I always thought I’d like a big family. I thought I’d have glowing, energetic pregnancies like my mom, who taught aerobics even while in labour with my brother. (True story.) I thought my generous hips meant I’d pop babies out with no problems.
Then I fell pregnant, discovered that morning sickness lasted all day, and energy and glowing skin was a myth. I had to be induced and ended up having an emergency C-section. “Two kids,” I told my husband. “I’ll do this twice and no more.”
I was barely home from the hospital after my second daughter was born when people started asking, “So, are you going to try for a boy?”
I glared at them through sleep-deprived eyes and muttered variations of “When hell freezes over.”
Here, then, are my top ten reasons why I don’t want to have another baby:
- I actually like sleep. I average about six hours these days – and that’s six hours of unbroken sleep, compared to the six hours total sleep I was getting this time last year. I’m hoping that I can one day experience the joy of sleeping for eight consecutive hours.
- “Morning” sickness. The first time around, it was just nausea. The second time around, there was vomiting too. See where this is going?
- I only have two hands, one to grab hold of each of my daughters when we’re navigating a parking lot full of crazy drivers who seem to think they’re on a race course.
- The inevitable, “So, are you hoping for a boy this time?” and all variations of that phrase. What is wrong with just having daughters? We’re not still living in the Middle Ages, are we?
- The belly-touching. If there is anything in the world that sparks homicidal impulses in me, it’s the idea that a pregnant woman’s belly is public property. No one walks around touching fat men’s boeps, do they?
- We got rid of all our baby stuff. I cheerfully donated clothes, gave away my breast pump, Bumbo, sling, and sold our cot. “Are you sure?” Hubby asked, and I nodded happily. “I’m done having babies,” I said.
- We’re in the process of toilet training our youngest. I can’t wait to say goodbye to nappies forever.
- Gynae visits. I don’t mind the scans or the peeing on a stick every time, it’s the initial internal scan and the last few internal checks that I don’t like. And let’s not talk about pap smears, okay?
- The C-section. While I found that the elective C-section was a better experience recovery-wise than the emergency C-section, I still remember the pain of that first day post-op and the nurse telling me, “We can’t actually give you anything for another two hours.” Then there’s the drain, and the catheter, and the regular wake-ups to check blood pressure and temperature when what you need most in the world is some sleep.
- The first year. I’m not going to lie to you: The first year is really hard. With both daughters, I was a wreck – sleep-deprivation, emotional yo-yoing, someone continuously attached to my breast, body image issues. It got better, but my husband deserves a medal for surviving me.
Earlier this year, I thought I was pregnant. I was convinced. I even took a couple of pregnancy tests. Of course, as soon as I did, my period started. But for that week or so that I thought maybe, I started to think that having another baby was perhaps not the worst idea in the world.
Since then, I have been so broody that my ovaries twinge every time I see a baby.
Can someone tell me, will my biological clock ever stop ticking?