Labor Day was gone and past a week ago. Summer is definitely over.
I did hardly anything thing summer – but man. There was a lot of internal processing going on. For real. So while the summer kind of sucked…it also kind of rocked. Like it got my head screwed on in the right direction. I feel good now. But only because I felt lost previously.
Anyways. It’s not even worth me trying to sort out my thoughts on this one right now. I’m just going with it. Going with life as I feel myself entering into the stage of life that I will leave the world having given. Hah, maybe it’s just a sort of precursor to the whole upcoming midlife crisis thing. When is “midlife” anyways?
I’m so confused by age right now. I feel neither old nor young, but then again, I feel a bit of both. I’m young enough to still worry about the possibility of pregnancy – but old enough to feel like my body is tired of having kids. Young enough to feel like my greatest success is still ahead of me – old enough to know that my physical prime is past. I’m not quite “midlife” yet, I don’t think? Though that definition can vary. Maybe I am?
Or maybe I just think too much.
Did you know that I started getting gray hairs when I was in college?? I’ve been dying my hair for a good decade and a half now, so you might not know it, but if I let my hair go, I’d have a pretty good chunk of gray now. And I got a few years before 40 still! I used to tell people I must be going prematurely gray because I’m so wise beyond my years. Whatever the reason for my early gray, this is what I like to believe. Whenever I act or feeler older than I am, it’s really because I’m wiser than most people my age.
At least this is what I tell myself.
It makes me feel better so I keep telling it to myself.
Two years ago I went to the L.A. Country Fair with my two kids. I snapped a picture of them in one of those face cutout picture boards. Immediately after taking it I noticed that there were 3 holes in the picture board, and that my kids faces had only filled up two of them.
At that time in my life I’d been going back and forth about whether or not to have a 3rd child. We’d hadn’t been trying to conceive, but we hadn’t been preventing it either. Hah. I guess I figured that was the bet way to decide when you can’t decide right? To just leave it up to fate?
Anyway. That picture was a poignant moment for me. I had 2 kids. Not 3. There might be a hole…but maybe that hole was meant to be. These 2 kids were my family. I loved them. I was happy. I was complete. I decided right then and there, in that barn at the fair, that come my next cycle – we’d start preventing and talk about a ore permanent closure to family building.
It’s weird, in looking back, how certain I felt at that moment that I was ready to be done having kids. Even though I knew I was about a week out from my next period, so sure, I suppose there was a slight chance I could be pregnant – but it was unlikely.
And then 4 days later I decided to take a test, just to be certain that I wasn’t.
And I was.
That glaring hole in that picture I’d taken just a few day previously? A new life was coming to fill it.
My 3rd pregnancy was psychologically challenging. I wondered the entire time if I was supposed to be doing this. Was I supposed to be having a third kid? Was I ruining my life? Was I giving up too much of myself? Why was I doing this all over again?? Would I ever get to pursue my own life and passions again? Was I capable of making this sacrifice yet again for another child?
But yet, now that my baby is here and not really much of a baby anymore – it all seemed so worth it. He’s wonderful. It’s feels like he’s supposed to be here. Supposed to contribute to the world. All that happened is just as it should be.
Last year when we went to the L.A. County Fair I got to take a picture of my kids in the same face cutout – this time with all three holes filled. And it felt right. These were my kids. All 3 of them. This was my family.
We’re going to the County Fair again tomorrow.
And I’m finding myself in a similar mental boat as I was 2 years ago.
Am I done having kids? I think so. I’m pretty sure so. I wrote a blog post about it. Every month, even if I know I’ve been careful or how highly unlikely it is that it could’ve happened, I find myself stressing. What if I’m pregnant? What if? I know I’m getting older. I know the precautions we take. I know how to read my cycles. I am smart. I know that the chance of an “accidental” pregnancy is very, very low for us. But I still stress.
Because what if?
I’ve been telling people I’m 95-98.5% sure we’re done having kids. We’ve started talking about permanent decisions. The thought of being pregnant again terrifies me. Truly. I’d worry for my mental sanity if it happened. The thought of leaky boobs, feeling ugly and flabby, of being chained to the whims of a infant, and of going through yet another toddler stage give me serious anxiety.
I’m also having a hard time getting to the 100% done phase.
I grew up with 5 sisters. It’s hard for me to know that my own daughter will never have one. Of course there’s no guarantees that even if I were to have another that it’d be a girl, so this line of thought it pointless.
And what if something were wrong? What if my ‘advanced maternal age’ caught up with me? What if another child would have issues that would deplete all of me that’s left? This 3rd kid almost drowned me – a 4th most certainly world. Right?
Why can’t I 100% close myself off to just one more? Why am I having a hard time with this? Is this how it is for everyone else? Where you never really, really know when you’re done? You just make a choice and stick with it? Afterall, that’s what I decided and wrote about here.
Guys, I can’t be pregnant again. I can’t imagine going through all that again. I’ve done it 3 times. I’ve done my part. I really, really, really don’t want to do it again.
After #3 was born, I joked with KP and anyone else who’d asked, that the only way I’d consider having any more kids is if some very specific things happened:
1) We moved to a bigger house.
2) We were able to hire a mother’s helper.
3) Finances become more significant, i.e. specifically that we sold a script or something similar.
4) It was a girl.
A long time ago, before we ever had kids, I told KP that I would be open to having kids up until one of either:
1) we “maxed out” at 4 kids, or
2) I would no longer be able to give birth before a certain age cutoff.
I have 4 more months to get pregnant before that age cutoff.
I think that’s what’s causing all these thoughts in my head.
And also that we’re going to the L.A. County Fair again tomorrow. If you follow me on Instagram, watch my feed. If I post another face cutout picture with a glaring hole in it – we might both be forewarned.