(Please note: this post is not about anything but my personal experience. If you want to have a child at 46, don’t want to have any children or you have 7 of them, that is your privilege and I applaud you. But this post is about me and what I am going through. Please: don’t take it personally.)
I got my period this month.
That’s a good thing for two people NOT trying to have a baby. But for someone who doesn’t want to make that decision final, it isn’t so good. Sort of.
This business of having or not having another child is complex. Because of emotions. If it were only up to, let’s say, the meltdown of the global economic system or how much college education will cost us in 2021, not complex. If it were solely up to how old my husband and I are and that we don’t want to be 60 when our 2nd child graduates from high school, not complex. Or if based on how much parenting in the first year of our child’s life sucked, NOT COMPLEX.
Emotions are screwing it all up. I loved being pregnant and I loved giving birth. LOVED IT! And I didn’t use any pain medication either. (Yes, I am bragging.) I would be very happy to get pregnant and give birth again. Then hand the screaming, crying, never-sleeping infant to someone else for the year while visiting occasionally. Not sure how we would work out breastfeeding (also LOVED) but that’s a problem to be solved later.
We love our child. We love being parents. Won’t having more kids just be more of that love? We sometimes feel guilty for not giving L a brother or sister because, in many cases, siblings create a bond not found elsewhere. But to have a child just so ours will have a sibling doesn’t make much sense to us, given the factors already mentioned. Besides, one of my favorite people in the world is an Only Child and she is AWESOME!
I also have this deep, deep sadness about not having another child, like I got cheated somehow or punished for being so screwed up in my 20’s that I couldn’t manage to get married early enough to have more than one child. I know, I know…then I wouldn’t have married J and wouldn’t have had L, etc., etc., Remember, we are talking emotions here, not logic. The female desire to have children defies logic. It must, because I have been wrestling with this question for 5 years and don’t feel any more resolved about it. Just older.
Bottom line is: I don’t want to have any more children but I’m resisting.
Conflicting thoughts continue.
Meanwhile, my husband and I would like to have sex without a condom. (Please, no advice on other kinds of female birth control. I’ve read all the information and I have rejected them. I’m not going to explain why, though. Just not for me.) Sex without is better, evidenced by the number of surprise babies, right? I mean, have you ever heard a man or woman complain, “We didn’t use a condom and the sex just wasn’t that great.”?
So, if we are in our 40’s and not having any more kids, then it is time to make this lifestyle permanent, something J is willing to do. You know, take one for the team, so to speak. At our 5th anniversary dinner in 2006, I confronted J about having another child and the discussion ended in tears. (Not because we were fighting – we both felt the same way. It was the sadness.) Last weekend, almost to our 8th anniversary, I announced that I have been putting off agreeing to a vasectomy because I don’t want to make that kind of decision. I have been avoiding it and hoping that each time we have sex and don’t use a condom right away, maybe the decision will be made for me. But then I’m left worrying that I am pregnant and how upset J will be about it and how our lives will go back to the baby life that I found so hard, and how much I loved breastfeeding L. I don’t feel relieved, I feel more stressed.
Finally, I told him it was time. “I suspect that making the hard decision will be easier than not making one at all.”
My husband went to the doctor today, got questions answered, got a pamphlet full of helpful information (“A vasectomy will not solve relationship problems.” Who knew?) and received papers to sign. My husband sat down and while we talked about his recovery, etc., he signed the papers.
“You are doing that pretty quickly,” I said.
He didn’t answer.
I then sat down in my office and he followed, laying the papers on the desk for me. “I’ll leave these here for you sign, when you are ready.”
The final decision. Once I sign those papers, we are then talking about dates for the procedure and he’s making the appointment. It is up to me. I just need to sign those papers.
Conflicted feelings ensue.