Wednesday, May 7, 2014

No Baby Fever Here

I met Jay's baby last night, and she's a cute little peanut.  I got to hold her for a long time, and she seemed to like me.  Little babies have always been partial to me since I was a teenager.

As I was leaving the hospital, I called MM to let him know I was on my way home.  He, naturally enough, asked about my visit, how Jay was doing, what I thought of the baby and the like.  When I related the above, he asked if it made me want another baby.  And I responded--just a little too quickly, apparently--"no."  MM's response was "Wow, *that* was pretty adamant."

Why, yes.  Yes, it was.

That brief exchange gave me cause for reflection.  How is that, in just a few short years, I have gone from wanting a baby so much that I was willing to go to great lengths to have one, to now being adamantly opposed to having another?  It's true that the biggest thing that has changed is that I now already have two children of my own.  I am definitely not in the same place today I was in three years ago when, coincidentally, I had my SHG and was given the go-ahead to start my DE IVF cycle.

But more than simply being no longer willing to go great lengths to have another child, I frankly find the idea of going through another pregnancy more than a little horrifying.  The months and months of feeling miserable.  Of worrying about what might go wrong, for me and for the baby.  The possibility of life-threatening complications at the end.  The (to me) seemingly impossible task of integrating one more little dependent person into my already-fuller-than-full daily round.

I saw a post on a forum I visit the other day from another twin mother who had also delivered pre-term due to preeclampsia but who is now pregnant again with a singleton.  She optimistically talked about how her high risk OB had assured her that her odds of developing preeclampsia again were probably only around 30% this time around.  Her twins are around the same age as our sons (just a little younger, if memory serves).

And when I read that post, I wondered why that risk seemed acceptable to her, even positive, when to me, it would have seemed like a good reason to stop at two children.  In a sense, her view is the more rational one: there is a better than two out of three chance that everything will be fine for her.

In thinking back on what I went through at the end of my pregnancy, with the preeclampsia and the post-delivery hemorrhage, I have long thought that I was not greatly emotionally affected by that experience.  I certainly don't remember feeling particularly scared at the time or thinking that I might die or be permanently disabled (although realistically, either outcome was a possibility).  My primary emotions were concern for my sons' well-being and guilt/shame at feeling I had somehow caused the challenges they might face.

But it is an indisputable fact that that little tug that I used to feel when I would hold someone's newborn. . . that visceral, maternal urge that spurred me forward in my quest for parenthood for so many years. . . is absolutely, positively gone now.  While I can hold and look at newborns and appreciate their beauty and innocence, they inspire zero longing in me.

So perhaps I was more affected by my experiences of pregnancy and delivery than I realized at the time.  Or maybe I just know that I have reached (and exceeded?) my personal limit for parenting.

Who knows?

I will say this: in a perverse way, it is nice to know that I am indisputably, unquestionably, no ifs-ands-or-buts done with pregnancy and childbirth.


4 comments:

  1. It's a nice feeling, isn't it, to be done in a content way?

    Somehow 3 years ago, I had the courage to roll the dice again and have a third. Now I have friends trying for more, and I've realized - I don't have it in me to take those risks again. The treatments, the pregnancy, the delivery, the unknown of the health of the baby. I just ... can't. It was strange to realize, even though I already knew I was done ... that I am DONE.

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  2. I agree; it's a freeing, content feeling to just BE DONE. And to be totally fine with that! I don't get the slightest pang of baby fever. I almost would say I have the opposite. I can't get rid of the baby stuff fast enough. Be gone! Adios

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  3. I won't want any more children after this one. I have never envisioned myself having more than two kids, and if my husband wanted a third and we were younger, he could have talked me into it, but it just isn't how I ever pictured my future family. So I don't think it is that weird that you're just done.

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  4. I feel like that too. Instead of envy of pregnant women, I feel lucky to not be pregnant. It is great to not be in that desperate place. ~N

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