Did I just type: “I’m finished having babies?” Me? Seriously?
This is the first time I’ve divulged this pretty important information. Peter doesn’t know. (And yet, I can hear him, sitting in his office this morning, cheering — maybe even high-fiving and shedding a few tears of happiness.) I haven’t told my mom, who, once in a while when I’m down and feel sad just thinking about not having another kid, says: “So have another one — three isn’t any harder than two.” I haven’t told Addy and Peyps, but they haven’t asked. So that’s good.
It feels weird to say out loud (or to admit via my fingers on my keyboard) that I’m 99.99 percent positive that I’ll never again pee on a stick and hope like hell to see a plus sign.
I’ll never waddle around and admire my big pregnant belly.
I’ll never again feel little baby feet kick, little baby fists punch and little baby bums and heads move around inside my gut.
I’ll never again argue with Peter over baby names. (Like he ever had a chance naming the son we didn’t have Adolf or Helmut, or our daughter Mercedes or Porsche.)
I’ll never again have an excuse for eating copious amounts of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and napping at any and all hours.
I’ll never again lie in an operating room, cool as a cucumber (shockingly), and watch as Dr. E pulls a big bundle out of my body.
I’ll never again experience that unbelievably amazing moment (that can’t even be explained) when you’re introduced to your baby — the little one who’d been living comfortably inside you for nine months — and realize how happy, terrified and in love you are with something covered in white film who’s about to change your life forever and ever.
I’ll never again hold my own fresh-from-my-oven newborn.
But, it’s OK. And even though it’s hard to believe that I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old (happy belated birthday to my beautiful, moody, nutty, hilarious, silly, smarty-pants Peyps) and my baby-making days have come to an end, I’m OK.
I think I first seriously started contemplating what it would be like not to have another pregnancy and another baby about five months ago when my sister announced she was expecting her first baby. Peter panicked. “Great. Now you’re going to be all jealous of your sister, and you’ll start getting all sad and want another kid,” he’d grumble. But I didn’t. I was happy for her, and excited that my babies would be getting their first cousin.
Then, in August, I packed up almost all of my maternity wardrobe one day when my sister announced she had no clothes to suit her growing bump. When I handed over my big bin of clothes — clothes I loved wearing and spent a small fortune on because I was so elated to be pregnant — I was actually alright. I wasn’t sad like I thought I’d be. (Maybe it’s because I figured that if I decided to get pregnant again, I could go spend another fortune on fabulous maternity wear.) It was around this time that Peter took Peyton’s crib apart and we bought her a big-girl bed. I was proud of my toddler, and didn’t yearn for her to stay in that crib. (I probably would’ve if she hadn’t learned to get out of the crib — kind of defeats the purpose.)
And then, the whole baby thing really smacked me in the face on Thursday. A close family friend who I’ve known since she was in her mother’s tummy (the daughter of my parents’ friends of almost 30 years) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. When I told Peter she’d been born, he eyed me carefully. I know he was looking to see if I was jealous/upset/psychotic and was going to start with the “I want another baby” thing. But I didn’t. I was genuinely happy for her (congratulations, Whitney!) and thought about how nice it would be to add another little girl to the Christmas Eves our families spend together.
While I was prepping (read: cleaning for the first time in months) for Addy and Peyton’s birthday party on Saturday, Whitney phoned me with a couple questions about formulas and bottles. I shared a bit of mommy advice, then told her I’d pull out my wee newborn bottles (still in my kitchen cupboard, ahem), sterilize them, and drive them over for her so she wouldn’t have to worry about the first dozen or so bottles.
As I stood at my stove — bottles and nipples boiling in my pasta pot — I looked at my little birthday girls playing with each other and their grandparents, and realized that’s it. I have my girls, and hope they’ll grow up being best buddies. As exciting as it was to sterilize bottles again (yup; it was exciting), I was oddly happy that they weren’t for us. I have a whole life with my newly four-year-old and newly two-year-old to look forward to, and even though I still have the occasional pangs for another baby — or maybe just pangs for a wee one in that sweet baby stage — my family is complete.
When I dropped off the sterilized bottles to the brand new mom and dad, I snuck a quick cuddle with their pink bundle. She’s cuddly and smells sweet, just like my girls did. And while I only held her for a minute (and can’t wait for my next cuddle session with her), I wasn’t sad to pass her back to her new auntie and get back to my own babies.
Since you should never say never, I’m not going to say I’m never having another kid — which is why I’m 99.99 percent sure that I’m not. If there’s one thing I do know for sure, it’s that I’m 100 percent thrilled with and lucky that I have my girls.
When did you realize your family was complete? (Or are you still on the fence?)