Thoughts on Number Three, Part I: the "cons"

Yes, it’s true. To my immense surprise I have found myself obsessing lately over the idea of having another child. My rational mind says that it’s just my biological clock sensing that it’s almost time to retire the womb and I should pop one more out while I still can. This same rational prt of my mind also interjects this pensive musing with shouts of “Are you INSANE??!!” every now and then.

I’ve always imagined my children as one girl and one boy, with the girl the oldest. That is exactly what I got, though I suspect the image in my head was simply a reflection of the family I grew up in (being exactly what I have now) rather than some psychic premonition. And when DS was born I felt in my heart that I was done. Nobody is more surprised than I am at the thoughts running through my head these days..

The reasons for not having any more children are almost endless. DS was not an easy baby to care for simply because he grew so heavy so fast that wearing him became an issue (although to be fair, I didn’t discover the Ergo until he was 10 months old and it would have helped to have one earlier). Toddlerhood has been exhausting, as I’ve written here many times before. Last summer having to chase him everywhere sucked royally. Now with this scratching the toddlers thing I’m still having to shadow him and it is wearing me out.

And yet I’m finally tasting freedom. DD can put herself to sleep (a recent accomplishment, although I do lay with her sometimes) and can get herself up and into our bed if she so desires. DS sleeps through the night fairly often, and when he doesn’t it’s just one nightnursing. He is day-weaned now. We have babysitters: we can go out to, oh, rock concerts for example! Or other dates. We’re just one potty-learning away from leaving the kids on an overnight with Grandma (it would be the first ever). I actually have a chance of going skiing this winter for the first time in six seasons. I have a libido again. We can go camping. I am *this close* to being strollerless. And…I’m going to be 40 in six months!

For the last few days I’ve been going about my day with the kids imagining that I have a baby in tow. Getting out of the house would take even longer than it already does, raising the distinct possibility that, should I have another child I might never leave home again. Various scenarios have come up during our outings in which I thought “what the hell would I do right now if I had a baby with me?”. Everything from me having to go to the bathroom (and dragging two kids with me) to helping DS eat, getting rocks out of DD’s shoes (involving lots of bending over), to lying in bed (at least right now I can have one on each side – who gets shut out if number three comes along?). DD has gotten the short end of the stick so many times because of her brother: like when we are at the Aquarium and every time DD stops to look at something her brother takes off and we have to run after him. Or me not being able to play with her or help her at the playground because I’m shadowing DS to ensure he doesn’t commit random acts of violence on innocent young babies. We’re finally getting to the point where that might be over for her and I want to start it all over again?

I have two healthy children. Dare I tempt fate again? I am getting older and risks of congenital defects increase substantially at my age. Having gone through a Down Syndrome scare with DS I am wary of the issue. I wonder what would happen should I give birth to a sick child, who would suck all my attention away from my other two. I would feel as though I gambled with my family’s stability and future well-being, and lost. And my pregnancy with DS, which was almost 3 years ago, was not an easy one, especially in my last trimester. I was practically crippled by the end of it and could not walk more than a few blocks. My mother is not getting any younger, and already her ability to care for the kids is limited by DS. It won’t be long before he doesn’t need to be manhandled and his 40+ lb size won’t be a hindrance to her, but adding another one (and recognizing that this third child could be just as huge) would set that all back (mind you, she could take the two of them off my hands and that would be nice).

I wear lipstick now, as I don’t need to worry that it’s going to rub off on baby’s head (which I can’t stop kissing) and earrings because I don’t need to worry about them being yanked out by a baby, and I wear my engagement ring because I don’t need to worry about scratching my baby with it, and I wear nice clothes sometimes because nobody is going to barf on them (although I do occasionally get snotty tear stains on my shoulders). And I wear nice bras that don’t have fasteners on each cup, and I don’t need to wear clothing that has built-in boob access.

I’ve sold or (mostly) given away all outgrown baby clothes, carseats, slings, Ergo, stroller maternity clothes…it would suck to have to go buy them all again when I had them and gave them away!

Finally, there’s the thought that, being the travelling types we are (and we’re just getting to the point where we’re contemplating Europe), having another baby is like having another air fare. Once the youngest hits 2 we’d be buying five plane tickets, rather than four. Not cheap. Oh, and speaking of travelling, this acreage thing involves a rather long car trip from city to country each week. An hour or more can be torturous for a little one who doesn’t like carseats. I recall both my kids going through that phase and don’t relish the idea of adding a long commute to that (I have visions of me instructing DD to put a pacifier in the baby’s mouth as we’re driving down the Trans-Canada).

We’re finally ready to move into the next stage of our lives, having children instead of babies. And it is already so much fun! I just don’t know if I can handle going back to square one and putting this off for another 3 years. So why on earth would I even comtemplate having another baby? Well, that’s the topic of the next post…

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