June 6 06

my friend Sharon went back to work this week and the first thing they asked her – after coming back from maternity leave with child #3 – was if she was done having kids. if i were a betting man, i’d say she’s not, but that’s neither here nor there.

everywhere i go people ask me if i’m done. work. my mother. my hairdresser “so…is the factory closed?”
truth? i think so. but how do you really know??
in my mind i guess i always thought we’d have 4 kids. i’m not sure why, but in the jewish world, that seems to be a big number for people. lots have three or five even, few have only 2, but most seem to have 4. the husband once said it’s a doubling of the population thing. if every couple has 4 kids, etc.
but, then reality sets in.
~children are expensive. it’s a fact. jewish day school? expensive. camp? expensive. clothing? expensive. it’s all very expensive. one less child means more money to go around to the three that i already have. i know it seems unfair to not have a child because of money….but, let’s be honest, it’s a factor.
~i’m terrified of having problems. not that i wouldn’t love this child any less. no way. but, i thank god every day for the three gorgeous healthy children that i have and for having three easy pregnancies without complications. is it fair to tempt fate again?? i keep hearing about people who have hard pregnancies. bleeding. miscarriages. losing parts of placentas. placenta previas. holes in hearts. missing kidneys. club feet. now, in many of these cases, things turned out fine and were only scares. but, i’ll be honest. i’m scared. i’m really scared. and i wasn’t this scared when i had the other three. it’s different now. and i can’t shake it.
~having children is a lot of work. a lot of work. i don’t know if i’m ready to take on another piece of work. he.
~my body. i have issues with it. let’s be honest, that’s not a secret. being pregnant was really hard on me emotionally and mentally and it was a lot of work to get it back – and i’m not yet down to where i want to be. it would be hard at this point to turn around and do that to my body again. i know it’s kind of selfish, but i’m willing to admit it, at least.

so, i’m in a really strange place right now. my family feels full. it feels right.
but, does that mean i won’t have another newborn ever again? i won’t ever be pregnant…or feel kicking inside…or deliver a baby…or talk about baby names….or breastfeed… it seems to strange to think about that.
so, i guess the “factory” isn’t completely closed – no hysterectomies or anything – but for now we are complete.

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