Pregnancy does not come easy to me. In fact, our rainbow baby was the scariest nine months I have ever experienced. Once I had my mister, I felt I was done. I was too scared to live those days again. Although we truly feel blessed and honored that Sadie chose us, she was a surprise. I was pregnant; it wasn’t mono.
My husband, Jake, is one of four boys. Both of his parents have three or more siblings. I am one of two and my parents have one or two siblings themselves. So we have large family versus the 2.5-kid family. Jake has always envisioned a larger family, where as I thought I’d like three kids — until I was pregnant four times. Through all of my pregnancies, morning sickness hit me hard. With Evan, I was sick for 16 weeks. With Sadie, I was sick all the way through delivery. I wasn’t just kinda sick either. I was the Jake-was-over-it-by-the-fourth-month-so-he-bought-me-a-whole-case-of-hair-ties sick. There was nothing pretty about rushing to vomit wherever we were. Date nights were less than enjoyable; Jake and Evan pretty much ate out alone for my entire pregnancy with Sadie. With Evan, I was swollen so much I resembled the Michelin Man. These were mild compared to some of my other complications. But these affected me more daily.
So, what do you do when your husband has baby fever and you are as cool on the idea as the temperature scale on your ice tray? We often talk about what three would look like. Sometimes, we make those little comments when we’re cleaning out the kids’ closets. Just recently, we were organizing some storage bins and in them were newborn clothes, toys and baby essentials. I am not ready to give them away, yet I don’t have an urge to use them again. What does this mean? Am I conflicted? Is it okay to hang onto those things? When forced to go through them, there were a select few items I donated, with 90 percent remaining.
I recognize we are young(ish) and still have time to think about this. I feel fairly confident in my decision. Some days Jake craves that third and others he is completely satisfied and feels full with what we have (depends on how exhausted the kids make us!). I do not base this decision on our current chaos. I base this decision mostly on the fact that I have little interest in experiencing another pregnancy. I have been pregnant four times, each one held its own challenge. I felt when I was pregnant with Sadie I missed out on quite a bit with Evan, and I don’t feel it’s fair to do the same to two kids. Pregnancy is not easy for me, so, is it okay to be selfish?
What has your experience been like when you and your spouse differ on the child count talk? —Jennifer