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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    Rebecca @ Playground Confidential January 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Man. Does it never go away, the yearning? I was hoping (am still hoping) that we may have one more sooner rather than later. But will I still want another after that one? Does age matter? Do I still have a full decade or more of hormonally dictated baby craving? Because I’m really, really hoping that a third baby will knock that right out of me.
    .-= Rebecca @ Playground Confidential´s last blog ..House Shopping, Toronto Style =-.

    Cristie January 27, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I satiate myself with visions/dreams-whatever of fostering or adopting a houseful (not sure who’s house) of kids when mine are older/easier. Also, vodka is good too.

    daysgoby January 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    YES. Exactly. I have little lists of names, share out the bedrooms in my head, all that stuff – while knowing that another surprise pregnancy would be welcomes (well, once we were over the SHOCK) but would be nothing but stress and worry the entire time. (My body does pregnancy well. Delivery?? NOT SO MUCH.)

    B was one of four. I was one of two. I always thought we’d have three. And now I miss the possibility of a three.
    .-= daysgoby´s last blog ..rolling my eyes at myself =-.

    Jenny January 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Sometimes I want another one, I have one little girl, but I know that my marriage can’t go through another round of post-partum hell, my baby girl doesn’t deserve a depressed mother, and really, I know my husband is really happy with the way things are, especially after we got the yearly statement from the daycare for our taxes! But sometimes, just sometimes, I want another baby, another little girl, but I think, if we can ever afford another child, we will adopt, it’s just better for our whole family if mommy is sane! But, I always just think, I have a healthy, wonderful, sweet girl, and a wonderful husband, this is enough, and anything else is a blessing.

    Priscilla-wheelchair Mommy January 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    It does happen. We still havent done the big V but I know I shouldnt have another for my sake. :(

    It break my heart.

    Elissa January 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I’m super clucky, and have been for the last few years. I understand the painful side of this longing – I feel it too. I’ve still got my child-bearing years ahead of me, though, so the bitter is usually overpowered by the sweet. But if it can be this painful now, with everything looking good for this desire being fulfilled in a few years, I can understand how ick it can be from the other end – you have my sympathies.

    Another Suburban Mom January 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I have to admit, that I do not want to raise any more children. I do not have any more patience, and now that my youngest seems all done with potty training (don’t taunt me toilet gods, I’m not bragging) However I would love to be pregnant again.

    Lets just say that if I was asked to be a surrogate by a close relative who could not have her own baby, I would seriously consider it.
    .-= Another Suburban Mom´s last blog ..Random Dozen =-.

    Mandy January 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Every day I think about this. We wanted a third child. Ideally, I would have had four if I’d started young enough. So we decided to get pregnant with a third “if it happened”. And it happened right away in fact. And then we lost our 24 week old in-utero baby to a horrible, “so few people get it we have almost no statistics on it” genetic disease. And it’s scarred us beyond belief. We both want another child. But going through that experience again would kill us. Not the couple “us”, but the deep down who we are in our heart of hearts “us”. And that would be so unfair to our beautifully perfect two boys.

    So we sit in limbo. Unable to make the decision of a vasectomy. Unable to dive head long onto the path that has two or three living children.

    And frankly, it is eating me apart. On some days.

    Tanis Miller, RNM January 28, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Oh honey.

    I know this pain.

    Jumby was a temporary solution. But the ache still rears it’s head more often than I’d like…
    .-= Tanis Miller, RNM´s last blog ..Aiming High by Bending Low =-.

    Her Bad Mother January 31, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I know. xoxo
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..I Love The Smell Of Activism In The Morning =-.

    Amanda January 28, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Guess I’m the outlier again. We’re trying for a second (I seem less fertile this time, could it be the turning-38-in-a-week thing maybe?) but I would have been so glad to stop at one… except for my irrational fear that we will lose him. I want a backup.

    I love my son, he’s a treat and the easiest child you ever saw, but I daily wish I could hand him over to somebody else for a while. (Hush, I know not of this thing called “daycare”.) I can’t face the thought of having to breastfeed again. I fear VBAC or a less-easy Caesarian than the last one. I dread getting a difficult non-sleeper as payback for this mostly-easy first child.

    I’m not a natural mother. Neither was my mom or my dad’s mom. If I suddenly come down with this more-babies craving after the second (if we succeed at a second), it will be a cosmic irony.

    Cindy January 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

    One of the reasons I read your blog is that you so often describe exactly how I feel. You are certainly not the only one. I’d say more, but our little angel (who also refuses to sleep – but Jasper is making progress, right?) is waiting for me to snuggle her to sleep. Thank you for writing everything that you do.

    Sharon January 28, 2010 at 1:41 am

    No energy to read all the comments so if I am redundant, forgive me. I knew we were done at 2. I knew that I barely hold on to my patience and sanity at 2 kids. But I also had this little thought that if I wanted a 3rd, it would be before the end of my 40th year. Well, about a week after I turned 40, I found out I was in full-blown menopause. Even though I knew I was done, even though I knew my husband did not want more than 2 kids, even though I was SATISFIED and thrilled with the 2 I have, I burst into tears in front of my NP. Its one thing to think you’re done… Its another to find out your body made the decision for you.

    Now I am 41, past my false deadline. Of course, we haven’t tried (no plans to) and there are ways if we really wanted to seriously try for another baby. But I realized that what I was sad about was being done with a part of my life that I looked forward to for SO long. I can’t believe I’m past pregnancy, past nursing, past babies. That isn’t there for me to look forward to. There is so much more, SO much more to look forward to with my kids, but it felt like an ending for me and at 40, I wasn’t expecting that. I pictured more of a ‘fading away’ of the possibility.

    I’m not over it, but I just sort of have settled with it. What else can I do?

    Rachael January 28, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Sometimes I wonder if that feeling ever goes away. I’m pregnant with my 2nd and I don’t want to be pregnant again. I was sick for 20 weeks and throwing up this time and it sucked. I’m happy, but I’m also happy that part is over. But I can totally see myself a year down the road pondering ‘what could be’.

    cassey January 28, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I’m not a mom yet, but the baby on the mind thing has been going on for me too. Lucky for me I’m still young, so there’s time for us to have our little person…only I want him/her now even though we have plans falling into place. I hope you find a way for things to work for you.

    .-= cassey´s last blog ..A lazy post =-.

    Shannon January 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

    If I could write as well as you, I would have written your post, word for word. It’s exactly how I feel. I have 2 healthy children, and at 33 years old, I still feel as if I am not done. For all the reasons you describe, I wonder if we could do it, but it doesn’t decrease my desire for another in the least.

    Amanda January 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

    After 4 challenging pregnancies, 1 miscarriage, 2 premature babies with NICU stays, and around 60 triage/labor and delivery visits for preterm contractions, 7 overnight stays for preterm contractions, and around 7 months total on bedrest (not to mention PPD and anxiety) you’d think I’d know enough was enough. I think that my 3 healthy (thank god) children would be more than enough to quell the litle voice in my head that cries when I see videos of births and pictures of my friends’ brand new babies.

    But it’s not.

    I have a name picked out for the baby that will not come. I had the tubal in a moment of pure logic and gratitude for what we have and fear that the ability to get pregnant again would threaten all of it, especially as the last delivery was a c-section. I knew that even if my body could handle a pregnancy after having a c-section I did not think my mind or marriage could take the risk.

    I’ve talked about this “loss” with some of my friends. I think it’s simply a form of grief, and one that I’ll feel on and off…possibly even well past the time when getting pregnant again would EVER have been a possibility.

    It’s a small sadness and one that I remind myself I’m very, very lucky to be faced with. For me, it could have been so much worse-and I say thanks every day that my children, my husband, my mind, my body and my family is healthy-despite everything that has happened to us to get here.

    Saisquoi January 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

    My husband and I go back and forth on this one. He has mostly resigned himself to giving me a second child because we agree that having siblings is largely a good thing. But he keeps saying things like, and then the clock will shut off, right?

    And I don’t think that’s how it works. I may well want more children after we have our second–if we are granted a second (the first wasn’t all that easy to come by). But a third would almost certainly necessitate a move from our small house, which we don’t want to do. A third would reduce the material opportunities we could provide for the other two. A third might well be too hard for us.

    Or it might not. What would be too hard is doing any of it without my husband, and I’m willing to stop at two if that’s what he needs.
    .-= Saisquoi´s last blog ..Sweet Pea for my Sweet Pea =-.

    Stacey January 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I’m going to be 30 soon, and I have a 5 year old daughter. My partner is going to be 40, and he too has a five year old daughter. So our house is pretty crazy.

    He brought up the topic of a vasectomy recently, and I nearly cried. I hadn’t given much thought to having another baby, but once I thought over the finality of getting snipped I had a discussion with him over it. He’s not getting snipped now. Whether or not we’ll have another baby, who knows.
    .-= Stacey´s last blog .. =-.

    kgirl January 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

    It’s happening to me right now. I just try to appreciate the fact that we *just* kinda turned a corner on this sleep thing, and C has been weaned for 3 weeks now so the fat should start to come off, and maybe we’ll just get a puppy. But trust me, my ovaries are threatening a mutiny. If they could immaculately conceive, they would.
    .-= kgirl´s last blog ..Almost Wordless Wednesday: Baby Mug Shot =-.

    Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I’m being anonymous which is obnoxious but whatever.

    Having only recently decided that I want children I spend a good amount of time wondering whether or not I will have them. And honestly it wasn’t like I suddenly changed my mind but that some biological need to reproduce hit me. Hard. And my fear – now that I know how quickly a decade goes by – is that I’ll be in my mid-30′s and still not have children. Mid-30′s isn’t old or anything but I don’t want to wait until then to find out that I might not be able to have children and I really don’t want to be pregnant at 40.

    I always thought I would adopt but suddenly I’m faced with two nagging feelings that I really want to at least try to get pregnant and I don’t want to wait until it’s too late. I also have some really awesome baby names.

    Point is that I think it’s a hormonal thing to want more but – and don’t kill me for this – at least you have two. Meanwhile I’m terrified that I won’t even get one.

    Can you tell that I think about this a lot?

    Elaine January 28, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Honestly? I felt like this until I had my third. She completed our family. And, this last pregnancy was kinda hard on my body too and I can name babies all day in my head if I want but the yearning for more is GONE.

    Monica January 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

    As I type this, I am nursing my 3.5 month old (who was unplanned), thanking jeezus my 2.5 year old had nursery school today, and worrying about my 5 year old’s motor planning issues…and yet, I STILL feel incredibly sad that this will be my last baby. It makes no rational sense. Sometimes, though, I think that I would like to experience a normal pregnancy and a birth I feel good about almost as much as I want another baby. I would like to know my body could do one thing right. Unlike other women, I also really love my pregnant body. It has been the only time in my life when I actually feel good about myself and really take care of myself. So…there are a lot of things wrapped up in the decision to be done having babies. I hope you find peace with your choice.
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..heartbeataway: @MommasGoneCity for my son with motor planning issues, the wii has really helped his coordination & trunk and neck strength. =-.

    kootnygirl January 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I have come to believe that there is never ONE answer for any question, least of all this one, but in my case, I think I just *knew* that I was done after 2.

    I’d always wanted two, I got started late, had 2 wonderful pregnancies and relatively easy children, so I count myself lucky.

    What I have learned is that as surely as I only wanted two, there are other mothers who only want one, or who feel the absolute need to have 6. At one time I may have secretly (or not so) tried to convince them to change their mind, but now I understand that would be akin to someone trying to convince me to have a third, and I wouldn’t take kindly to that at all. Sometimes I toy with the idea of having 2 more (because 3 wouldn’t be a good fit for us), but I know deep down it’s just a flirtation because at my age the ultimate answer will always be ‘no’.

    The trick, of course, is knowing the difference between pangs of curiosity (or hormones) and a true, genuine yearning for more children.
    .-= kootnygirl´s last blog ..i’ll get right on that =-.

    Casey January 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    When people ask me, I tell them that we are likely going to have more kids. Sometimes, I’m not sure though. I think part of it for me was not knowing that my 2nd would (possibly) have been the last time I got pregnant, the last time I felt a baby move, the last time I nursed, etc. I think by not having that decided I missed a chance for some closure. I wouldn’t decide to have more because of those reasons. However, I do have those feelings you described. I think it’s normal. I know some women just know, but I’ve heard from others that they didn’t just know and it was always there at least a little bit.

    foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) January 28, 2010 at 11:30 am

    This post and all the feelings within it has made me cry. I cry so very often over this very subject that I need to come back and comment when I can see better!

    Heather January 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Oh my goodness, yes, it does happen. We have two beautiful, healthy girls. I had great pregnancies and easy deliveries. Post-partum depression left me reeling, though. We knew that two was all we could financially and physically handle. I had my tubes tied. I cried waiting for the surgery. I still cry sometimes, 2 years later.

    Some days I think have the surgery was the smartest decision I ever made. Other days, I hope to be that 1 in a million “oopsie! got pregnant anyway!” lady that everyone laughs about.

    I think about what we’d name that magical 3rd baby. How I’d do everything different this time: not take a minute of the pregnancy for granted, document every month in photos, do pregnancy yoga and write letters to my unborn baby.

    But I think back to those dark days after delivery when I was exhausted and contemplating suicide. When I just wanted the lights to go out and never wake up. I’m still exhausted. I’m still recovering. Things are getting better, though.

    I love my girls so much. I wish we could have more. I wish I was younger and had more support and more money for private schools and babysitters. Wishes don’t change things. This is what’s right for us, given the circumstances. This is what we can handle. This is really, really good.

    Sheri Bheri January 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

    It took us 3 years to conceive DD, and here we are 6 years later with no luck conceiving another. (DH & I made a deal on no reproductive assistance.) Up until recently, whenever I had a wish (penny in fountain, birthday candles, first star, ect), whenever I said a prayer, it was for a baby.

    I don’t want DD to be an only, and when she cries for a baby sister, I cry too.

    Lately though, I think I may have lost (some) hope, because whenever I get a wish now, I wish for the desire to be taken away. Sigh. It’s not working.

    darcie January 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

    oh. my. God.
    You put down in writing the thoughts that have been swaying in my head forever. The only difference is, I can’t bring myself to allow my husband to sign on for the Vas…he’s ready…more than ready (how often does THAT happen…) but it makes me sad…My pregnancies were difficult at best – and I don’t want to ‘chance it’ – plus, all the other things that you mentioned…
    It’s not that I’m not perfectly happy with the two gorgeous babies we did make-but I just wonder what if…
    Thank you for writing this – I need to come back and read all of the comments…soo soo nice to know I’m not all alone!
    .-= darcie´s last blog ..Friday Fun… =-.

    Angela January 28, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I get it. I so get it. We’re currently pregnant with twin girls, which we probably can’t afford, moving from 1 child to 3 in one fell swoop. Stressing over how to fit three carseats into the backseat of a volvo. And yet while walking through the babiesrus I couldn’t help it. I already want one more.

    Seriously WTF is wrong with me??
    .-= Angela ´s last blog ..Halftime =-.

    Annika January 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I always wanted four. While I was having our second (literally, while she was crowning) I told my husband our family was complete. And I really meant it. I feel that our family is complete with two children. But I am mourning the idea of a large family SO much. And who knows, that desire for another baby may well kick in–the baby is only a month old.
    .-= Annika´s last blog ..re-opening =-.

    megan January 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Wow, I will be the odd man out here. I have 9, one is my husband’s from a previous marriage, and the rest are ‘ours’. I always dreamed of a big family, love, love being pregnant, and am on a total honeymoon whenever I have a tiny baby to care for. We nurse for a couple of years, and generally have another baby. We have finally gotten to a point where we both tink we should be done, but we are Catholic, and at this point not yet practicing NFP (Natural Family Planning). My nursing does a good job of spacing babies, but my youngest is now 8 months, so we are entering what we laughingly call the ‘danger zone’. My last pregnancy was dangerous, and ended in a c-section.I would not care to repeat that exprience (though I would not have to unless the baby needed one again). I am 38 and still yearn, after 8 births. I don’t think it ever goes away. Mentally I am done, but religiously would never take any steps other than NFP to make sure that was the case. We live in a bit of limbo, but that’s really okay with me. I love that the mystery of life is not in my control. God sends who He wants to send, “Not my will but Thine” is hwat we have always lived by. I guess we will do NFP, and if He still sends another, it will be meant.
    .-= megan´s last blog ..I’m Still Learning =-.

    Neen January 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    For me it went away when my older boys were in about 4 and 5th grades. I had been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix after 3 miscarriages, and after the break up of my marriage I’d given up the thought of my own wee girl and just loved on my nieces.

    Of course, then, I got pregnant when they were in 9th and 10th grades and my doctor told me, “Hmm, guess it fixed itself.” WTF!!!

    So, (as I explained to my totally mystified sisters) I would never trade any of my kids for all the money, sleep or peace of mind in the world, but the idea of starting all over again when my boys were proto-adults and I was just starting to get a taste of real freedom set me on ass.

    And now, after having my younger 2, I am done. No more yearning, my youngest will graduate high school when I’m 58 and I’ll have spent my ENTIRE adult life doing what I love. So, good deal after all. (but it would still be nice to get a full night sleep or to be able to go to the bathroom without somebody banging on the door!)

    I guess what I’m trying to say in a very long winded way, is that when you get the perspective of time and start having dreams of “when the kids have moved out,” and worrying about how soon they’ll make you a gramma, (please God, not too soon!), the idea of another baby fills you with more dread then hope.

    Accidents January 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Get out of my head!

    After I had vowed to never be pregnant, and never likely have children, like EVER, I am now near the first birthday of an accidental pregnancy I decided to keep because I didn’t “want to interfere with” what my body was going through. I was too fascinated by it.

    And now, now that I’ve broken through that threshold, HAD a child, I’m trying to figure out if I want another. The idea of planning a child is absurd to me. Or “for me” I should say–makes sense for other people, but as one who thought she would be “child-free” (without the annoying politics) I simply cannot imagine *choosing* to have a child, even after I technically chose to keep Henry (when abortion would have been a difficult but altogether doable option for me).

    The point of “get out of my head” though, is that I have never been into baby names, nor can I find any particular longing for another child nor girl-child in my heart, and yet. Inexplicably, I said to my partner a few weeks ago, jokingly, “We’ll hold on to that for little Beatrice” and the name “Beatrice” has been bouncing in my head, confusing me, ever since.

    Am I about to get my effing period back (bfing) or something? Because shit, this is weird for me.

    (and thank you for your post, thank you)
    .-= Accidents´s last blog ..Hugs and… =-.

    Meg January 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Hoo boy. You hit the nail on the head with this one. I do the same thing. I sometimes feel like I physically ache, the want is strong. It’s something that comes and goes in waves. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    Also? I got a dog instead of a baby and she’s now a spoiled member of the family. I’ve been accused of babying her too much and I know that I do, but dammit if I don’t want something else to nurture!

    Liz January 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have lately been going through the same thoughts/feelings. I also had issues with my last pregnancy – complications/premie, depression, hurt my back (after giving birth -long story). But lately I seem to have the heightened awareness of babies and pregnant women and it doesn’t help that a good percentage of the blogs that I read have pregnant mommies/newborns on them! My mom went thru early menopause and I am almost certain I will too so my fertile days are really coming to a close soon and I think that kind of freaks me out, too.

    Funny thing, though, once I shared my thoughts about having another baby with my hubby – the desire really dissipated. It was really strange. I don’t know if it is b/c I plopped the ideas into someone else’s lap or it allowed me to think more about the negatives than the pros (really I think I enjoyed my pregnancies/newborns a lot more than any time after that). Honestly, I realized that these babies grow up and become toddlers. And that was where my depression really started.

    another funny thing, both my husband and I have talked about having a 3rd child we would like to name it something with the initials JT – and last year, we got a dog and my husband named him JT! well, there goes that idea!! lol

    Adoption has also been discussed but another thing that is holding me back on any babies is that I am just getting started on a new career – teaching – and I don’t want to deal with timing everything right. The “accident” idea sounds so much better than trying to time everything perfectly, between hormones, body, work, life.

    thanks again for talking about this…really thought provoking. :)

    Heather January 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I am strugglng with the exact same feelings. At least for mysef, I am starting to think that I am going to feel both sad and relieved in equal measures, that I might always wonder what it would be like to add another great kid in my family and also feel relief that I didn’t.

    Rose Jane January 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    This should have been a comment.
    Not a reply.

    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.

    jerseygirl89 January 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I had my tubes tied while having c-section number 3. And I can’t say I regret it, but I have moments like the one you described and I don’t have any methods for fixing them. Well, except for that right now my youngest is throwing a huge toddler tantrum that includes flinging toys at me. And I kind of look forward to not having to deal with these again.

    statia January 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I feel like I could have written this entry myself. I kind of have on some level. I got my tubes tied after our last one (a very big surprise pregnancy after being infertile. Also very unwelcome as my husband basically told me days before I found out I was pregnant, that he didn’t want anymore kids. oops) My daughter is 8 months and even though I’m kind of still in the throes of babyhood, she’s not my infant anymore. She doesn’t sleep on my chest. I will never be pregnant again.

    It’s like a sucker punch to know that it’s taken from you so fast like that. One day you’re pregnant, and the next you’re not, and then just like that, you know it’s over. Even though I’ve made some peace with it, and I look forward to my children getting older (and life, on some level, getting easier), I will always have this little nagging sadness in my heart, knowing that it’s over.
    .-= statia´s last blog ..Good to know the rest of you are crazy too. =-.

    My Goosey January 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Suburban Turmoil linked to your blog on her recent post. I have been reading through a few of your postings, I have to say I am hooked. I only have a family blog which has pictures for family to look at. I admire anyone with your talent for writting. I suffered through postpartum depression and worry after 18months if I am capable of going through that again. I do daydream about the possibility of another baby. I tell myself that the next time will be different and that I will actually get to enjoy the newborn stage. But, I’m not quite ready just yet.

    Rachel Boldman January 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I have these feelings ALL. THE. TIME. I had a pretty severe case of postpartum depression after Zeke (my first and only–but I’m young!) was born. Sometimes I want a baby SO BAD! But then I remember what I went through, or Zeke throws something at me. Ugh. The feelings are so mixed. If you know how to get rid of these feelings, please tell me!

    Are you going to Blissdom? Hope to meet you there!

    Miss Grace January 28, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I’m no help. I actively and definitively want more babies. The actual kind.
    .-= Miss Grace´s last blog ..GTT – Beauty Secrets =-.

    lb January 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Oh, I know those feelings so well. I really really wanted a fourth child, but hubby put his foot down. Too risky, too expensive, all those sensible things, but my heart didn’t care. My heart wanted more and more and more. When I thought about never feeling another baby move in my belly, never holding another newborn again, never nursing another infant, it about killed me. But my youngest is 3.5 now, and I do find it’s getting a little easier. I’m starting to think that it’s OK for us to move on to the next phase of life, the phase of having ‘big kids’ and to do it without a baby in tow. I mean, if something changed, if hubby came to me tomorrow and said “I’ve changed my mind, I do want another.” I’d do it in a heartbeat. But it doesn’t pull at me quite the way it used to, doesn’t make me tear up at unexpected moments. I’m slowly coming to terms with it, and I hope you will too.

    Courtney January 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    What a heartbreakingly beautiful post – this is my first visit to your blog, and I’ll be back. I wish you peace.

    Leah January 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve heard this same thing said by women going through menopause. It’s not that they WANT another baby or that it’s even a possibility (or a good idea), but there’s something awful about losing your fertility, losing your youth, that is very sad for a lot of women.

    Heather January 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I do feel this. Even though we are done. I know that I am done. I FEEL done. BUT. I still look at pregnant women with a tinge of jealousy. After my 3rd c-section the doctors said I shouldn’t have any more kids so besides the fact that my husband had the V too there’s that. I’m guessing I’ll always feel those twinges, at least until my body is no longer biologically able to produce children.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Naptime Limerick =-.

    Dina January 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    OMG I an so THERE. There are times when I just yearn for another baby. But I’m 44 years old and so the decision has already been made for us, pretty much. Even if we decided to try for another baby, well who knows. We don’t even go there. I just ride out the hormonal yearnings, keeping the rational part of my brain repeating the reasons why having a third would be insane: College tuition! Potential medical complications for me and baby! Giving up my home office for the kid’s bedroom! Another 5 years of being a SAHM or paying daycare bills! See? There it’s gone, poof!

    Kimberley Aitken January 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I catch myself thinking in my head: When I have a little girl one day I will teach her…

    Then I have to stop myself because I realize I may never have a little girl. I have two boys, I’ve had two kicks at the can and I am pretty sure there will not be third ‘kick’ happening anytime soon if ever. But, I can’t stop thinking about what I would teach or share with my daughter.

    Our minds work in mysterious ways.
    .-= Kimberley Aitken´s last blog ..WTF Please Call Me Out! =-.

    Val January 29, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I felt the same kind of heartache when I decided to get married. I loved (and still do love) my husband and we are a great match and I am thankful every day that I was lucky enough to marry him. But still, there are those wistful moments when I think that I will never fall in love again, never again have a first kiss, etc. Part of it is the fact that I got married when I was just barely 22. I never sowed my wild oats, so to speak. But I am SO happy with our relationship, marriage, whatever you want to call it, 7 years later. You have to acknowledge the grief for what is lost (possibility and opportunity) and be grateful for what is found (maturity, understanding, shared history).

    I think it is the same with babies. Right after I had my son (16 months ago), I told myself, “self, remember this feeling. never do this again. you can’t handle this.” And felt much the same for about 6 months. Now, I spend a lot of time lamenting the fact that our house is too small (and budget too tight) to have another one right now! Our minds/bodies are amazing in that whatever emotion we feel at the moment feels like the only emotion we could ever feel! Sometimes my heart feels like it will burst with love for my son. And sometimes (within 12 hours – or 12 minutes), the only thing that consoles me is the fact that in a few years I can send him to school for the day!

    I guess your decisions just have to be based on which emotions prevail most often!

    If there is anything that years have therapy has taught me, it is that everything passes – panic, wistfulness, joy. The more I remember this, the less stock I give to the sadness and panic and ennui (man was that word ever created for motherhood) and the more I cherish the joy when I feel it.

    MakingTime January 29, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I keep wondering. It’s definitely hormonal (and like previous poster said – chilbearing is such an incredible intense phase of life… Exhausting but hard to close the door on).

    Just found your blog. Love it. And thanks for talking about your dad. My dad died two years ago and it sucks. I second the recommendation for A Grief Observed, and also The Time Traveler’s Wife – not a perfect book, but the idea is fascinating and it’s stuck in my mind a long time. Time and memory are weird – I think they cause us all to live life a bit like the time traveler.

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