Friday, 7 October 2016

The Maybe Baby

It's been 7 months now since we welcomed our third little bundle of joy into the world.

And although the timing with Sailor was very much a surprise (falling pregnant just 6 weeks after giving birth to our second child was certainly not something we set out to achieve) -  a third baby was always very much a part of our plan.

There was never, not even for a single moment, any doubt in our minds that there would be a third child in our future.

I don't mean to say that we took it for granted of course, pregnancy is such an uncertain thing - but we knew that we wanted a third child, and that we would be trying for one when the time was right - it just so happened that the right time was much more imminent than we thought!

Even when the pregnancy with my second child saw me suffering once again with hyperemesis, and the birth left me with an awful recovery to get through, and the nights with two children refusing to sleep were a struggle - even then, in the hardest moments, we both knew that we wanted a third.

And so along he came, and he has slotted into our family just perfectly, into that Sailor-shaped hole that was there all along.

And life with the three of them, although challenging at times, has so far been wonderful.

Each of my boys is their own little character, each of them so charming in their own little way - so funny, so sweet natured, so smart, and so perfectly part of our little family.

But lately I've been wondering - as I sort through the baby clothes that Sailor has outgrown so quickly - is he the last?

Should these little tiny cardigans and dainty little hats be stored away in the attic for a possible fourth child in the future? Or should they boxed up and sent on to the charity shops, for another family's use.

Have I felt my last kick from inside? Rubbed my tummy and tried to imagine the features of the little face growing inside me for the last time? Poured for months over baby name books and chosen my last perfect name? Picked out my last Coming Home Outfit? 

And some day soon, will Sailor's be the last hand that I hold as he takes those first tentative steps? 

Will his be the last boo-boo I kiss?  The last excited little person I wave off to school?  The last one to ask for a goodnight kiss?  The last one to utter the word "Mummy" to me?

With Sailor, there was never any doubt that he was in our plans, so I never had this question mark hanging over me when Noah was a baby (Not that there was much chance for that!...)

But this time, things feel so much more uncertain.

Life with 3 children so young is a struggle at times, but we're handling fact we're more than just handling it, we're really enjoying it even though the days can be hard sometimes.... but I can't help but worry if we'd cope so well with another one.

Or whether a fourth child would be simply too much.

But at the same time, I also can't quite accept that there will be no more.

I don't feel ready to close the door to that possibility.

So how do you know?

I hear friends state all the time that they're done having babies. They say it with such absolute certainty. Their partners go off and seal the deal with a snip, and that question mark hanging over them is removed once and for all. There will be no more. And that's exactly how they want it.

But I don't feel that certainty. I'm not even close to feeling it.

Would I feel that same certainty that my friends do if I was truly done having children?

Would I just "Know" if our family was complete?

I see that statement so often - a birth announcement accompanied by the sentence "Our family is now complete" - and I've never felt that way.

Not with Tyne, not with Noah....and not with Sailor, either.

So does that mean ours isn't complete yet?

Does my lack of willingness to say "No more" mean that we should consider a fourth?

Or am I just somebody who will never feel ready to say "never again". Will that feeling ever come to me? 

And what if I'm wrong? What if a fourth really is too much for us, and it's all thrown out of balance...what if we simply can't handle it all with one more child.

I've heard it said that you'll never regret the children you had, only those that you didn't.

And that makes a lot of sense to me.

But still, I'm unsure...

My mind says that if there's any question at all, then the chance shouldn't be taken....that obviously it isn't the right thing for us.

But then a voice inside says "It's not a case of "Never", it's a case of "Not yet"....that somewhere down the line, the time will be right for another little person to come into our lives. 

That we shouldn't shut the door just yet.

We won't be making any final decisions just yet, we'll be enjoying our time as a five....but I'd like to think that five may not be our final number.

I think I want to leave a space open for that "Maybe Baby"....

How did you know when you were finished having children? Or do you also not feel that certainty? I'd love to hear from you!

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