you opt to stop trying with interventions (if you’ve used them) or to adopt (if you tried this), you still have to come to terms with the end of that potential experience. We take ownership of closing the door / opening a new one that brings us to a new (and hopefully equally if not more fulfilling) stage of our lives.

    Wow, this comment went on…
    .-= K-Line´s last blog ..I Want To Go To There =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I think that I’m mostly at peace with it. Mostly, most of the time. And when I am at peace, I’m totally at peace. It’s just those few, intermittent moments when I’m not…

    Issa January 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I have no advice. Heck, I’m in the beginnings of getting divorced and I still want one more baby. Tristan, Addison, Beckett, Charlotte….sigh. I still dream about being pregnant again. Of holding one more tiny newborn at night again.

    I think one day we get over it? Maybe? Not sure. I think some of it is hormonal. We see babies and think oh just one more. Looking at say, Annabel Spohr, makes me want one in this instant. Then eventually we remember reality.

    Maybe one day, the reality takes over? Like I said, a guess. Just really wanted to say, it’s not just you. Promise.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..I’d like to be this strong one day =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Oh, I know. Heather having Annabel, other friends having babies, anyone breastfeeding… it doesn’t take much to trigger that desire. I just have to remember that desire is not necessarily *need*.

    And yeah, reality. SIGH.

    Bec January 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I always say, if I was younger and richer, I’d have four.
    Alas, we’re sticking with two.

    Kate January 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    As a biology professor, I might suggest that some of this is hormones. Doesn’t make it less real, but maybe it will help if you realized that probably, no matter how many kids you have, you’d always still have a little of these twinges. That’s part of what hormones do to some women (many? most?)

    Good luck with it! I know I’ll be in the same boat once we decide we’re done. (We have two and are pretty sure, but not completely sure, that we’re going to have one more only.)

    And, sometimes vasectomies fail (yes, very, very rarely) but maybe you can justify your daydreams by calling it ‘planning’ in case a very rare event happens someday. :)

    Her Bad Mother January 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I know that some of it is hormones. It’s no accident that the worst of it happens at a certain, ovulatory times of the month.

    And yes, I do try to frame the possibility as possibility of (divinely sanctioned? fated?) accident. MAYBE. ;)

    kate January 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I worry about this too. I was so finished during my third pregnancy – always wanted three, had three, boom, done. And then the feelings started creeping in. Feelings of a job left incomplete. Feelings that someone (actually TWO someones) was missing from our family. in my head I know that what we have is perfect. That what we have is enough. That we cannot afford more children financially. That it will stress our emotions and patience and time as well as our bank account. But I just don’t feel done. And I worry that if we were to have two more, I STILL wouldn’t feel done. Maybe I will never feel done, and if that is the case perhaps we should stop at three. Stop before we have stretched every resource beyond its limits. But oh, the yearning! I just don’t know. For now we are holding off on the vasectomy while we figure out if more would even be possible. After that, we’ll see.

    kdiddy January 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I want to have another baby (kind of…mostly…I think…I don’t know), but my husband does NOT. We are still young enough to have time to reconsider, but it bugs me that he’s not there with me. but I definitely have those moments where the yearning is overpowering. It’s scary how strong that urge is.
    .-= kdiddy´s last blog ..recent failures =-.

    Nissa January 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    It seems like we’re just wired to be mothers (most of the time). I am currently NOT a mother (unless my dog counts) but I am happily married, and I feel the sadness in my heart that there is someone missing from our family (I suppose that’s a whole ‘nother post all together, right?) Often, when something is happening (dinner, a road trip, a visit to the museum, etc) I imagine doing it with a child. I can see the kid. It’s scary. We’re young, extremely busy and nowhere near a good “place” for a baby, so I wish that I could stop these hallucinations!

    Anyway, it seems like we all are just wired this way. Loving those babehs.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I know what you mean, and I find it disconcerting, that I am so tied to my biology, that my body gives me urges that my mind doesn’t quite understand.

    Will never get used to that, I suppose.

    Gwensarah January 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I had to delurk for this because it hits so close to home. I very foolishly consented to a tubal last March and have regretted it every single day since. While another pregnancy could be extremely life threatening (I had CHF after both my deliveries) I still cling to the failure rates and chart my ovulation hoping against hope that I’ll fall into that .04% and get pregnant.
    Maybe someday I’ll accept things but so far not even close. Someone else mentioned Annabel Spohr, I cried the day she was born out of sheer happiness for Mike and Heather, she is proof of joy after heartwrenching loss..a loss that I can understand and we’d like to be three again too, that makes it all the more difficult.

    kenandbelly January 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Given Jasper’s entry in to the world, it absolutely makes sense that it would be hard to discern the feeling of wanting another child from (not) wanting to be fertile– they’re going to be so tangled for you. Maybe one way to parse this for yourself is to think about fostering or adopting…

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I have thought about adoption, a lot. It might be something to consider later on, if the urges are still there. But part of this ambivalence involves kinda wanting an ‘accident’, for the decision to be made for me (which, post-vasectomy, is unlikely). Also, this weird urge to be pregnant again, even though I HATED the last pregnancy.

    Amanda January 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I don’t have any kids yet, but this post caught my attention. As the only unmarried and unengaged of my friends, I feel left out often and I dream of what my life will be like when it happens to me.

    Now that I’m an aunt I cannot stop thinking about having a baby. Though I’m not really at a place in my life where a child would be the best things I suppose. I just moved out of my parents house and I’m not done with college yet. When these thoughts flood my mind I often think about how my hormones are doing this to me and that when the time is right I’ll have a baby and be married.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Weekend Recap =-.

    anonymous January 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I have 3 kids, and I think about having another every day. I think it’s hard to let go of the idea of another baby, because it means the end of a chapter in your life. Everything else you decide to quit doing, you sort of always know that you could really go back to it if you suddenly changed your mind. Choosing to stay home (you could go back if you really had to), quitting smoking (well, if I’m desperate I could have one more) etc. But since we’re aging, to stop having kids now pretty much means to stop forever. For 10 years my clock ticked before I started having kids, now I hear it ticking as I get to the end of my fertility. It’s all very sad.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I think that that’s absolutely a big part of it, that feeling that certain decisions, certain options, have just become closed (or soon will be) and that that’s beyond my control. Ugh.

    Suzie Q January 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I never felt that I was “done” but alas, (at the time) I wanted the boyfriend more than I wanted more children, so I had my tubes tied. Here I am 7 years later, married to the love of my life – not the boyfriend, and cursing myself for doing it. I know I’m going to sound stupid for not knowing this, but I had no idea insurance will NOT pay for a reversal. Now, I don’t know what to do, do I spend the money (and for us it is A LOT OF MONEY) for the reversal or IVF when there is no guarantee?

    I worry that my wonderful, beautiful husband will end up resenting me for the choice I made before I knew he existed – even though he swears that he won’t.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    You don’t sound stupid at all. So many of us make decisions early on without really fully investigating what those decisions will mean for us later (ALL of us, I’d say.)

    There’s never a guarantee of pregnancy, no matter how it’s done (as some of us find out to our shock, after years of trying to avoid it ;) ). I’d look into IVF if that’s what I really wanted. Some things are worth the risk/hope/money :)

    geena January 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I had my tubes tied after my youngest was born almost 6 yrs ago now. At the time it seemed like the right decision to make. My husband had only wanted 2 kids and I talked him into 3, but we have been blessed with four…four kids in 3.5 yrs, three of which occured in 11 mos. So I did it, I had them tied. Oh but is the longing there for another child, when my period is late I talk myself into a fantasy of believing my tubes have somehow reconnected and I’m pregnant. I regret the decision I made so much. Hubby on the other hand is still quite content to be done. I suppose I’ll get there with him someday
    .-= geena´s last blog .. =-.

    Mrs F with 4 January 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I, too, have four (amazing) children. My head says STOP, my heart says GO. I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over it… but I am now over 40… and Mr F went sprinting to the urologist when number 4 was one year old. Apparently, we are done.

    I still have that yearning though.

    Carrie January 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I definitely consider the possibility of more. My husband always said he only wanted 1 but when we were unexpectedly expecting #2 HE was the one super excited and happy initially.

    I’m happy with our life now with just 2 but sometimes I get those twitchy feelings and I wonder if a 3rd isn’t in the future…it would be such a change lifestyle wise. Need a new car for sure, possibly a new house with more bedrooms…only time will tell. I have about 4 years before I have to make a decision :)

    Joy January 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    No, I don’t think that we ever really stop dreaming about the children that we didn’t have, that might have one day come to us…

    Trish January 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I got mono and CMV when I was pregnant with our fourth (third was a miscarriage). There was fetal growth restriction going on, heart issues (hole? murmur?). Weekly ultrasounds, blood draws. Her cord delivered before her and I was wheeled to the OR on all fours with the nurse’s hand all up in my stuff holding the baby in place. The baby was born with CMV and is behind in development. She’s doing great though, catching up!

    We decided before that three was enough for us. Our 7yr old has Autism and our 4 yr old has attitude, who knew what the hell would come out this time. My OB removed part of my tubes and poof done.

    I regret it every day. I know I wouldn’t have another one, too dangerous for me and the baby but still. God, do I want another one. Even when I was up every 1/2 hour w/ my sick 9 mo old last night. I would totally do this again and again.

    Thankfully, my husband and I talked about adopting and he’s still on board for that. Whew.

    I don’t know that the feeling goes away, I don’t know that it *should*. It makes us who we are: human, emotional, real.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    “I don’t know that the feeling goes away, I don’t know that it *should*. It makes us who we are: human, emotional, real.”

    Perfectly said.

    sandy January 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    “great comments,” she says, wistfully. I personally never had the chance to go there myself, and now I’m 47, parenting my partner’s 6 and 9 yolds… Life is beautiful, yet/and, I still wonder sometimes what it might have looked like to have had my own. Like so many have said, I don’t know if that twinge ever goes away completely. Even when you know you cannot, anymore.

    and yet. It is also a beautiful moment when you know the moment for what it is, and you are allowed to say goodbye to a thing/circumstance/person. Think about it, the many times in life when something happened and you think ‘I wish I’d known that it would never be that way again.’ So now for you, with this particular choice, you know it for what it is, you can honor that choice, grieve it the way you’d wish to, and then let it go and move towards the next adventure in life.

    just a thought.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Beautifully put. Thank you.

    Chelle January 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    …do you just keep your running list of baby names and make it a little game make-believe where you pretend that you have infinite abilities of baby-making and infinite resources for baby-sustaining and you can have as many or as a few babies as you like and you never wreck your body and you never get depressed and your boobs are glorious, resilient fonts of nurturing liquid gold that never ache or scab and you just get to live out the fantasy of motherhood as it never, ever is…

    YES. yes yes yes. I have no children (yet – most likely starting my first IVF cycle in the near future though – eek!), but I play similar mind games & ask myself similar questions all. the. time. How many, what if it’s twins, what if it’s MORE than twins, girl name, boy names, boy & girl names (for the twins you know), will we need a bigger car, will we need a bigger house… it goes on and on. And I haven’t even gotten to start having the kidlets yet. God help me once we’ve got a kidlet or two…
    .-= Chelle´s last blog ..SU supports Haitian Relief efforts =-.

    Amanda January 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I quiet those thoughts of another by remembering how my youngest, now 3, would only sleep for about 20 minutes at a time and ONLY while I held him. Not anyone else – ME. He screamed if I even left him with my husband, his dad, to go pee for all of a minute for the first 9 months of his life. I just can’t handle being that sleep deprived and having another human being be that clingy to me again. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was a little over 2. We still can’t travel anywhere because he can’t seem to sleep anywhere but home. Mother Nature was a mean bitch to me. I got a nice baby who slept and traveled well the first time around.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Graphics Sale =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Ah, I still struggle with it, even though Jasper still doesn’t sleep through the night (we’re making progress – which is maybe why I’m feeling this way now? – but still.)

    Parent Club January 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I remember when I was last in labour – in the moment of labour – thinking “I’ll do this again – I can do this again”.

    That was a miscarriage and a fetal demise ago.

    Another child is not unwelcome…but the idea of having to be strapped down, I.V. in, on view to a bunch of doctors and other magical creatures for “intervention” for another demise…that…that…I hesitate at.
    .-= Parent Club´s last blog ..Blaming January =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Miscarriage is a big fear for me – in the fantasy world where I get pregnant despite the vasectomy, there’s still that fear, and the fear of genetic issues (which we faced with Jasper) and all the scary things that I know can happen.


    LD January 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Nope. I’m done. But I don’t yet have the heart to make it permanent (i.e. vasectomy).
    Admittedly, it’s not the idea of another pregnancy that I don’t want. It’s the idea of another toddler that could kill me.
    But names … yes. Always the names. Here’s my confession (and it’s pathetic). Since my daughter is not quite 2, and has a million dolls, I have named them all. For me that is enough. I dread the day that she gets to name her own dolls!
    .-= LD´s last blog ..Finding Yourself =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I worry that I’m going to start adopting kittens and puppies, just so that I can name them.

    Laura (Nahbee) January 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I struggle with these thoughts too. I have two, beautiful, healthy boys and I adore them, but dream of having another one. Honestly, I dream of a little girl. Not because my boys are not enough, but because it is the one thing in my life I do not have.

    Should we? Will we? I don’t know. I have no urge to be pregnant. No urge to go through that horrible first year again. No urge to dable in the insanity of PPD again. And I am not over the sleep deprivation of this baby, who is almost two now.

    And yet, my period is late and there is possibility…and my brain goes there too. I am not even sure which result to wish for. You post is timely.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    (you’ll let us know what the result is, maybe? if you want?)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..I Love The Smell Of Activism In The Morning =-.

    Elizabeth January 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    My daughters are 18 and 22 now, and I remember with crystal clarity the process of deciding we would stop after 2. Our girls were 6 and 2.5, and we were both 40. It was such a hard decision for both of us, discussed over the course of several months, and we finally decided that we were done.

    Then THREE couples in our circle of friends, all of whom were about our age and each of whom had 2 children about the age of our two ALL got pregnant at about the same time. We were so very torn, and kept going back and thinking about our decision and trying to decide if it was the right decision for us or whether we should reconsider.

    That summer we went camping with Bob and Laurie, their 2 boys and their new baby who was about 2 months old. Bob and Laurie appeared to be very, very happy, but they were also completely exhausted. The baby cried and screamed and didn’t sleep and oh my god I’d forgotten how completely and utterly exhausting the whole baby thing can be.

    After that we felt much better about the whole thing!

    Heather January 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I’m glad to know that I am not the only one that questions whether or not to have another child on a daily basis. I have 2 beautiful girls (4 and 6) and know in my head that we can’t do another child right now. The child care we had with our girls would not be there for the third and we’re not in a position financially for me to be a SAHM. I’m not sure that my sanity could handle a 3rd child with a full time job, but I still think about it every day and wish for things to be different. I always thought it was just me that felt this way because my friends who are done seem so confident in their decisions. I guess I think I would have that same confidence if I just had one more, but now I’m not so sure that confidence would ever come. Thanks for talking about this on your blog.

    Dani January 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    My husband always wanted children and I was meh.. Then I came around and we decided that we would have one maybe two. Definitely no more. Now #2, sweet little girl is ten months old and my heart and my body yearns for another. I know it’s hormones and that financially we can’t afford to put another in daycare. Not to mention once again facing the specter of preterm delivery and months in the NICU. It was awful with no babies at home but would be worse with two at home.
    In short, I know exactly what you mean.

    BMom January 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I am from the “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it” category. We had three and then my husband had a vas. But the longing, it’s always there. And I don’t know if it’s a true longing to have another child, or so much like what you wrote, knowing my body can do this, we can produce life, more life of the two of us together, more of these little people we already have & treasure so dearly and how wonderful it would be to have another in our lives. But then I reason with myself, knowing our family is complete, the logic of our house is full just right, we can take bigger vacations with the kids now, financially it’s best for us.

    For me I think it’s just simply that my heart gets into a tug-of-war with my mind. My mind has logic, my heart has longing. I think that will always be there, it’s just part of who I am, the mother in me will always long to mother another. So for me its good my husband took over and had things done, because my heart tends to win out over logic around here.

    All the best to you.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    “So for me its good my husband took over and had things done, because my heart tends to win out over logic around here.”

    Yeah, that. DITTO.

    Liz January 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    My husband’s vasectomy failed. We found out when the pregnancy test turned out positive 18 months later. I ended up miscarrying 10 weeks into the pregnancy.

    When I found out I was pregnant, I absolutely freaked. We already have two kids; we made the decision not to have any more; I was 40 at the time; a new baby was not going to fit into our lives. But at the same time, a part of me was so happy. There was joy and hope in a new baby.

    The miscarriage sucked. It took a long time to get over it. I can’t imagine having a 12 month old right now. But (sometimes) part of me still wants another baby.

    Husband has had vasectomy number two (that lucky guy), and now I’m a foster mom for kitties for a animal rescue organization. Whenever I get that maternal pull, I focus those energies on the kittens.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    vasectomy fail! I don’t know whether that possibililty is good news or bad news… ;)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..I Love The Smell Of Activism In The Morning =-.

    red pen mama January 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I just wrote about this too. (Tick Tock, I called the post. I’m so clever.) Right now, potty training (or lack thereof) is convincing me, almost, that I do not want to do the baby thing again. But then, you know, I see a baby. Husband has not been snipped, but we are on the “advanced maternal age” of things, and we’ve lost a baby, and pregnancies are hard at the end.

    Right now my mantra is “never say never”. I don’t really know how to make it stop. I suggested in my post that menopause would take care of that for me, and got lambasted by women by POF, so, uh, don’t mention that.

    Your children are beautiful. I think the biological overrules the logical in this arena.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..Public Service Announcement: Reprint =-.

    Megan {Velveteen Mind} January 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    When I was waiting to find out if Olive would be a boy or a girl, I wrote a post about mourning the daughter that may never come to be.

    I think it’s natural to mourn the loss of something that you never had. It’s final. This imaginary baby will never arrive for you to meet.

    That said, I’m pushing my lovely husband to finish the job that we were looking into when Olive decided to crash the scene. I can’t do this again.
    .-= Megan {Velveteen Mind}´s last blog ..Babywearing Culture and My Bjorn Identity =-.

    Shannon January 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    We also made the decision for the hubby to get a vasectomy after we had our second child. For many similar reasons you did. And while I know in my gut that it was the right decision, and mostly I don’t ever want to be pregnant or deal with the newborn stage again, I still have twinges every so often. Holding a newborn still makes my ovaries ache. :) I’m not really sure that will ever stop for me, even when I’m past my childbearing years. That’s why I truly believe that people need to make the decision about whether or not to have more children on facts and not feelings. For me, the facts were that pregnancy and childbearing were extremely hard on me physically and mentally, as much as I love a squishy newborn. :) I guess it helped that we had always discussed adoption and now we are proceeding with that. But there will not be any more newborns for us and in some ways I will always feel a little sad, although I know it is the right decision for us. Bottom line? You’re not crazy. :)
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..The Blues =-.

    Jen January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    This is so very, very timely. I have two boys, 8 and 5 1/2 and just had a miscarriage at 10 weeks of a very surprise pregnancy. I am not good at pregnancy and we can’t afford another one and wouldn’t have reliable childcare. My kids sleep and and can do things for themselves. BUT, my husband is talking about getting a vasectomy in March and the thought of it is making me so very, very sad. I don’t know how to get over it either but it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone.

    Assertagirl January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Graham and I have already discussed whether or not we’ll do this again. I don’t think my “parts” could take the birth experience again. But my mind and heart aren’t certain that I want to close the door to creating another little life. It’s hard.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    You’d be amazed at how readily your psyche forgets about the damage to your parts ;)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..I Love The Smell Of Activism In The Morning =-.

    Sarah January 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I had my first child when I was 18, my second when I was 19, and an abortion and a divorce when I was 20 (yes we used birth control, just very fertile). It took six months to convince my doctor that I really, truly wanted a tubal at 22. Now I’m almost 35 and happily remarried to a man happy to be a step-father. I still get those feelings. Whenever I’m a little late, I think, “Wouldn’t that be something?, Wouldn’t that be cool?”. But really, this is the way it should be for us, and those moments are fleeting. The idea of another baby can be a powerful fantasy. I love playing with my friends’ babies. They are fun, cute and go home with someone else!

    Scout's Honor January 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Used have this self-doubt all the time, then we really did get pregnant after husband’s vasectomy failed. What! 10 lb awesome baby later, we had vasectomy done again. Now? No doubts at all.. If we aren’t done (pretty sure we are), we’ll adopt…

    Fairly Odd Mother January 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    My third was only 8 weeks old when my husband got a vasectomy, and I honestly have never had even a twinge of regret. However, I do wish I had the chance to adopt, but I think another child would do me in right now. So, yeah, I kind of wish we had gone for 4, but I wouldn’t have wanted a fourth pregnancy. We would’ve made great adoptive parents. That is what will weigh on me for a while, I think.
    .-= Fairly Odd Mother´s last blog ..No room at the inn: why it sucks to travel with a party of five =-.

    Marilyn January 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I had a tubal ligation with my second c-section (and second child). Both of my pregnancies were extremely tough and my husband and I were sure – SURE – that we didn’t want any more children. And really I wasn’t sure a third pregnancy was something I could handle mentally or physically.

    Now that my youngest is 15 months and she’s in that really great stage of still being cuddly but also able to go out and explore on her own, I’ve found myself wistfully thinking of what a third baby would have been like.

    I think it’s hormones. I’m trying to ignore it.
    .-= Marilyn´s last blog ..Virus Infected =-.

    mamatulip January 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Yes, this happens to me. And as much as I feel like I am done, it still catches me off-guard a bit. Which is probably why neither of us have moved too fast to make anything ‘permanent.’

    jodifur January 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I only have one, and I medically have been advised not to have more, but I sometimes think and dream and wish what could be. I think it is natural.
    .-= jodifur´s last blog ..It Is Official =-.

    Beth January 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I had my tubes tied after Katie’s birth. When I went in five weeks-ish after my near death experience, my doc looked at me; I looked at him, and I said, aren’t you glad we tied those tubes off. He laughed and said, I would never have said that to you, but to be totally honest, I would live in terror of you getting pregnant again.

    He made the lab triple check what he excised to make certain that he had tied me off completely. Any chance that he hadn’t and I would be on birth control.

    I never imagined having more than two, so this is complete for me. My husband had to be convinced to have the second, but as much has he adores Katie, I don’t think he will ever admit that he had doubts.
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Top Ten Priorities for 2010 =-.

    edenland January 27, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Oh I could write a book on this topic.

    My husband and I had one child, and he had a vasectomy not long after. (He already had three previous children.) I was fine with this, but soon the Wanting came. Slowly but surely … my whole world was coloured in the desire for another child. I had never, ever wanted something so badly in my life. Every month I would time intercourse to coincide with ovulation, in the vain hope one of his swimmers would escape the blocked tubes.

    They never did.

    It grew into a rabid hunger within me … pregnant bellies made me cry, I had an ache so badly. Eventually my husband relented … he had a sperm aspiration, I did IVF, and the first go I got pregnant. (So damn lucky).

    Five days before the baby was born my husband got diagnosed with cancer, almost died, chemo, bald, etc. My baby (who is almost the exact age of your beautiful Jasper) cried. A lot. And wouldn’t sleep. And cried. I went out of my fricken mind.

    IN CONCLUSION: My husband is in remission, the baby is bigger (hallelujah!!!) …. I see pregnant bellies now and feel sick. Scarred by the experience, I will never ever have another baby and I am so glad to be done.

    I feel guilty … that I forced my husband into having a child, and that caused his cancer. Irrational, maybe.

    Women are programmed to feel this deep desire, it’s primal, we need to procreate to ensure the survival of human beings on the planet. I don’t know what your decision will be around it – but you do have options. I don’t know how much my strong longing was because a vasectomy is so FINAL. The choice had been taken away from me.

    Oh, I did write a book Catherine – sorry!

    Take care,
    .-= edenland´s last blog ..My son. =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    no apologies – it’s an extraordinary story. :)
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..I Love The Smell Of Activism In The Morning =-.

    Andrea's Sweet Life January 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I call them my ‘wonder children’. I know I’ll never meet them, because my 2nd birth nearly killed me and a 3rd would finish the job.
    I’m happy with my 2, but yes I do get that ache… But then it’s gone and I move on.

    Carolyn January 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I think of this often. My marriage broke up when my daughter very young. Now, in my late thirties with a young child and demanding career, and with the more immediate concerns of the break up fading, I’ve had to accept that it’s unlikely that I’m going to have more children.

    I try not to dwell, and focus on my kid. Be thankful that I get to be a mom at all, and enjoy the experience of being a solo mum to an only child.
    .-= Carolyn´s last blog ..Spoiling The Child =-.

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