Knowing we are done having babies has been a long time coming for us. After the birth of our second son, as much as my head knew we should be done (and I counted our blessings for being able to bring two healthy baby boys into the world when the odds had been well and truly stacked against us), in my heart I just didn’t feel ready. I’ve talked before about how our family will never be complete as our eldest son and daughter died shortly after birth. However since the birth of our third baby boy eight months ago, both my husband and I know and agree that we are done having babies.
A few years ago we attempted IVF again in the hope of having another baby, but the combination of several failed cycles, health issues and trying to raise two young boys made it too hard to keep going and for me. A the time it felt like someone else was deciding how big our family would be, not my husband and I.
Life went on but I often found myself daydreaming about what life would be like if we had another baby in our family. I just couldn’t seem to accept that our baby days were over. It took a long time for me to let go of the baby and toddler stuff we were keeping for another baby, but I I finally started to give away some of the items (at least, the ones I wasn’t too attached to). And then, surprise, surprise, I discovered I was pregnant.
Now, after the birth of our third baby boy, I am content with the knowledge that he is our last baby. I’m ready for our lives to move on from the ‘baby phase’ and looking forward to the challenges of raising three energetic (and slightly crazy!) boys. Some of reasons I know that we are done having kids include:
- I’m taking things slow. I know all too well how quickly these stages pass and I’m putting the cleaning/dishes etc on the back burner to soak up every precious (and not so precious!) moment. It’s easier this time around to slow down and enjoy (well most of the time!) the little moments of having a baby in the family. I know this is it and I’m never going to have this time again.
- I’m excited about the future. I’m relishing this time with our baby boy and while all the ‘last first times’ sure tug at the heartstrings, I’m also genuinely excited about what the future holds for him. This includes the relationships he is building with his brothers (and the payback he will give them for all of the over enthusiastic cuddles they are dolling out right now). You know what, I’m also a little excited about what the future holds for me. I no longer have to worry about our fertility and I’ll soon have my body back – well, eventually!
- I’m moving on. This time around, aside from a few baby clothes I’m keeping to make a memory blanket one day, as soon as our baby grows out of one size, I have those clothes bundled up and donated in no time at all. I know we are never going to use them again.
- My hands are full. Three kids (three boys) are keeping me on my toes just enough and no more. The thought of adding another child to the mix just feels a bit overwhelming.
- Newborns don’t make me sad. When I see a newborn baby I fondly remember what our three boys were like at that age and how lucky we have been to experience it three times now. But I don’t have that intense longing to hold my own newborn in my arms again like I have in the past.
- I’ve found the right fit. It might sound a little odd, but being a mum of three feels like the ‘right fit’ for me. Somehow I just know that our family is at the ‘right number’ for us.
However the main reason that I know we are done having children, and I am content with the decision, is because it’s a decision that my husband and I made together. Circumstances or doctors didn’t make it for us – something I am very grateful for.
Image: Lauren Matheson