Guest post: The Ambiguity of the Last Child

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I’m a normal mom. At least, I like to think I’m a normal mom. I put my mom jeans on one leg at a time all while stepping over the Legos that I told my kids to pick up ten million times the night before. But when thinking about having another child, I have to wonder if there’s a switch that flips that tells you to stop, or if there’s no switch and I’m destined to turn into Michelle Duggar with 19 kids.

I have four children ranging from 1-19. They’re all great, well behaved kids, but I’m done. I think. Before I got pregnant I thought I wanted at least two more children. Then the pregnancy happened, and I thought, “now I remember why I didn’t want anymore.” My husband and I talked about not having anymore kids, especially once the terrible back pain started. After the baby came, then came that high you get when you smell a newborn. Someone once equated it to a hit of heroin. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, as I’m not an avid illicit drug user, but I can definitely tell you there was a high. That new baby smell went straight through my olfactory into my brain and I swear to you it lit up like a Christmas tree. Right then, I told my husband I wanted to do it again.

Here I was, still healing from my C-section. I wasn’t even completely upright yet. My boobs were huge, and painful. My hair was an absolute mess, and I hadn’t showered in at least 4 days. There I was in all of my stinky glory, holding my two week old dose of mommy crack saying I just couldn’t wait to do it all over again. This is insanity. I think back to this moment and plead temporary insanity. I was not having rational thoughts as I sniffed my newborns head. I just wasn’t. Thankfully, within a couple of months I snapped out of it. I’m assuming this likely had something to do with the many sleepless nights, and having my offspring literally sucking the life out of my body every two hours.

This was it. I knew for sure I was absolutely done. Four children is enough. My house is organized chaos seven days a week, we simply cannot add another child to the mix. My kids moved to the next grade in school, birthdays passed, and the baby started to move through stages quickly. Before I knew it he was moving on to solid foods, sitting up unassisted, and starting to pull up and “cruise” around furniture. Then it happened again. That familiar pull. The conversation of “maybe baby” started happening. Thankfully, most men seem to be immune to this drug like chemical that babies exude that make a good portion of women contract baby rabies. He continued to be my anchor.

We decided the best way to handle this situation was for him to “handle the situation” at the local urologist. I paid the deposit for the consultation, and left the scheduling to him as he is the one that has to answer all the questions and go through with the procedure. A few weeks went by, and nothing. No appointment was scheduled. No questions were answered. The not so baby, baby started walking, signing a few words, and saying a few words. My anchor cracked. My senses have gone all swimmy again. I say, “you know, if we do the baby dance at the beginning of my fertile window we are more likely to have a girl.” His ears perked up, “really?” He said. “It’s what I read.” I replied. He just responded with a “umhum.”

That was it. We are here. Three months later. No vasectomy. No birth control. Just the rhythm method and our ambiguity. Will we have another baby? No. Well, I don’t think so. Probably, definitely not, but I don’t think either of us are truly ready to close the door. The last baby is so final. It’s your last everything for parenthood. Last time seeing your baby for the first time. Last time finding out what you’re having. Last time sorting tiny baby clothes. Last time looking at your newborn trying to figure out who’s nose or eyes they have. It’s the last of everything new parent related when you say done deal on children, and I think until we can say for certain we are comfortable closing the door, we will welcome the ambiguity.

By Jacalyn of