November 29, 2012 by themommahen
I don’t know how people decide to quit having babies. Yes, I have friends and know people who have examples ready and waiting to offer as exhibits as why they don’t want any more. And some days I totally feel like I’m in over my head. But that’s beside the point.
We have three. They’re wonderful. Beautiful. Miraculous. For five years after we were married, we wondered why the stork wasn’t visiting us. Then the people in white coats told us we weren’t on the stork’s mailing list. IVF or adoption were our best options. So we went down those roads. And in between “Not for Us Ave.” and “Halfway Home Blvd.” we found out we were pregnant. We were elated. Over the moon. Ecstatic. Surprised. Dumbfounded.
And then, four days after my positive pregnancy test, I miscarried. We were deflated. Depressed. Destroyed. Dumbfounded. We didn’t know if we could ever replicate it. Was it a fluke? Was it a tease? Was it a cruel joke? We didn’t know.
So we hunkered down, just the two of us (with great support from our families) and we mourned and grieved. And drank lots of wine and beer. And planned trips to Memphis and Vegas. And lo and behold, in Vegas after not feeling quite right for a few days and two negative pregnancy tests, I took a third test. And it was positive. And that was the beginning of H#1. My pregnancy was uncomplicated and uneventful. The delivery, however, was not. But it had a wonderfully happy ending.
And then, more miracles. H#2 came after another uncomplicated and uneventful pregnancy, except for a few early ultrasounds spurred by some strange, yet benign symptoms. His delivery was even more uncomplicated and uneventful, culminating in me proclaiming seconds after he was born that I could have 15 more.
And when my friends asked me if we were done, now that we had one of each, I couldn’t say we were. And we weren’t. H#3 came along after yet another uneventful and uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, despite his largeness.
And when my friends asked me if we were done, I couldn’t say I was. And then we found out we were expecting #4. And we were happy. Happier than we realized we would be, considering our living situation and the fact that we were still, for the forseeable future, without my paycheck. And then I miscarried. And then I had the D&C. And then I had the ER trip. And then things were put into perspective. And then we started thinking about what could be, what could have been and what still might be.
And we’re not sure what we want. What’s right. What makes sense.
I’m going to be 40 in a few months. I’m working out to lose baby weight gained while carrying a baby I never birthed. My hormones are still working to get it together. Risks, both for an unborn child and for me, don’t go down in these years. The Husband is a few years older than me. We own a home – in Chicago. We live with my parents – in North Carolina. We have three beautiful miracles who take our breath away on a daily basis. Are we done? Being “done” is hard to swallow. So permanent. So finite. A new chapter.
What’s the right decision? The right thing?
Are we done?
Are we done?
Are you done? How did you decide yes or how do you know you’re not?