When most people start planning for a family (whether that’s as a little girl, like me – or just as you’re preparing to start cooking a little bun) we all have a number in our heads of the amount of children we would like to have. Mine was always two. I’m from a family of two kids, and the idea of just one sibling sounded manageable. Two kids fit well in a car. Most places sell ‘family passes’ which is for two adults and two kids. A neat family of four seemed practical. But my plan for just two kids changed. And at this point, I still don’t know how many kids I want!
When my first child was born, literally minutes after being placed in my arms, my partner asked me ‘So when is the next one?’. The AUDACITY! I had just ran a three day labour marathon (read my birth story here) and surely there was no way I was in any condition to begin considering a second child. But, I dozily replied, ‘In two years’. Why? Because I knew that was still what I wanted. It was all pre-planned in my head so an automatic response ensued. Because at that stage, I still had the magic number of ‘two kids’ in my mind. Some Mum’s will experience birth and decide they never want to do that again, so one child it is. Other Mum’s will say that, slowly forget about the birth experience over time and justify ‘It wasn’t THAT bad’, and then do it all again. Of course, some Mum’s are not given a choice and sadly struggle to conceive again.
I still had the magic number of two kids in my mind UNTIL I suffered my miscarriage. It was a surprise pregnancy that ended up being taken away from me. We conceived our next child 3 months later. Having a third pregnancy with what would be my second born child meant I was robbed of the pure joy many Mum’s experience when they discover they’re pregnant. We were too scared to feel joy, in case it was taken from us once again. We were still healing from a loss, which made this new life difficult to celebrate. This new pregnancy was planned, but I didn’t feel the eager anticipation and pure excitement of waiting for the positive result to show on the pregnancy test, like I did with my first. While both babies were planned and desperately wanted, the experience was entirely different. Once we hit the 12 weeks mark, we did celebrate as relief washed over us.
All I remember thinking was ‘I’m not ready for this to be the last pregnancy…or birth…or baby!’ I just knew this wasn’t it for me. But I couldn’t think of a number any more to decide when it would be it. We would definitely go for a third, but would that be all? I saw women I knew having their second or third babies and accompanying the announcements with statements like ‘Our family is complete now’ or ‘Our hearts are full.’ They were statements of completion. To me, the statements made me think I would just KNOW when I was done, just like these ladies did. I’m sure there are other things I should do like assess our financial situation and other practical idea, but I’m all about the feelings. So now, I will just wait for the ‘I’m done’ feeling. I hope it comes! Because I do not want to sit myself down and have a stern chat. JESSIE! NO MORE BABIES!
For now, we are looking forward to a third. And we’re so excited! I’m clucky! It feels beautiful to have that anticipation back again, for the day we decide to be officially outnumbered (yep, we’re crazy, I know!)! I’ve got Pinterest boards galore for how my kids will share a bedroom or how to style a gender neutral room. I even called my OBGYN and asked about any upcoming holidays in the next 12 or so months, because he HAS to be my doctor again and I will plan my child around his holidays to make that possible! The gender of the next one will remain a surprise and I have an extremely different plan of how I want my birth to go, compared to the other two. I’m NOT pregnant though! But I’m just thrilled I get to do the fantasy world planning this time around. My excitement will still be quite subdued until we reach the 12 week mark, but I will remain hopeful. I know I will be absolutely shit-scared, because once you’ve experienced loss, it’s like a stain on your heart you can never remove but the next experience will be more positive.
We always joke that we have an 8 seater car, so we can definitely have at least 5 kids. But part of me is slightly concerned I’ll end up seeing that number through (sorry vagina!)