April 6, 2009

No More Babies: An Update

Updating the No More Babies situation is a tough call. Every time I talk about it I get a few ugly comments, and who likes that? Nobody! And also, I feel so blicky talking about how "wah, wah, I've only had five helpings," when other people haven't even had a first helping yet.

Still. This is a big thing to me, and it seems to me that "wanting a child" is a big thing to a lot of people, and so it's worth discussing---whether a person has zero children or one child or two children or eight children or whatever. But I plan to be brief about it and just sort of sum it up, not go on and on.

The reason I'm doing such a PREAMBLE is to give you a chance to duck out if you'd rather chew tin foil than hear a woman with five children give an update about wanting another child. I'm not going to talk about anything else in this post, so it's safe to take a pass on the whole thing.

Last chance! Last chance!

So. It was mid-December when Paul and I had the big talk. It took me several weeks to be able to find any positive things to say at all, and to work out a wallowing system. I found I felt better when I shopped and when I ate yummies and when I did fun stuff, and I felt even better when I thought about my niece and about the babies THREE of my friends were/are expecting and all the babies my online friends were/are expecting: it reminded me that I can still enjoy happy anticipation and happy family expansion, even if it's not happening in my exact household or barfing in my exact toilet.

Even so, I spent a solid two months feeling overall awful. Almost as if the sixth child already existed, and I had failed to save him/her, and now he/she was lost. Desperate.

The third month, I felt the first inklings that this might be a temporary feeling. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Henry getting full-swing into the Toddler Nutcase Era just as everyone came down with a nasty snarfing coughing cold accompanied by cough-related barfing.

And now it is almost the end of the fourth month, and I'd say I feel bad about it only 5% of the time, which is really really really good, and better than I'd been hoping for. Furthermore, I probably feel GOOD about it 5% of the time, too---also way better than I'd been hoping for. And perhaps most importantly of all, I'm spending large% of the time NOT THINKING ABOUT IT AT ALL.

Still, if you'd like to expand your family to make me feel better, please do. Very thoughtful of you.

68 comments:

Swiggy said...

I'm glad to hear you might be feeling better about it now. I'm almost there myself, but we've done something permanent about it. Ah well, such is life.

Yay for others having babies by proxy, I'm all for that.

Jewels said...

I'll get right on that (well, maybe not RIGHT on it).

Amanda said...

I'm so very glad to hear this! <3

Robyn said...

Consider it done.

I'm glad to hear you're making peace with your decision.

Smiling Mama said...

So glad to hear this. I'm hoping to get preggers with #2 soon. You can consider that just for you :)

may said...

I'm glad you wrote about this. I've been wondering how you're doing, and it's always fun when you open up to us. Honest, transparent posts are the best - especially when there's funny stuff in it, like the "not barfing in my exact toilet." Well done. : )

Seriously, though, I'm glad that things are looking up for you. Keep us updated.

Hillary said...

So, if one were to get pregnant and give you another baby to get excited about it, would that entitle one to a Swistle care package? Because that might be worth it ... : )

Glad you're feeling better.

Emily WK said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, too.

I'm willing to expand my family of two for you, dearest Swistle, but it's going to be a little time. We've only been married a month and I want to enjoy that just a little more before we start getting crazy about the world.

desperate housewife said...

I'm really glad you're feeling better about it. And hopefully next month I can conceive another little embryo to add to the Swistle network of all things baby related! And if I could somehow contract out the pregnancy/newborn phase to you, I'd do it! I'll retain for myself the actual birth and the post-partum bonding period, but as soon as we arrive home from the hospital, it's back to Swistle care until the baby is approximately six weeks old. Sound good?

Jenny said...

My sister-in-law is pregnant and I spent this past weekend digging out all of my baby stuff for her and it was WAY more painful than I expected. So I asked my husband what he thought about a third baby, and if he would consider one, and WHEN would he consider one, and after considering WHEN would he like one, and so forth. He said he is not even thinking about such things and then my heart broke into a million pieces.

I am so happy for my sister-in-law and looking forward to a new baby so much, but still . . . I wish it were me.

Erin said...

I'm so glad to read this. For your sake as well as selfish reasons. I worry sometimes that I'll never be able to deal with My Last Baby truth.

Mimi said...

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better about it, Swistle. I've wondered how it's been going.

Anonymous said...

Swistle. Thank you. Big hugs from Jenny in MD.

Di said...

As I am currently doing my part to ensure future Swistle-related happiness, I'm wondering the same thing Hillary is...does a pregnancy equal a Swistle care package???

(Kayakbaby 2.0 is coming along in Sept...)

In all honesty, I am glad you're feeling better.

Farrell said...

sorry, no can do; not even for you. But I do have two very good friends due this summer!

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

So glad you're 95% better. :) Sounds like that "retail therapy" has been helping.

Beth A. said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. And if vicarious pregnancy would help, I'm currently 29 weeks.

bluedaisy said...

I think you are in a good place because you are letting your feelings happen, working through them and keeping an open mind. And, in spite of 5 wonderful children, you don't need permission from anyone to take your time & process things a bit. Thank you for sharing this- I think it's a good reminder that having emotions is a big part of what makes us human!

Hotch Potchery said...

I am also glad you are feeling better a little bit at least. I have gone through bouts of sadness of no more babies, but I think they are just about over (sorry to report 10 years post decision).

aibee said...

I'm trying for another baby, Swistle, and I'm doing it for you.

Just sayin'.

;)

Melospiza said...

I love hearing you write about this topic, Swistle--partly because it's so different from my approach. I got the helpings I wanted, and every stage we go through (especially the 0-3 stages) I give a little sigh of relief. Done.

Sometimes I get a little misty-eyed when I read your posts, and start thinking, oh, but another person...and then I remember: the NO stage. The "BLUE CUP! BLUE CUP!" stage. The every hour on the hour nursing stage. No no no no no no THANK you.

Mama Bub said...

It really chaps my hide to think that someone has an opinion about your grief. And by that I mean an opinion other that comeplete understanding. It's all relative. There's always going to be someone with a sadder story, something that's "worse" on a some imaginary scale. Does that mean I don't get to be sad when my dog dies because someone else lost their husband that day?

All that to say, you're entitled to however you're feeling and that I'm so glad you're starting to come out on the other side.

Tara said...

I'm seven weeks pregnant... does that help? :)

Bunny said...

I want a third! There I said it. I want another. And I promise to start blogging again if I get pregnant so that all my internet friends can join in with me.

Interestingly enough, at this same point in time my children are now 3 and (just about) 5 and I'm experiencing the glimmers of "Life With Older Children/Not Babies." I am sleeping at night, I'm taking on some new projects, actually enjoying working on something that is completely non-motherly that could possibly be giving me connections that might lead to my next non-mothering job. I feel like I'm in a weird window where I am seeing how life cold be if we stop. But I don't think I'm done. I want another.

Emblita said...

I'm pregnant too :) And yes... the doctor said- I can't see a penis! So odds are that its a little girl. Not bad huh?
I think with every choice baby/not baby you get some combination of "Yes Yes Yes!" "Oh gods what have I gotten myself into" and "Eh...NO" Having, or not having a baby is a HUGE choice. I applaud you for tackling that issue. Because we're all going to have to go through it at some point.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Were you in my head last night? Because that is why I am up at 4:30 this morning. I am online because every time I close my eyes, I start to count down when a baby would be born if I were to get pregnant right now. And where we could put another child in our 3 bedroom home. And how it would HAVE to be a girl, because a boy just wouldn't work out, and on, and on.

Yeah. My husband is DONE. DUH. UN. And I? And still a teensy bit in denial... :(

Bethtastic said...

I'm in the same camp at Melospiza. Done. And breathing sighs of relief at the completion of each stage of our youngest (he'll be two 7/3). Read: Not a baby-person. In fact I'm a middle school teacher, so I can't wait until my kids are 12 :)!

But I love that we're all different - makes our world all the better! Thanks for loving more babies. Thanks for expressing what so many other women also feel.

Anna said...

I was glad to see this; I had been wondering how you were doing with it. And, we have been waffling about number three, but sadly, I just don't think we can do it again. I'm selfishly pleased to see that it might not be so traumatic in the long term.

Kim said...

I can't wait to give you the news that I'm having a baby for you.
And even though I don't yet, I'm with you - I still want to read and hear about any other pregnancy and baby stories (except certain people on the husband's side of the family, but that's a whole different Oprah); living vicariously through others is still living and I love it all! I did stop myself from taping A Baby Story on TLC for awhile though; I'm not trying to actually go insane.
Thank you for sharing this with such perfect clarity; I'd been wondering how you were doing with it too.

Allstarme79 said...

I'm desperately trying to expand my family! With my first kid, I was pregnant within a week of going off BC. This time, we've been BC free since mid-December. Think fertile thoughts for me!

stephanie said...

At first I thought I would never be able to understand or offer good advice to you because I'm one of those who are struggling (and succeeding now!) with adding one child to their family.

But, I'm realizing that it doesn't matter how many or few you have; I recognize that pain you felt. The desperation. I feel that, too. The want and the need is the same for all of us. And I'm so so so glad you are feeling better.

xoxo

Nowheymama said...

See, I am one of the people who wants you to talk about it MORE. Like, have you and Paul ever discussed any aspect of it again? What BC decision have you made? Etc. I'm so nosy.

Also, Shannon is pregnant!!! WHEE!

nicole said...

We are not planning to add to our family any time soon, if ever (we have five as well). But, just now, as I looked at my baby in her highchair and my two boys playing, I felt like I was missing someone. And I don't mean missing the girls that are at school. I just had this brief feeling that there was a child somewhere else in the house that I needed to check on. Weird. But Husband and I both feel that we are most likely done, although that could change any month.

Tracy H said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better. Did you ever give us an update on the picture you were ordering of the nest with the 5 eggs? What frame did you end up choosing? How did it turn out?

Kristine said...

I'm going to spread out your joy, so you'll have to enjoy those who are pregnant now, and I will be pregnant for you later - like 2 or 3 years down the road.

Swistle said...

Nowheymama- We haven't ever talked about it again. We had one last conversation a few weeks after the big conversation, and after that conversation I thought to myself, "This is doing nothing, nothing at all, and I HAVE to stop weeping on him about this." So I just stopped. I imagine we'll talk about it again someday, but for now I have a No Talking About It policy. Birth control decisions are still up in the air. The Snip would be the most sensible choice, but I can't turn my mind to that yet. Part of my recovery involves the idea that although it's PROBABLY a final decision, there's SOME possibility of it not being final.

Tracy H- I dithered about it so much, I ended up making no decision! I'll probably get inspired one day and go to the site and order it pow pow pow on a whim.

Jiff said...

I just had my first and I hope to have at least a couple more, but I'm wondering how we'll pay daycare. Ugh.

I would love to have 4 kids, but I have a stepson so I'll go with 3. I imagine I may only get 2. I dunno. Crossing my fingers.

-R- said...

I'm glad you're working your way through it. Thanks for sharing all this.

By the way, your Postpartum post really helped me.

Safire said...

My hubby and I just had this talk last night. We have an almost 4 year old and almost 1 year old twins. We are not done! Hubby actually brought it up because the boys will be 1 soon. We started trying for baby #2 when my oldest was one. Of course, that turned into babies 2 &3. We decided in a year we will talk about it again.

I can imagine it would be hard to have this baby urge (because I do! Can't wait for the next one!) and not be able to do something about it.

Check back with me in a year. :)

Leah said...

I'm expecting number 3 on the 29th. I'm huge and waddling and miserable and can't imagine wanting to be pregnant EVER again (although I have a sinus infection & a fever and that might be clouding my judgement.) Still, I can't wait for our little guy to get here. I hate being pregnant, but I LOVE babies.

Shannon said...

Well, you NEVER know. Look at ME!!!

Seriously, I took the pill PERFECTLY the month this new babe was conceived and we weren't frequent partakers of the you know what...

Anyways, I'm glad you are feeling more at peace. It is hard to know that you are done and the babies are all here.

Emily R said...

We're still not sleeping through the night. My husband has learned not to bring it up. I'm pretty sure we'll want more one day. One year. Just not this year.

Gimme a nap.

Joanne said...

I'm glad that you feel better about it and I hope that it helps that I am expanding my family and am SCARED TO DEATH about it. I keep hearing two to three is easier than one to two and I hope hope hope it's true.

Jen said...

so glad to hear your 95%-there update...i was wondering if your no-talking-about-it was maybe extended to the blog.

but no, so yay for us AND you.

also, can i have until september to expand my family? i'd really like ONE summer with no nursing and no pregnancy before we start alllll over again.

samantha jo campen said...

I'd love to help but am out of this party for at least another year and OH GOD that still seems too soon.

Will let you know though when we get crackin'.

Glad you're feeling better though! Really honestly and truly.

Jeninacide said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better about it all! Oh and it turns out that I ran out of birth control and forgot to budge that into the budget this month so I might be helping you out there! Hopefully not until LATER, though. :o) XO

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Glad you are feeling better.

Sheena said...

Baby number three is due on July 2. Exactly 2 years after baby number two. Our oldest is 4. I'm sure we won't be done with three kids but we'll probably be done with four. I was hoping for twins this time because then I could have four kids but only three pregnancies. Oh well.

Lippy said...

Good to hear you are feeling better (at least at times). I know this third baby is the last so I am trying to enjoy every second. Which is hard because pregnancy sucks a bit at times. Everytime I complain I think "but it is the last time you MUST enjoy it" Kind of a lot of pressure. Anyway, I keep trying to explain to my husband that it is an end to an era of your life. Most passages are exciting, graduation, new job, marriage, starting a family. This is the first passage that feels like the ending of something, new motherhood. It makes me see that each stage is the end of something and will culminate in my children leaving home. Not for another 12 years.....but still it's out there waiting. Anyhoo, I do look forward to being able to eat without heartburn. And not peeing every 3 minutes, on purpose or on accident.

Sam said...

I have Egg for you to NOM on plus the possibility of another some day. Maybe. I really hated my last pregnancy.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Stick with me, Swistle... I haven't even gotten to "ENGAGED! MARRIED! HOUSE BUYING!", let alone "BABY!" yet...

I think I will have exciting blogging to come in the next few years, as I am at least finally heading onto "FINISHED SCHOOL! CAREER!"... and my boyfriend is soon to do the same.

Sometimes I pressure him for the ring... LOL.

I will offer you all the vicarious living through me you can stand.

And you can be my future babies' cyber-auntie!

waitingforcider said...

I love this topic and always read your posts about it and the comments with such interest. At 29 and married for 2 yrs, I'm still not feeling the 'urge.' I wonder if I ever will, and I do hope so. Especially after reading so many lovely blogs with tales of the daily explorations of moms and their impossibly adorable kids... I just am not THERE right now. Sometimes I'm just as frustrated with my 'lack of wanting' than I'm sure some are with the frustration and confusion of wanting more...

the mama bird diaries said...

I've wanted a third baby for a long time.

Christy said...

We had our third last summer, and at the time, I thought for sure we were done. It was an uncomfortable sicky pregnancy compared to my first two, and I told my husband I did not want to go through that again. But now...10 months later...four seems like a very nice number. Sigh. I think we probably are done, and I can see the good in that, too. But, it is a grieving process. The last of the firsts (smiles, teeth, crawling...).

Beth said...

My due date is next Monday ("due month" as your wise obstetrician calls it!). I'm not sure how knowing that a very devoted reader (who thinks your blogs are 2 of the best in the whole inter-web-o-sphere) is expanding her family will make you feel significantly better, but I hope it does!

Glad that things are looking up. Thanks so much for the update.

Hugs.

Joanna said...

I'm new to your blog (visiting from Bossy) and just wanted to say THANK YOU! I have 3 boys and due to complications with having large babies, I cannot have any more children. I have been grieving much like you said "like I already had number 4 and somehow couldn't save him". When I mention this to some friends, they say "Oh, you have 3 and you should be greatful for that." I am greatful! I just would like the option of more! Anyway...I too am coming to terms with the end of my baby days and I am glad that you are as well.

Thanks for the post and I'll enjoy poking around your site today!

skiplovey said...

Thanks for being so honest about this, it's nice to hear perspective from a larger family. You'd think the feeling would be strong if there were no kids or just one or just two but clearly it's not just a NUMBER but the desire to add another PERSON to the family.
About everyone I know right now is pregnant and it does create quite an optimist atmosphere, like impending cuteness is just around the corner.

d e v a n said...

Awesome! Also, I see this was posted 2 days ago, which means that Google Reader sucks.

Serial Mommy said...

i found you through bossy...however i just wanted to say that i TOTALLY understand what you are saying...we tried for 2 years for "just one more"...with the current pregnancy, we decided this was it fail or success, this was IT (we had 3 miscarriages in the 2 years)...well, we succeeded, with twins (there are NONE in either family, so it took us by serious surprise)...and hubby is in the process of getting the vasectomy (making initial appointments and all that)...it helps to remind that this is a good end to it all because we are getting 2 at once AND my 3 year old is "Destructo Boy!" (yes, with the !) and having boy/girl twins means we get to have "the return of Destructo Boy!" in our near future (oh goody) and we don't want to risk a threepeat! accepting the end of the child rearing means facing the fact that the kids (and you *gasp*) are and WILL continue to get older...to me, it leaves me wondering what am i going to do with myself...

parkingathome said...

Expand family for vicarious living for swistle, check!

Chantal said...

I have been having the same internal conflict you had been having for some time now. I read over your other post (no) and I find it comforting to know that others struggle with this the same way I do. I always hear people talk about "Knowing" when they are done, and I just don't get it. I don't feel done, if I do have another, will I feel done then? I am 37 and not pregnant yet, when will I be to old. Age is such a subjective thing... AHHHHHHH Sorry for dumping on you.

Jen said...

I just gave birth to our last baby, and as much as I thought I would be SO HAPPY to not be pregnant any more (I am), I am also SAD that this is my last baby. I didn't expect the sad feelings at all. But it's good to hear what you have to say about your situation, and I hope I can get through this like you have, one step at a time. Thanks for sharing your stories.

Amber said...

How awesome that you are only thinking about this about 5% of the time...good to hear that you are moving forward emotionally. I'm probably in the category of women you keep apologizing to (multiple losses, 5+ years of trying, and just delivered first babies a few weeks ago) and I don't think you need to feel like you shouldn't feel this way just because you've already had five helpings. I believe that despite any differences in the number of children a woman has, the feeling of missing one is just as real and valid for everyone. And I now have an appreciation for what you describe...although I'm horribly sleep deprived with tiny twins, I'm already thinking about the timing of my next pregnancy. Thank you for being open about this topic!

Penny said...

Hmm. You know, a lot of women diagnosed with secondary infertility (as I was, sorta) go through the same slew of emotions. The situation is the same, really: we want more children and for one reason or anther can't have them. I can understand. It was hard to come to closure about how many children will forever be in my household. It was a definite cyclic feeling. My story ends differently than yours might, but I can still remember all those really big emotions churning about.

Mairzy said...

Rapidly and actively expanding my family as we speak! Oof.

I'm so glad the issue has settled down for you.

willikat said...

I don' thave kids so feel free to ignore this, but:
You shouldn't feel blicky about talking about an aspect of your own life you find . . . wrought with feeeelings. We all have them. It doesn't make you ungrateful for your good life. That said, I'm glad that you're not feeling awful anymore, and, uh, I have no kids, like I said, but I do have a REALLY CUTE cockapoo?

Lora said...

I don't even want anymore kids and I'm obsessed with having more kids. Does that make sense?

I think that it's just part of being a mom. You start to mourn the fact that there will never be a baby in your belly, even though having a baby in your belly can totally suck. And then the thought that there will never be anymore tiny clothes in your wash gets to you. And then the fact that there will be no more first steps. First "love you mama"'s. First first first.

It's hard to switch from baby firsts to big kid firsts. Firsts are funny like that. First school dances and first kisses and first drives and first stuff like that are exciting, but not so cute.

I'm rambling.

All I did was come here to say I get it.

Lora said...

um, wait. there must be something wrong with my Reader, because this just popped up. Weird. I thought it looked familiar, but then I thought that maybe you were just having a really really hard time with this issue.

Anyway.

Love.

Understanding.

Peace.