I've repeatedly read that when you're done having kids, you just know. Is the opposite case as clear? If you're not done, is it obvious? Or is feeling that you are definitely not done just a sign of some other psychological condition?
Oddly, I didn't feel complete after Trajan was born, but I also didn't feel this strong imperative to have more either. I just kind of was. We actually started discussing one more pregnancy before Chiron was born, before I even went into the hospital and whenever I'm near that overpass, it always runs across my mind.
Paul has gone from yes to no during the length of Chiron's life. I've gone from yes to I can't contemplate it to I want to, but I think the best thing to do right now is say that I don't need an answer for now. And we don't. We do not have to decide. If we were going to, I imagine we'd want to wait another two years from now anyway.
I feel comfortable enough that I got a Mirena implanted when the mini-pill caused my body to go horror movie on me. It's good for five years, but they can pull it before.
If Paul stays at his current no, it won't matter. Even if it breaks me or leaves a hole that I can't even explain, I know I wouldn't be comfortable talking him into it. The problem for him with another baby is that means another preschooler. The problem for me is that means another lump-a-baby. Lets see how we do with this one first, I guess.
Also, I know intellectually I can't predict where we will be in two years as to whether we can expand our homes, our hearts and our minds for another. Right now, I know we could, but I have to see what happens in the next couple years.
And now for confessions:
One reason I think of for another is something one of my friend's husbands told me about what it was like going through the death of a sibling by himself and how much he wished there had been another sibling. I know babies and children can die. Three gives you more of a support system for their loss and also the possible loss of parents/grandparents.
I love families with three and four kids. However, maybe they have a competency that led them to having more. I love the dynamics of multiple siblings. My dad and his brothers are now in the 50-60 range and I still love the relationship that is between the three of them.
I know one reason I have for considering another pregnancy is to leave a different taste of pregnancy in my mouth. I'm good with babies, but I have some anger towards pregnant women. It's selfish to want to change this, to experience birth based on something other than avoiding negatives. I know that, but I wonder if it's selfish to want to change my mentality because of how it will impact relationships. The boys have a reasonable chance to have kids someday and I want myself to be as positive and healthy about that as possible (and yes, I'm worrying about a 3-year-old and a six-month-old).
I worry that a third would make us make decisions based on there being three rather than what is best (like public versus private school).
I know that there are no guarantees. There's no guarantee against a miscarriage, a stillbirth, a neonatal death, a death from old age ;-). I know there's no guarantees that I won't find a new problem this time, gestational diabetes or one of those liver conditions or something.
I do know that there are great positives about either a boy or a girl, so we wouldn't have to deal with that anxiety. I do know we have the love. I do know Trajan would do well with another sibling. I don't know whether Chiron's birth will require a c-section (the OB has said it is likely it wouldn't). I do know that both the perinatologist and the OB have said that I would be very unlikely to have problems with preterm labor and that I have a fantastic cervix for how well it stood up.
I know that while I don't need an answer right now and honestly can't even generate one, I still think about it every day.
I know I don't like the term rainbow baby. Maybe it's because I had a loss with a live birth, but I don't think so. I think I don't like the term for the same reason I don't like calling Chiron a miracle, it debases all the effort that went into him (see 160 Medical Professsionals) and I think somehow casts those babies who weren't as lucky in a negative light. If we do have another, it will be for him or her as his or her own self.
2013, we will look at it with you.
Adding one last thought: in case anyone reading this is debating a pregnancy after a loss or a NICU stay, here's a fantastic article: http://handtohold.org/resources/helpful-articles/pregnancy-after-preterm-birth-or-loss/. I just tried to add that using safari on the phone since blockades kept catching, so hopefully the link works. Otherwise, I'll fix it tomorrow. It's written by my OB, whom I think is wonderful, and published by a fantastic group in Austin called Hand to Hold.