This time 18 months ago, the idea of having more than one kid was as far from my mind as possible, let alone more than two! And yet, here we are with two kids. And there we were a couple of months ago desperately taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test to see if I was pregnant with number three.
Let me just clarify, though, this was not excited testing. This was
“Shit, fuck, I still haven’t come on! please don’t let there be two lines”
testing. We most certainly do not want anymore children, and this was the epitomy of pregnancy scares.
I wanted to write a post about it at the time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. For two very long weeks of my life I was trapped in an emotional tornado, and spent most evenings crying about the unknown. Every thought I had made me feel worse than the last. I felt guilty, ashamed, scared, excited, petrified.
Because here’s the thing. In the last 5 years I have had 2 children, lost 5 babies, and 1 fallopian tube. I felt seriously lucky to fall pregnant with Amelia just a month after having my tube removed and being told the other one probably wasn’t much use to me either. After I had her, we were told the chances of any more were slim to none. Then I fell pregnant with Wills!
Not only was he a total surprise, but we had grown to accept and be happy with the fact that we would only ever have one kid. To go from that to suddenly having to prepare for a second was tough to say the least. We had all the usual worries; what if Amelia resents him, what if we resent him? What if we can’t cope? How will we afford two kids?
Of course, we wouldn’t change him for the world, and as soon as we wrapped our heads around it we were ecstatic. And now he is here, I couldn’t imagine life any other way. But here’s the thing. We can’t have any more kids. Seriously, I’ve done the maths, it just wouldn’t work. Renting a place big enough for the four of us is basically a pipe dream as it is – living between London and Surrey means that the cost of rental is astronomical, and we struggled to find our current cosy 2 bed flat at a price we could reasonably manage, let alone anything else. I’m not joking, it got really hairy and we eventually moved in just 3 weeks before Wills was born!
Then there’s the personal side of things. I was just starting to think about edging back towards full time work when I fell pregnant with Wills, and while I can deal with holding off for a little while longer, another kid would set me back a fair chunk of time. I don’t know that I could handle that. As for Mr C… well he’s made no secret of the fact that he is definitely done at two!
These things are all well and good, and should have been enough to convince me that this situation was not a place we wanted to be. But there was a clear emotional aspect to the thoughts running through my mind. I’ve lost 5 babies. How could I possibly cope with the loss of another? How could I possibly even bring myself to think about terminating this blessing, knowing that I was devastated by every single previous loss. Knowing that this shouldn’t even be possible, and I’ve been offered yet another seemingly impossible chance to grow, nurture, and love a child.
And there it is, that word. Terminate. Termination. Abortion. That word that I have just found myself subconsciously trying to avoid even typing, let alone say out loud. I want to be clear; I have nothing whatsoever against freedom of choice. A person’s body is their own, and there are a thousand times when termination is absolutely the right decision for that person, in that time. But for me, in this instance, I just didn’t feel like I could justify it to myself. I felt somehow cruel and ungrateful for even thinking it. The thought of doing it literally made me shake and cry uncontrollably.
After two weeks of emotional turmoil, mother nature finally gave me a reprieve in the form of a seriously overdue period. Thank fuck for that. It’s safe to say that I don’t think we’ll be allowing a situation like that to arise again, but I did learn a thing or two about myself in the process. Somewhere in the process of becoming a mother twice over, the calculating, sensible, level headed me has kinda given way to a more emotional, less rational side. I know in my head that having another child right now just isn’t something that would work for us as a family. But I also now know in my heart that I will never say never.
Is there ever a right time to consider having more children? Would it be irresponsible to have more if we didn’t feel it was financially viable? Or does love conquer all? Pre kids I would have definitely erred on the side of irresponsible, and while a big part of me still feels that way, I can’t shake the part of me that was secretly a little bit excited.