“I could do that again”, was the first thing i said after I give birth to Blair. In fairness it was a very quick labour and he had patiently waited until New Year’s Day to arrive so as not to interrupt our Christmas and NYE plans, which were immense obviously given i was the size of a house and ready to pop. Think an Entourage marathon with a curry while sleeping on a mattress in the living room under the only aircon unit in the house because it was 40oC on NYE in Melbourne that year. Wild eh?!
Immediately after having Lyla, by c-section because she was a stubborn girl and refused to get out of the transverse position, I thought “hmmm not too bad”. In hindsight being pregnant while caring for a two year old and working hadn’t been a walk in the park and the nasty incision infection which arrived a week after Lyla and stayed for 3 weeks, sealed the deal and changed my mind pretty promptly. Maybe this shop was shut.
Lyla was in no way an easy baby, there was a lot of crying, (from both of us), a lot of puking, (just her, thanks reflux), and not a lot of sleep. Blair had been the ultimate self-raising child and I have said more than a few times that if Lyla had been my first I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to have a second at all or at least not until she was in school.
I always wanted to have 5 kids, I remember my mum nodding, smiling and saying ‘how about you wait until you have one before you decide that!’ Internally she must have been laughing her ass off at my naivety. Recently a few friends have added a third little one to their broods and so the question of whether I would like another one has come up. Each time I have said ’nope, this shop is most definitely shut, ain’t no more babies coming outta this lady!’. And I have meant it every time but there was always that little nagging newborn gurgle in the back of my mind saying, ‘are you sure?’.
If I’m being honest and Lyla didn’t have a disability, or at least such a severe disability, then *maybe* I would have been keen for a third. I still think about it every now and again, usually with heavily rose tinted glasses and when I am having one of those divine newborn snuggles with a friend’s new addition. That intoxicating smell from the top of their wee heavy head as they snuggle into your neck gets me EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I swear I spontaneously ovulate when I get those baby cuddles. All thoughts of spew, sleepless nights and endless nappies disappear and all I can think of is how lush babies are. See, that newborn smell is intoxicating I tell you!
On a serious note, I have thought about whether a third child would be good for Blair now and if they would share the burden of care with Blair in the future. Lyla will need care of some kind for the rest of her life and as she is likely to be around for a good while after we are or after we are too old to care for her I worry that this care will fall solely to Blair. We are family and we take care of each other but he will have his own life, hopefully his own family and I wonder whether he will be unhappy that he is Lyla’s only sibling. I don’t think he will miss having a second sibling as a child but into the future I hope he doesn’t resent our decision to not have any more children.
We talked about ‘the snip’ in the first few months of Lyla’s life but never got round to organising it and I’m not sure whether that was because we weren’t sure, whether we had so much else on our minds since then or whether my darling husband didn’t really like the idea of it! So it’s always there as a possibility but I know in my heart that our family is complete. I will continue to be the first to line up for baby cuddles whenever they are available and I will enjoy handing them back to mummy for nappy changes and nap times!
I don’t know if or how women know whether they are done with having babies. I guess you just know, or you don’t and you just wait to see if a wee surprise comes along before you know how you feel.
How did you know when your shop was shut?