I often get asked that seemingly innocent question, “Are you having more kids or are you stopping with two?” There are so many things that I want to say in response to this question, but also never want to go into all those details with people. So, I usually just say that yes, we will probably stop with two.
What I want to say is that nothing about having kids has worked out according to my plan or what I wanted.
I didn’t plan to have PCOS and irregular cycles that made it hard to get pregnant. I wasn’t planning on it taking two years to conceive my first child and I wasn’t planning on it taking even longer for the second one. I wasn’t planning on having a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage. And, I definitely wasn’t planning on losing the second child. And then getting pregnant a third time, just to still only end up with two living children (after this baby is born). I have found that life rarely works out exactly the way that you would like for it to.
I wanted my children to be about 2 years apart because that just seemed the natural way to do things. And, that was when I was about ready to try again. My brother and I had a two year age gap, so that was what I was used to. Now, because of everything that happened, I will have children that are 5 years apart. And I dislike when people question the age gap. I want to say, well I had a different plan and life didn’t work out that way.
I have tried to reframe and look at it positively, though. My son will start kindergarten in the fall and this baby is due in June, so I should only have to pay double daycare for maybe a month or so. Also, my son is old enough that he has shown interest in helping me out when the baby comes, so that will be something good as well. I just worried that the gap would end up being too big and they wouldn’t want to play together. But now, I still think that a 5 year gap isn’t that bad.
So, when people ask if we plan to have any more or stop, I just smile and nod.
When people ask if I have other children, I just say I have a 4 year old son, because I don’t want to get into the details about it with every single person that asks. I tell the people I am close to or the ones that I feel would be understanding of the situation. But, is it something you really want to rehash every time you get asked a question about it? At the same time, it feels like you are cheating your angel child by not mentioning them. I remind myself that all that matters is that I know we remember her and those who are close to us remember her. Just because I don’t mention her in every conversation about my children doesn’t mean we don’t love her, and it doesn’t mean we have forgotten her. It just means that it is easier to not go into it every single time. That would also end up being very emotionally draining.
I think about it sometimes though, whether or not I would want more kids after this.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to have just one more. But that would mean going through the struggle of irregular cycles and trouble getting pregnant. And going through yet another stressful pregnancy fearing the worst. I don’t think that either of us could do that again.
I don’t like that life and my irregular hormones and crappy experiences have seemingly made a decision for me. I don’t consider myself old, but had wanted to have all my children by the time I was 30. Plenty of people have kids after 30, but when you start trying at age 25/26, you don’t think it will be that hard to have them done by that time. I would have to track my cycles again, watch what I eat, not exercise too much, take my supplements, etc. For me, getting pregnant is a lot of effort. For the past 6 years (since before my son was born), I have either been trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding. So part of me is just ready to be done with it all and have my body back. I truly love being pregnant, but it’s also time to take care of me once our daughter is safely here.
I know that people don’t mean anything by asking these questions.
It’s just something people ask like, “How are you today?” We ask the question, but aren’t always really wanting to know the answer. It can be just another pleasantry. After everything I have gone through, I never make assumptions about people and the number of children they have or whether they have children or not. Sometimes, those that don’t have any children have tried and just don’t talk about it. Or, those that do have children have more that they have lost that they don’t talk about. You just never know with people, so I try to be understanding of that.