On my facebook feed yesterday, two different people announced they were having a baby. Cute baby announcements, with the older siblings beaming. And I wasn’t jealous.
That’s my normal response to baby announcements. Jealousy. Maybe not jealousy – maybe wistful is a better description. A little bit oh-I-wish-I-was-pregnant-too going on. But yesterday – nothing.
I felt… just, happy for them. I remembered announcing my own pregnancies, and I thought about how happy the kids were when we told them that we were having Julianna. I remembered when my mother accidentally let it slip to Jessie that I was having another baby, and how excited she got. But I didn’t feel like I wanted to do it again.
I felt the way you do when someone shares an experience that you’ve had before and loved. Happy that they get to experience too, happy that they reminding you of how awesome it was, and okay with not experiencing it again. I felt content. Happy with my three and not willing to do it again.
Typing that was hard. Not willing to do it again? If I’d said that after Sam, I would have missed Julie. Can you imagine? What am I giving up by not getting pregnant again? By choosing, specifically, to not get pregnant again? I’ve been very happy with my whole “maybe-some-day-but-definitely-not-now” answer for the “are you done yet?” question. And probably that’s what we’re going to stick with. But I’m used to a twinge of jealousy when it comes to pregnancy announcements, and yesterday was the first time that it didn’t happen.
I don’t know that I’m ever going to want to make a final decision on this. I’m accepting that I may not ever be one of those women who can say “nope, never again” when the subject of pregnancy comes up. But I’m moving ever closer to having the decision taken away from me. I turned forty one earlier this week. If I dawdle now, if I keep pushing it off, the decision will be made for me. In September, all of my kids will be in school, and everything will be changing.
I loved being pregnant – which is not to say that I didn’t also sort of hate it. Julie’s pregnancy was really awful, and I was on bedrest and flirting with preeclampsia by the time my midwife finally scheduled an induction. But I still remember the moment each of my kids was born, and those first few days and weeks – when you’re exhausted and not sure you’re going to survive another night if you don’t get to sleep at least a little… and then as they get bigger and more fun – it’s been such a huge part of my life for these past twelve years – to not be starting over again… to be deliberate about not wanting to start over again – it’s a strange place for me, and I’m definitely not comfortable about it. But I think it’s where I am now.