Monday, October 14, 2013

What it's like to be done.

I've been going through a weird baby fever. I get this periodically through the year, the fall and late winter being the worst times. And normally I just do my best to ignore it but this year it feels different.

I feel a bit sadder.

I have two really great kids and I'm lucky that I am able to have a girl and a boy. I am also lucky that both of my kids have the same dad and we're still together. Let's be honest- that's not common much anymore so it should be recognized as something you'd put in the "pro" column of life. But even with that, I can't help but want more babies. The irony here is that I don't do well with lack of sleep. I don't like crying babies and I don't like lugging around a giant car seat. I don't like my house being cluttered with baby gear.


I really loved being pregnant. I really loved labor and delivery. I really loved the excitement and the anxiety of the whole thing. I really loved feeding a baby, changing a baby, bathing a baby, rocking a baby. I loved playing with a baby and watching them grow and learn new things. I really loved being that mom who effortlessly juggled it all and even looked like I knew what I was doing.

So when I see commercials with babies? I now cry. I watched a diaper commercial two weeks ago and lost it. Matt of course looked at me like I was having some kind of mental breakdown. And maybe I am. I have talked to Matt about having another baby and he is adamantly against it. He won't even entertain it.

So I sit here, sad.

I feel like I'm missing out on something. I feel like there's a piece of me, gone. I feel like I'm not quite complete. Like our family is missing a key puzzle piece.

It isn't fair for me to push it onto Matt and I wouldn't. I see his point- we have gone through so much to get to this point. The ease of just getting up and going somewhere is nice. The kids are getting closer to being independent and there is a certain freedom in that. So while every practical reason makes sense, and everything in our current life points to how difficult having another baby would be, I still feel sad.

Nobody fully understands what baby fever is unless you're in it. And not everyone gets it. I have plenty of friends who know they are done having babies and that's that. They like babies, they'll hold yours, but beyond that- no thank you. I have other friends who are on the verge of being empty nesters and I seriously cannot even imagine that. I mean... it'd be so quiet. And glorious. But quiet. What would I do?

My other fear? Is what if I had a third baby and I realized it was literally the worst thing ever? What if I had the baby and decided I had made a terrible decision? What if I had the baby and had the worst post partum depression- far worse than with Olivia? But even worse- what if my kids hate it? Jackson would become the middle child and everyone knows the middle child is kind of a mess. Would Olivia feel edged out? Would the baby get all of the attention and also grow up to be a mess who can't handle rejection?

But despite it all, I feel sad. I can't help it. It's probably terrible and I certainly shouldn't complain. I just wish there was a cure for baby fever. Something that would make me not feel sad when I see baby stuff, or feel jealous when I see pregnant women, or burst into tears during diaper commercials. But until then, I suffer quietly and try not to bug Matt about it because he certainly could care less. He's happy with the status quo.


SpiritPhoenix said...

My OB/GYN talked to me about the feeling of being done with kids. It's one thing to not want them, but when you feel as though your own decision is being taken away it's tough. (This was when we were talking numbers and as a heads up if the Hubs got a Vasectomy.)

I guess you can (it's a sloppy second maybe but) spoil someone else who has a new one. Go and visit, bring little odds and ends to help out. Then get your fill when the kid is losing their minds, spitting up, having a blow out diaper and then you can smile, help out a bit by handing things over to Mom(I know you hate body fluids) and gracefully exit.

But it is a difficult thing to get over. And I hear a lot of women go through it, especially through menopause....when their not sweating their asses off. ;)

Shirley said...

When I was done I just knew. The moment I had Aiden I felt like all the pieces are in place. And for the last 7 years I have never had a single moment where I thought I wanted more kids. I don't think its fair to yourself to feel guilt over not feeling like you are done. You can't help those feelings.

thotlady said...

I have to start by saying I am 56 years old and do not have children.

I didn't get married until I was 40, and it just wasn't in the cards.

I wanted children all my life, but I wanted to get married first.

That being said, the way I get around baby fever is living vicariously through my siblings and in-laws. I also love to knit, so I get to make cute little clothes for the babies.

So if you don't knit, maybe you can take that up and knit cute little sweaters and booties. You can also knit for your children. They have wonderful patterns for young children.

thotlady said...

I have one word for you knitting.

Cute little baby sweaters and booties. I love making them and giving them to my friends and family.

Julie H said...

Sounds like you need one more :) I KNEW I was done when I had my 3rd. Actually before that. I was pretty much done at 2 but we had to "try for a boy". Lucky for him we got one because I said 3 strikes and you are out buddy!