December 14, 2008

No

This weekend Paul and I reached the end of a 13-year discussion entitled "Babies: Should We Have One, and If So When?" Before we were married, our agreement was that we'd take it one baby at a time---that there was really no way to decide on a number AHEAD of time so we'd just see how it went.

Our fifth baby was not planned. In fact, Paul had decided we were done after four. I was sad, but I agreed. And then...Henry. I was delighted, to the point of worrying Paul would think I'd tricked him (NO). Also, I am good at Big Picture thinking, and so my feeling was that in the long run this was going to be fine: in 25 years we'd be at Fifth Baby's wedding and we wouldn't even remember that the plan had been to stop at four. I considered him an enormously lucky bonus. After he was born, I looked at him often and thought, "If things had gone according to our plans, you would not be here! Our plans SUCK!"

Paul really, really loves Henry---it is almost comical to see it. It almost brings the word (favorite) to mind. So I guess I had nurtured the hope that Paul had come out of this experience with the same feelings I had: that we had more room than we'd thought; that adding another was HAPPY and GOOD; that it didn't really matter how many we had, we'd always be glad about it.

In fact, I'm afraid my mind tends to make plans before they're needed, and so I had been thinking next fall would be a nice time to have another baby. I'd been looking at my Pill pack and thinking that Paul and I should have a Serious Talk in the next two weeks, because maybe I'd stop taking it after this pack: I'm in my mid-thirties and don't want to wait too long. I went too far and started thinking, "I wonder if the baby will be a boy or a girl?" I didn't quite start imagining what I'd order from the maternity ward room service menu, but almost.

Today I called in a refill on my prescription, and when they asked if I wanted to put it on auto-refill so I wouldn't have to keep calling every month, I said yes.

I'm not okay. I am good at Big Picture thinking, as I mentioned, so I imagine I WILL be okay, and I'm not the kind of not-okay where there needs to be Worry. But I'm not okay. I'm sad. I'm worried I'll always be sad: that I'll be an old lady still wishing for another baby, that we're missing out on someone we needed very badly. I keep thinking of The Baby---the baby I'd been picturing arriving next year. Then I keep saying to myself, "No."

I'm self-medicating. I had about three cups of hot coffee this morning, with heavy cream AND flavored coffee creamer. I'm taking candy out of the supply I bought for Christmas stockings. I washed my hair and used a special conditioner. I put on my second-favorite shirt (my favorite one is in the wash) and my new favorite cheery pink/red/orange earrings I got at Target on 75% off. I put on a happy face, because I've heard it takes more muscles to frown and I'm all about taking the easy way.

Is it working?


I feel ridiculous, being sad. I mean, let's compare, shall we? On one hand, let's look at all the people who got a late start and are hoping to have just one or maybe two babies before fertility is gone. Let's consider all the people having miscarriages, and fertility treatments, and stillbirths, and then let's think of the people who try for years and don't have enough money for other options. Let's think about the people who are trying to adopt just one single baby and it keeps not working out, or they finally get a baby and then the birth mother changes her mind. Let's look at all of them, and then let's look at Swistle: Swistle, who has had a total of four easily-conceived and healthy pregnancies leading to a total of five full-term and healthy children, and is sad because she can't have a sixth child. Yeah. Real pitiful.

On the other hand, I think that kind of thinking is crap when other people do it. "I shouldn't feel so sorry for myself that my baby is premature and in the NICU: I should be glad she's alive." "You shouldn't complain that the dishes have food on them after your husband 'washes' them---some people's husbands are DEAD." I think negative-positive thinking can be a good tool for feeling better, but not if it makes a person feel bad for feeling bad. What, we're not allowed to feel bad because Things Could Be Worse? By that policy, only the Worst-Off Person in the World is allowed to feel bad; everyone else has to feel lucky and happy when their cars get wrecked and their basements flood and their pregnancies fail and their husbands have affairs, because other people are killed in accidents and other people's houses collapse and other people can't even get pregnant and other people's husbands die. And THOSE people have to feel lucky because at least it was only them who died and not their whole family, and at least their house collapsed when no one was inside, and at least they didn't have a child and then have that child die, and at least they had a husband.

Well, screw that. I do feel bad. I do feel sad. I am helping myself by thinking about how lucky I truly, truly am---but I'm also unlucky, as is everyone who has a decision they don't like made for them by someone/something else. As is everyone who wants a baby they can't have.

85 comments:

Chez Bacon said...

I'm sorry, Swistle...nothing else to say, really. Just I'm sorry.

We just said NO to a third, and it's the right choice for us, but I still get a little sad about it, sometimes. I'm trying to think Big Picture, that something will happen over the next few years that will make me finally totally agree that two was absolutely the right number after all, and all "oh thank god there's not another baby because of Random Unpredictable Thing that is happening."
I hope it gets better soon. And your earrings are adorable.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad for you, and I can empathize because I want... nay, NEED...a fourth child, but my husband does not agree. Your post was extremely well written and spot-on. Here's to self-medicating!

Meredith said...

I'm so sorry. I think your sadness reflects what a wonderful mother you are...you have such a gift for raising children, why wouldn't you want to continue? Keep up with the medicating...maybe tonight you could throw some REAL EGGNOG into the mix.

Big picture: Look forward to GRANDCHILDREN!!!

Emily said...

I'm really sorry. That is very sad.

I've been in (sort of) the same boat lately; I've been informed that my medication is unsafe for pregnancy, and since I have to take it, that means no babies. Ever. It's breaking my heart. That said, my heart is also breaking for you. You will be in my prayers.

Feener said...

everyone's problems are relative. you should not feel bad for being sad.

i have 2 and doubt we will have a third, i am 41, i think often of the third....i feel like i will be sad later in life but really i know i won't b/c your family is your family and that is what we will know.

Kelsey said...

I'm sorry Swistle.

And I'm sad for you.

And, though the circumstances are totally different, I think I can come pretty close to understanding how you feel. And it sucks.

I hope the coffee and candy and earrings and smile kick in very soon.

Angie said...

We have two, and I feel pretty confident that we are done. Maybe 90% sure. But, yeah, I wonder if I will wish that we'd had #3 in 10 years, when, in my mind, it would be too late.

And, I agree with you on the sadness. I think it's good to remember that things could be worse in a count your blessings sort of way. At the same time, what you are going through can still suck. I would feel bad complaining about my husband's deployment, because at least he was alive. Well, how ridiculous, really! I think the biggest thing is not to complain about your problem to someone much worse off, like me complaining to someone whose spouse had just died that I missed my husband. Does that make sense?

moo said...

I'm sorry you're sad.

Thinking about you!

Stimey said...

This is a very eloquent post. I'm sorry. And you're so right, it's okay to be sad.

Kristi said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling sad. You have every right to all of the feelings you are having, and I hope you find some peace with it. You're an amazing woman.

Thinking about you today.

Erica said...

1. I really like your earrings and faux happy face.

2. I'm empathizing like crazy over here. I haven't gotten the official "no" on a second child, but things are not looking so good. It's always terrible when you don't get a say in the matter. Why does the "no" always trump the "yes?" Why should Paul's no be the definitive answer? Why can't your yes be the deciding vote?

Elizabeth said...

I have one child and I am very nervous about having another one, but if the POSSIBILITY were taken away from me? I would be distraught. I think that "maybe" is one of the hardest things to let go of.
I am so sorry you're not ok.
But I love your earrings and I encourage lots of self medicating. And I think it is totally ok for you to feel sad - regardless of all the other sad in the world.

Libby said...

Oh, Swistle. Of course you're sad. You're mourning the loss of your (fictional) child. Or mourning the loss of all the pleasure you get of thinking about having another child. (Wow, you can really tell from my comment that I don't have any children, can't you? Well, I *meant* well - that counts, right?) Oh! My verification word: besad(v)! For reals!

CC Donna said...

A consolation.........in 4 years, when Henry is in first grade, you can go shopping with us!!!

I have a friend who does infant foster care. She's in her 50's and loves, loves, loves it! When the one she caring for gets adopted, she's praying for another. Maybe you've got that same gene...the one that wants the baby bucket full at all times!

Anonymous said...

How beautifully expressed. I'm sure many of us can identify and many of us can take encouragement.
You're right. It's okay to be sad. And I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Last week a military plane crashed into a mans house killing his wife, mother in law and two baby girls. When that man was interviewed, he asked for help from people who have experienced even worse than what he was going through.
Your post just brought that to mind. Sorry to be such a downer.

Leeann said...

1) I'm sorry.

2) Of all the people I have never met, I think I like you the most. I like the way you think, I love your honesty.

3) Hugs and hugs.

Marie Green said...

I'm there with you- my husband and I have compeletly tabled that discussion because we were starting to HATE each other for trying to change the other's mind. Every time things got hectic around here, he'd say "THIS is why I don't want another." and I'd feel like I might throttle him. And every time the youngest was being adorable or we saw or held a newbie baby, I would say to him "THIS is why I DO want to have another." and it would royally piss him off.

So: tabled. Until (at least) next July.

Hope you feel better about the decision... I really don't know what else to say or do- with your situation OR my own....

Anonymous said...

I can totally identify with what you're feeling. I still feel a bit resentful of my husband's NO overruling my YES. We had agreed on three children, but stopped after just one. I can understand his reasoning, but it doesn't make it any easier. I still haven't completely accepted his decision, but now that I'm 39 the possibility is getting much slimmer. I am grateful for the child I have, but it doesn't stop me from wanting more.

Wait, who was this about? Oh yeah, I just wanted to say that you're definitely not alone in your feelings!

jonniker said...

I am not a fan of the negative/positive thinking, either. Instead, what it does is make you feel bad for feeling bad, which is RIDICULOUS, because everyone -- every single person on this earth -- has someone who's better off than they are and worse off than they are. It's just the way it is.

And I hate (HATE) diminishing someone's feelings just because someone has it worse.

Be sad. You have every right, as you said, and it sucks, and I'm sorry. You are one of my favorite people, and you deserve everything, and it sucks that you can't have it.

Courtney said...

Sending HUGS, Swistle.

I want another baby too, but it would just be our second. Still. I can relate. The subconsious longing is almost unbearable b/c it's uncontrollable. At least it will fade with time for you though.

AlienBea said...

I'm so sorry, Swistle. I have the same sort of sad -- there's nothing I'd love more than to have another (3rd, in my case) child, but my husband keeps saying NO. I try to remind myself that I have two children, that our lives are full, that a third child means more tantrums, dirty diapers, staying up all night with a sick child -- but there is still that baby-sized hole in my heart. It just doesn't seem fair, does it?

And here's to self-medicating. I have strawberry cupcakes waiting for me in the kitchen.

Jess said...

I was going to say exactly what you said yourself about the whole negative/positive thinking thing. But then you said it yourself, because even when you're sad, you still see the big picture, like you said yourself.

I'm sorry the answer wasn't what you wanted. I'm sorry you have to feel sad. I like the coping mechanisms you're using to deal with it. I wish you didn't have to feel sad and that you could just have babies and more babies for as long as you wanted.

clarabella said...

Wow, it makes me rather upset that Swistle is sad. I'm sorry you're not okay, but I suppose it's good that you expect you will be.
You look very pretty in your picture, and I like those earrings.

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so sad Swistle, but it's okay. You're entitled. And if you're anything like me, being denied something only makes you want it more.

I kind of know how you feel. There's a part of me that really wants a 3rd baby but hubby absolutely refuses. He won't even discuss it. He adores the two we've got, and I understand his reasons for not wanting more, but it doesn't help the longing and wondering. Especially when he points out and tells me about every baby he sees, and tears up when holding and snuggling our new nephew. The man LOVES babies and is so good with them, yet doesn't want more.

I would never dream of tricking him or "accidentally" getting pregnant. But I think my subconscious would. Which is why I never remembered to take my pills. Which is why I got an IUD put in a few weeks ago. Take that subconscious!

While I'm not resentful at being denied a 3rd (which I'm only partly desirous of), I am sadly resigned. And incredibly thankful for the two sweet, healthy children I have.

Vicky said...

I'm sorry for your sadness. Hope you can find some dried chocolate covered cherries to self medicate. Take care.

Bunny said...

Swistle, I think I know what you mean. I have 2 and will probaly have 3. But I was doing a lot of waffling and in the thoughts of no, I don't want another, I thought: if I'm not the mother of babies, then who am I? After having two this is the first time in 4 1/2 years that I am getting regular sleep, I can clean my house, I am past most of that baby stuff that is so hard. But I don't know what come next. Of course it means another baby because thats what i do, have done. I don't have any other title to fill in the blank other than "mother of babies."
I'm sorry you are sad. Especially for you it is the end of an era so to speak. A redefinition of you and your role since your babies are just getting bigger. I will join you in some big cups of coffee and baked goods.

-R- said...

I am sorry you are so sad. I hope the self-medicating works!

Sarah M. said...

**Hugs**

Lippy said...

Oh, I am so sorry for you. It is so hard to lose those dreams. I totally understand your feelings. I don't understand the drive some of us have to just keep going. If my husband, my age, and finance felt differently I can't imaging how many I would want. Well during the barfing stage of this one I didn't want any more, but once that was done..... I just love the possibilities. Good luck with the self medicating. Go get some butterscotch squares! They always make me feel better.

Mimi said...

You have every right to feel every sad feeling, even if other people have it worse. We are all worse off in some ways and better off in others.
I hope you feel better about the decision soon and are not haunted too long by what could have been.
Buy yourself something truly decadent and special.

Mairzy said...

Well, I feel sad for you, too. No use in trying to talk yourself out of it because it doesn't work anyway. And it's not like you're turning your disappointment into the center of the universe.

Maybe you will always want another baby, but as another commentor said, you're well-set to have scads of grandchildren relatively easily. My mom had five children and a stepchild, and by next year she'll have 19 grandchildren, with the largest family being only four.

Bring A. Torch said...

In lieu of the ancedcote-laden assvice email I was about to send: 1) Earrings = HOTT. 2) I hate that you are hurting and wish I knew what to say to make it stop. 3) Do not let anyone or anything make you feel bad for feeling bad. Hugs.

StephLove said...

We have two and there will be no third. There's only a tiny part of me that wants another (and no part of Partner does) but even that little part makes me sad sometimes so I imagine wanting it more you must be very sad. I'm sorry.

Giselle said...

Bummer, I was all ready for another Swistle-baby next year also...

My mother's mother told her, and then she told me...there will ALWAYS be a last baby and you will ALWAYS grieve that...no matter how many babies you have. So feel sad and entitled to be sad and don't feel bad about it. But no matter how many babies you 'could' have had, there would always have been a last, and you would have had to go through this sometime in the future.

Unless you were really good and timed it like my grandmother, who had only 7 years between her last child and her first grandchild. Now THAT's taking care of the baby ache!

Joanne said...

Oh Swistle, I'm sorry. I have been thinking and thinking about you and I wish it was coming out differently. I am having my third RIGHT after having my second and I am scared to death. When I had my second, my cousin told me that in the night when I was awake forever, I should tell myself that this was my last baby, that I would never do it again. She said whether or not it was true I should do it, just to get through it. And I did and it helped and it made me feel so sweet toward my second. Now I look at her and I think holy crap! I barely got to have YOU before I am going to have another one. I'm sure (big picture) that everything will work out but I am nervous nonetheless. I hadn't thought of trying to LOOK better to get through it but tomorrow I'm going to give it a whirl. Thanks and I hope you start to feel some peace about your decision soon.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

This is hard, so hard. I can't imagine how I would feel if my husband and I weren't in agreement over how many children to have. We both wanted two, we're having two, we're both happy with that. But with such a big decision (do we create another human being or don't we?), there's no real middle ground. (Well, I guess I do know a few couples where one person wanted two and the other wanted none and so they have one. But that doesn't make much sense to me at all.)

I hope you both find some peace about this. I don't know how to do that or how long it will take. But we're all sending hugs your way.

kami said...

This post reminded me of my cousin (she is an OB nurse)she REALLY wanted a third baby, her husband was completely happy with the 2 (girls)they already had. She quit taking the pill without his knowledge, needless to say they now have a boy and her husband is thrilled...and yes he now knows what she did, is it wrong we laugh about this now?
ps...that baby boy is loved a whole bunch and simply adored by his sisters :)

Lindsay said...

I used to be all about the neg/pos thing. But then I suffered my own first major life setback, and changed my thinking. I think a grown up recognizes that life is not fair, therefore you will be disappointed. Rationalizing to the point of ridiculousness is, well, ridiculous.

Hope ya feel better.

aibee said...

I'm so sad for you and with you, I actually feel sick.

:(

(word verification helps. It's "ballaser". Very interesting visual, that)

Tracy said...

Im sorry. That can be a HARD choice and when that choice is taken out of your hands, it makes it that much harder.

On a lighter note, I was looking at your blog from last year in this same time frame. I LOVE kid christmas pictures. Have any for us this year?

the new girl said...

You always do this thing to me, where, when I'm reading these kinds of posts, I'm feeling for you and want to squeeze you and then--

BAM!

I find myself chuckling at your wit. This time, the squeezing comes from the being sad and the future babies that you aren't getting and the chuckle comes from your hearty attempt to be cheery and your very, very, convincing argument about the pitfalls of positive/negative thinking.

Jenny said...

Boo.

I have two right now and we have so many living arrangement and financial issues that having a third baby is laughable, but I know I want one. And if I had a third, I'm sure I would want a fourth. The thought of never seeing another positive pregnancy test makes me super sad. I wonder though, like you, if I'll always feel that way and when is there a good stopping point when you don't FEEL like stopping.

swimmermom said...

Dear Swistle, I don't know if I've ever commented here before, but just wanted to say: the "everyone's past the baby/toddler stage" phase of motherhood has its own charms. Truly, nothing can match the feeling of a sweet squishy new baby. However, it can also feel very sweet and satisfying to have kids who can all wipe themselves, get themselves a snack, play outside for hours with minimal supervision, play/enjoy games *you* actually enjoy too (Candyland, good riddance!), hold interesting conversations with each other, and more.

Give yourself awhile. You'll find your peace with this, someday. I'll look forward to your blogging about it when you do! Love your writing no matter what the topic.

Hotch Potchery said...

The "we're done" decision is a tough one to be sure.

Hairline Fracture said...

I'm really sorry. You shouldn't feel bad about grieving the loss of possibility. It is a real loss for you.

desperate housewife said...

I have a feeling that Jim is the Swistle in our relationship. I asked him the other day, in all seriousness, if he had to choose one or the other would he rather have two or TEN kids, and he said readily that he'd rather have TEN. TEN. So while I have nothing but sympathy to offer for your sadness, I'm betting that he can totally relate and empathize. I imagine no matter how many kids we have (in MY head, five is the magical end number) he will always wonder about the others that could have been. Maybe for some people, this is just how it is, as you said. No matter HOW many kids you have, you will always see other, hypothetical children that could have been created, and feel a little wistful. And, I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry you have to feel sad.

Felicia said...

Thank you for this post, Swistle.

It was very timely for me... as of right now I am feeling #2 kick inside of me, and my husband wants this to be the last one... I would gladly keep having more. The feeling that this could be my last pregnancy/child TERRIFIES me.

I have real eggnog and some ice cream waiting for me tonight. Maybe I should go buy some swanky earrings too! Yours are totally cute.

Thanks again for your honesty... I can totally relate right now and I really needed it.

Shelly Overlook said...

Feel sorry for yourself/sad as long as you want. You are certainly entitled. Nothing wrong with a little self pity. Now, if in 2 weeks you can't get out of bed because of it, that's another story. But for now enjoy a brownie (or three) and indulge yourself.

PS - you are way too cute in that pic, sad or not.

may said...

Swistle, I'm sorry. That really, really sucks. I was so sad to read this post and know (or suspect, anyway) how you must be feeling. I wish I could say or do something to help. This won't cut it, but I do think a package is in order...

Julie said...

It makes me sad that you're sad. I think a Target shopping spree is in order. ;)

squandra said...

I'm so sorry, Swistle. And, as always, completely charmed by your Reasonable Self-Awareness.

P.S. Did I catch a shout-out to the hilarious "At least he was messing up YOUR laundry" incident? Maybe unintentional, but I laughed out loud anyway.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are also wondering whether to add "just one more". Everyday my opinion changes and I think I'd really be so depressed if I made up my mind either way! Having another kid??? Sleepless nights, even less time, more money, less space?? Not ever having your newborn sleep on your chest, seeing that first smile, etc? I'm not sure which makes me sadder! The only way I've found to deal with it is just to put off making a decision and keep using birth control in the meantime. I think in my heart, I know that means we probably won't, but somehow it makes it more manageable for me, emotionally. You have an awesome way of expressing normal sadness without sounding over dramatic or whiny, BTW. You're so entertaining even when you write about being sad!!! I'm sorry this is sad for you though. You're obviously a very caring person and it shows. Hmmm, maybe you could talk Paul into getting a puppy to project your maternal insticts on!!

J from Ireland said...

My heart aches for you. I know that feeling of wanting more babies well. I think I will be 50 and still want more babies. Good luck with making yourself feel better.

Miz S said...

Well, yes, I'm sad that you feel sad. But I am also chortling over your description of Things Could Be Worse thinking. Especially this line: "You shouldn't complain that the dishes have food on them after your husband 'washes' them---some people's husbands are DEAD."

Even when you are sad, you are funny.

Dynamita said...

Oh honey, HUGS to you. This too shall pass.

CassJustCurious said...

I have nothing of value to add here. I will say that when in a similar state of mind nothing soothes me like your brownies. I think of you Saint Swistle while I make them, bake them and inhale them. I know we shouldn't encourage emotional eating....but I also know that I shouldn't so it's kind of like House taking drugs and everyone seems to be chill with that. So I say, Brownies For EVERYONE!

Maggie said...

I so agree. First of all, I don't think Paul would regret another, I'm with you in the "more the merrier" camp. Once the baby arrives, no one could "regret" them. But, there is the expense and the stress and maybe that's what he wants to avoid.
I enjoyed your negative-positive thinking analysis too, because this attitude really ticks me off. While it's good to be thankful for the blessings you do have, there is a place for complaining. My mother in law may not be the worst mother in law on the face of this earth, but boy does she irritate me. It actually makes me feel more unhappy to hear my complaint dismissed as "could be worse". Of course it could be worse! That's not the point!
Anyway, sorry for the rant, hope you start feeling more accepting soon. Dream babies can be a big loss too.

DCMomma said...

Your post brought me to tears. I wish I could reach out and tell you it's ok, and give you a big hug. It will be ok, but it is ok to cry and feel what you are feeling. Take comfort in your beautiful children. Each one of them is a miracle in itself...

I was an infertility patient, and the week we were taking money out of the house for in vitro found out I was pregnant. This was a month after having surgery for endometriosis and me not getting pregnant for several years. (I suffered emotionally a lot--not getting pregnant. Seeing babies, holding babies and then would secretly go home at the end of the day and cry. )

It was a miracle. Everyday I look at my two babies(1 & 3), and think about wanting a third. If we can, we would like another. But, we need a little break of a couple years between the two.

Your posts are spot on!

Pann said...

Swistle, you are so right. Especially about not feeling bad for feeling bad.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I'm sorry, Swistle.

And I agree with you 100% about people who make you feel guilty for feeling bad. Screw them.

Sarah said...

Yeah, that is a bummer. I just went through the same thing this summer. The grieving process continues, though the decision has been made. I kind of think that no matter how many children one has, there is always a sadness when the End of an Era has arrived. In time, it will be less of an Era of Fuzzy Baby Heads and it will be more an end of and Era of Night-Waking or Toilet-Training. Perspective, you know?

Peace will come.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Thank you for writing this. It summarizes what I have been feeling. Even though our decision isn't 100% finalized, it is easy to see which way we are both leaning and we're divided like you and Paul. I haven't even been able to blog about it due to friends who are experiencing something so much worse. Now I don't feel so ridiculous for missing a baby I don't even have.

Kristi said...

I'm late to the (huge) party, but this is incredibly well-timed. I've been trying to have my fourth child FOR.EV.R. Which equals two years. At least we're in agreement there should BE a fourth, but my girl parts are no longer working. I'm sad about it. Not first kid sad, I'm sure, but most definitely sad. Sad sad sad.

I miss her. Or him. I want her. Or him. So very much...

Alice said...

*hugs* i'm so sorry, swistle. i thought your negotiations were very rationally presented, too. but i agree with.. uh.. someone? earlier? time to start fantasizing about grandkids, maybe :-)

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I'm so sorry that you're sad. And I agree, you should just be sad for awhile.

Reading through the comments has my stomach in knots! Ack, we're expecting our first and don't have to face this problem now but one day we will. It seems to be one of life's most challenging dilemmas!

Miss Grace said...

I don't feel like I'll ever be done with wanting more babies, even if I have eleventy seven of them. I'm sorry.

annenahm said...

*hugs*

may said...

This morning while I was in the shower it struck me - what you did in this post was exactly what your tagline says... "Acknowledging my luckiness without giving up claim to the suckiness." Well said. You're like a prophetess.

d e v a n said...

I'm sorry you're sad. That sucks.

skiplovey said...

That is sad, especially since there are divided feelings, one person is going to feel like they've lost out and the other will feel like they are depriving someone even if they are getting their way.

Very well said, but just because you've got five doesn't mean that your hope for another is any different for someone with only one or without any. The feeling is that strong.

hugs.

fern said...

Hey. I'm glad you've donned your gay apparel in an attempt to boost your spirits.

I wanted to encourage you a little, or to try at least. I agreed to the post #4 vasectomy mostly because it was scheduled while I was great with child and I HATE being pregnant.

I did feel extremely sad, off and on. Even in the last 6 months I've felt sad about it, and #4 is 2 now. But I don't feel horribly sad anymore, and I'm even having moments of glee that I don't ever have to do the pregnant/newborn/infant stage again.

Although I would certainly welcome a surprise. (After we have income and health insurance, of course. Big picture.)

So, I hope your sadness passes quickly... just in time for your husband's mind to change.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry I haven't checked in in FOUR DAYS. I would have given you Internet hugs and such. Consider them given now. I am sad for you too, for this feeling - no matter how many children you have - is terrible.

Erin said...

I do my best NOT to let myself do the "I shouldn't be sad because it could be so much worse" thing because that sends me into a feeling bad spiral ("now I feel bad for feeling bad and now I feel bad that I feel bad for feeling bad" etc) the likes of which only very expensive chocolate and hours of bawling over the third season of Grey's Anatomy can cure and really, who has time for that (more than a couple of times a year anyway)?

Also? "You shouldn't feel bad because it could be worse" is so totally the adult equivalent of the "stop worrying about it; you won't even care about it in ten years anyway" that my mother used to dismiss my teenage angst (and I had much angst as a teenager).

maggie said...

I am pretty sure I'm going to find myself in this exact situation in a few years. I am terrified.

I'm sorry Swistle.

Kass said...

Oh dear, is having babies like an addiction? Do I really want one? lol

Katie said...

I found the comment above about the foster parenting very interesting. Would that ever be something you would consider? You would be so good at it!

I'm sorry you're sad. This whole thing just SUCKS. I know so many women struggling with their husbands and with this exact same decision. It must be awful...(hugs)

Michelle said...

Wait. I'm confused now. Did you have the conversation with Paul and he said no? Or are you just getting ahead of yourself and saying no to yourself?

Either way, grief is grief, and I totally get grieving an unconceived child. Makes total sense to me. Here's hoping you resolve happily!

Swistle said...

Squandra- YES!

Katie- I've considered doing foster parenting, because then I'd get to hold babies. But even though I do love the baby stage, what I really want is more CHILDREN, so the foster parenting wouldn't satisfy.

Michelle- Yes, he said no.

ColorCodedC said...

Oh, Swistle. I'm just reading this today and am so sad that you're sad. I don't have any kids, so I can't truly understand what you're going through. But, sometimes the grief over something good NOT happening is just as bad or worse than something bad that did happen. Hang in there...

Anonymous said...

My husband had two children before we met, and now we have one together. I desperately want another child but he is done, finished, kaput. He says that HE has enough kids already, but what about me?

I'm sad, too.

Alishia said...

I very much appreciate that you are willing to admit that you are sad about having only five children. I think that nowadays people would find it odd, but I think there are probably a lot of other people who bend to the social pressure of being okay with only having two and never admit to themselves that they'd like to have more. Admittedly, I am a Catholic and I embrace the idea of being open to new life and also am of the opinion that it is entirely natural for you to want to have more. When you already have five, what's one more? You have babies and you raise them and that is a gift. This woman (http://ebeth.typepad.com/) is older than you and just had her ninth and is still thinking, "Maybe another? Who knows." It's not a bad way to spend one's life and energies. And I know the greatest gift you can give to children is siblings. Either way, I will pray for you and your husband as you grow to accept the finality of this decision. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

I just want a baby so very badly. My prime time fertile years were spent single and taking care of a sick parent and then grieving. Now I am mid 30's and the girls are willing to part w/ their eggs. Everyone around me is preg. Including my baby sister.

Anonymous said...

I meant they will not give up their eggs. B*tches.

MyLifeThereWay said...

I just wrote this on my blog. Well a similar feeling. My husband and I have a 7 month old and I made a little comment about having one more. He is not having it. We are done and I feel so sad about it.