Final Steps

My son is 12 weeks old today. It’s not lost on me, how fast he’s growing up, how quickly this time is flying by. I want to linger at every milestone, I want to savor every moment of his baby-ness, because I know I’ll never get this again.

I think about it a lot, the fact that Monito is my last child. Most of the time I’m okay with it, I feel a lot of peace about the fact that we won’t be having more children. The fact of the matter is that we probably wouldn’t have had another child anyway, even if our secondary infertility didn’t made it impossible. I wanted a third child but Mi.Vida never did and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to win that argument. I have written before that I’m actually thankful for the fact that our secondary infertility helped us avoid a situation that might have been fraught with anger and resentment, and I still feel that way. Mostly I’m just so thankful that we were able to have a second child at all, I’m able to stay in that place and not feel too sad about the fact that we’re done building our family.

And with two kids kicking our asses so thoroughly, the pragmatic part of me doesn’t even want to consider what having a third child would entail.

All that is to say that most of the time I feel really at peace with the fact that our family building journey has ended. I’m incredibly thankful that we ended up with two children; I was so far down the road to accepting we’d probably not have a second child that a part of me still can’t really believe we have a son at all.

Of course, my son is only three months old. I don’t really know how I’ll feel when he’s one or two and families we know (or bloggers I follow) with two children start having their thirds. I’m sure when that happens I’ll have second thoughts, feel regret, wish it were at least an option for us to consider. But it’s not. I’ll be 35 before we could even consider having a third kid, and if my diminished ovarian reserve was an issue at 33, it will be even worse once I hit advanced maternal age. Really what it boils down to is I don’t have it in me. I don’t have it in me to fight for a third child. Maybe, if I magically got Mi.Vida on board, we could make it happen, but I don’t think I’d have the resolve to push us down that path.

So it’s over. We’re done. And we need to think about birth control. I hate being on the pill, or any kind of hormone therapy, and Mi.Vida respects that. I’m not really interested in an IUD and we both aren’t big fans of condoms. So now we have to decide, who is going to take the plunge. Who is going to go in and guarantee that we’ll never get pregnant again.

It will most probably be Mi.Vida. He’s actually really keen on doing it. The thought of never having to think about getting pregnant again is a huge relief to him. I can’t really blame him. Even when we were trying to get pregnant, the whole ordeal was fraught with pain and loss and misery. And if we were to get pregnant again it would probably drive a deep wedge between us. So taking definitive steps to ensure we don’t have anymore kids makes a lot of sense (though it seems so strange to have to take definitive measures–if we couldn’t get pregnant when we want to, why would get pregnant now that we don’t?!).

And yet it’s hard for me. The finality of it. Knowing after that, we REALLY won’t ever have another baby. There is a part of me that loves the idea of just having unprotected sex and always assuming it would never happen but secretly kind of wishing that it would.

But that isn’t a responsible way to live one’s life, especially if both partners don’t want another baby. I do recognize that getting Mi.Vida snipped is the right thing to do. But my heart has a hard time accepting it.

I feel like I keep saying the same things, with different words, circling the issue without getting any closer to it. And I suppose that is how I feel, too. I can’t get to the heart of this yet because I’m just not there. I will arrive at the center eventually, but it will take time and space to do so. The reality of it will probably hit me again and again, as we make the final decision of who will get it done, as Mi.Vida has the procedure done, as friends add third children to their families. I wonder if I will ever officially arrive at a place of acceptance and understanding. If I do, it will probably take a long time.

Until then, I’m going to focus on what we have and how lucky we are to have it.

{There is a whole other part of me that thinks MV getting a vasectomy is a terrible idea. I’ve actually told him that he shouldn’t do it because he may leave me some day and end up with someone else who wants to have babies and then he’ll regret getting it done. He thinks I’m totally INSANE for thinking something like that, but after reading the blogs of women who are dealing with vasectomy-related infertility, it’s not something I think about.}

Are you done building your family? How do you feel about it? Did you take definitive birth control measures or do you trust your infertility will do that for you?

20 responses

  1. We’re done after this little guy is born. Two and through! My husband will be getting a vasectomy. Like you I’ve thought about how nice it would be to have a third, but I’m 36 and don’t relish the idea of having a baby in my late 30s. I don’t really enjoy being pregnant either to be honest. I have had chronic ligament pain with both healthy pregnancies (my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage) and as blessed as we are to have healthy babies, I just can’t handle the discomfort again.
    Still at times I wonder. I wanted kids for so long it’s hard to deal with not wanting anymore.

    • Yes. That is exactly it! I’ve wanted kids for so long I don’t know how to not want them anymore. I don’t know how to just have them, if that makes sense.

  2. I had an IUD inserted in November…about 1 1/2 after Evelyn was born. We’re not a fan of condoms either and The Hubs didn’t want a vasectomy.
    Yes, The Hubs wants more…and so do I but I wonder if it’s still possible. I’m going to be 35 this year. 35 stings. And my woman parts are just not going to “hold on” for a while longer.

    But we decided to hold off for a while for many reasons. Financially, more time with both girls, enjoying them both, keeping my sanity, etc. I do want more kids, and The Hubs wants his boy…but I know if it doesn’t happen, like you wrote, I have to focus on what we do have instead of what could have been.

  3. As you know, we hope we’re not done. But we may be. It all depends on the viability of those 5 little embryos. It’s very hard not knowing if we’re done or not. We treat Bryson Iike our last just in case.

    Because of my uterine situation, we can only have one more, even if embryos remain. One of us will be permanently fixed, because being pregnant a 4th time is life threatening for me. B is concerned that a 3rd pregnancy could be life threatening, but I’m not. But a 4th? No way. Knowing this makes it easier to leave those embryos if some remain, and makes it easier to tie tubes.

    I feel you. If I wasn’t housing a weak uterus, I’d feel like you for sure.

    • I bet the uncertainty of not knowing if you’ll have another one is hard. In so many ways, knowing we are done is a relief. I know that I can sell or give away all our baby gear and clothes when we’re done with it. I know when we’ll be done paying for full time child care. I know when our lives will have moved on from this “baby phase” and it’s something I can prepare myself for and even look forward to (a week away would be amazing, but we probably won’t do that until both our kids are much older). I don’t envy you the uncertainty, that’s for sure. Though I do kind of envy you the possibility, which is of course a different side of the same coin. It’s all so complicated.

  4. I have the Paragard IUD, so no hormones. I had it in between my 2 kids also, and except for really heavy periods the first few months, I don’t even think about it.

    I used to think I wanted 3, and aside from the expense, I can’t imagine having the time and energy for 3 now. But I often feel sad about C being my last baby. I have these crazy dreams of getting pregnant accidentally despite birth control. I’ve been wondering lately whether I will ever again get my period without a small part of me feeling sad that I didn’t get pregnant.

    • You don’t have any discomfort with an IUD? I can generally feel my cervix during sex so I assume that an IUD would be uncomfortable for me. Maybe that isn’t actually the case.

  5. The thought of Callen being our last baby really makes me sad. I most certainly want another baby, DH, isn’t so convinced, but I’ll win that discussion! LOL I often regret not “savoring” Callen’s pregnancy more, or complaining less about the day to day discomforts, weight gain, etc. I HOPE we aren’t done having babies, but you are right, infertility leaves us with such uncertainty. Reading this post reminded me of that. Just because I WANT another baby, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I can’t assume we are having another baby, nothing is guaranteed. Also, the idea of finally being able to be out of the baby stage, is a nice thought. To be able to focus on raising our kids would be nice, instead of the constant demands of a newborn, sleep schedules, etc. But I know deep down that you have to go through the newborn phase to get to the raising kids part. It’s so important that I savor and enjoy every day with Callen instead of worrying about the future. Thank you for that reminder!

    • I do appreciate that knowing we’re done makes it easier to savor the here and now and not wonder about the future. I consider that a gift. At least I’m trying to see it that way. πŸ˜‰

      • It certainly is a gift, one I need to focus more on. It’s so easy to start wondering and planning for the future and all those “what if” moments πŸ™‚

  6. I always wanted three…still do. But G is done. I couldn’t bring myself to go for anything permanent though, because the reason G is done is because of how tough the past couple of years have been…maybe if it eases up in the next year? So I’m doing the stupid NuvaRing. Need to make an appt to discuss other options because I think its worsening my migraines and causing crazy spotting ALL. THE. TIME.
    I really liked the conversation above about not knowing how to not long for a baby. Maybe that’s what I’m going through. Sometimes I forget that I wanted three and I start imagining a future with the 4 of us and its great. So not sure whether I’m just holding on to this dream I had in my head of how I thought my family would be, including what type of mother I thought I’d be (more patient, flexible, forgiving)…and our reality doesn’t match that and its hard to give up.

    • I totally understand this. I think I’m still holding onto the dream (or assumption really) that I’d end up with a person who wanted kids as much as I did, who had that as a lifelong dream and then wanted to family-build accordingly. But that is not who I ended up with and it’s still hard for me. Perhaps it will always be hard for me. I don’t know.

  7. I still want three, but my husband doesn’t. I’m 36 now and would be 38 before I’d want to try again – I’m in a graduate program and am barely keeping my head above water now, but I’ll be done in a few years. Also, I don’t think we can afford childcare for three kiddos. I do want another baby, but we’re probably done.

    • I know what that is like, to want three and have your husband not want three. It’s hard. I wrote in response to the comment above that I think part of this for me, is letting go of the dream I had that I’d marry someone who wanted kids like I did. My husband didn’t really and that is continually difficult for me.

  8. It makes NO sense for us to have another baby, but we both really want a third, so we most likely will try at some point. I got an IUD a few months ago and I still have those “what if…: thoughts. I mean, it would be a disaster right now, but part of me daydreams about another tiny baby, and having one now. And logically I do NOT want another surprise baby but I marvel at the miracle of that surprise every day. Ugh, mind games.

  9. My husband and I would both be happy with a third baby and we haven’t been preventing it, but the odds are not in our favor. I totally relate to what you said about assuming it will never happen but secretly wishing that it would. I feel disappointed each time my period comes, even though I know in my head that another baby would stretch us to our limits. The head and the heart don’t always agree. I do envy being able to put the thought out of my head for good and just move on. But then part of me wonders if most women ever truly “move on” and not look back with nostalgia on the baby making years…especially those of us who battled infertility.

  10. I have a whole lot of emotions about being done or not right now and it’s all so complicated! I’m glad you are mostly ok with it, it’s such a hard decision to make when you’ve longed for a baby for so long. We don’t want to be pregnant right now, but have the one frostie we will give a chance and I’m afraid that will open a whole can of emotional baggage for me / us. I can’t go through that and hope it doesn’t work and if it fails I would hate to end on this note. I really would like to end with Kate in a lot of ways, after a great and empowering birth but I don’t think that will be our last chapter.

  11. The finality of it is definitely hard. Char wants to get a vasectomy ASAP – I’m trying to talk him into waiting a cpl years and I’ll get an IUD put in for the interim. I never want to go back on hormonal birth control, and I don’t trust IF to NOT get me pregnant since #2 was conceived on our 1st cycle TTC after it taking us years to get Stella… but still… sometimes I think about 3 and I wonder if my husband’s mind will change someday. I’d just hate for the decision to be made for us b/c he too hastily got snipped after #2.

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