That was my answer. And it surprised me.
The question had been, So, do you want another?
A coworker asked me the question, as part of a casual conversation – as casual as it could possibly be, since we were having it in the women’s washroom – and the rapidity of my response surprised me even more than my answer.
Not at all. I do not want another baby.
We had been discussing the fact that our youngest, our babies, were really, no longer babies. Hers is three, mine is now two. Not babies.
And for the first time in a very long time, I do not feel the need to mother a baby. To be pregnant. To give birth again, even though my second birth was in no way the birth I had been hoping for, and for a long time I thought I deserved a do-over.
But I no longer want it. This is big, people, as big as my belly ten days overdue; as big as my baby lust has been for over five years. I had no idea that the baby lust had deflated so significantly, until my coworker asked me a casual question in the bathroom at work and I answered in less time than it takes for Sarah Palin to say something stupid at a press conference.
Not at all.
Crazy talk for me. It must be the lack of sleep deprivation talking. Or maybe it’s the bras I can finally fit into again now that, for the first time in 66 months I am I am not pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Maybe it’s the jeans I can do up, now that my body is growing accustomed to not needing to hoard calories since – did I mention? I am not pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the first time in 66 months.
The truth is, life is getting easier. My kids sleep. Finally. Yes, sometimes they still sleep in my bed, but I can handle that. And now that it’s not both of them, every. Single. Night. I actually enjoy it more. The girls play together, mostly peacefully, all the time. It’s adorable, it’s what I had hoped for, and it frees me up to get to the glamourous stuff, like reading a magazine or folding laundry.
We went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, and it was awesome, but I can’t fathom how we would have managed it with three small children. I mean, sure, stronger women than I will do it successfully, but the logistics were mind-blowing with only two small kids. Add a broken stroller (seriously) on the way there and a broken carseat (SERIOUSLY) on the way home, and I’m pretty sure I would have had a full-on meltdown if I had also had to stop in the middle of the late-night chaos of the airport to breastfeed a baby.
There’s almost no question of us having another baby, anyway. And as much as the reality that, at barely 35, my childbearing years are behind me, is sometimes a sad pill to swallow, we actually made the practical decision not to have any more kids a year and a half ago, when Chris valiantly went through The Big Snip.
But I still had a baby at that point. I still had huge boobs and could barely fathom being out of baby-hood, let alone the emotional reality of never being in it again. Today, like my coworker reminded me, I’m all out of baby.
And like I said to her, much, very much, to my own surprise, I am a-ok with that.