I took this picture at the beginning of the year, as recognition of a symbolic moment.
This was to be the last nappy that I was going to have to change.
To say “change” is inaccurate as it was her final night of wearing a nappy before moving on to night time lifting- the last push to Toilet Training Game completion- and it was more of a team ripping effort. I could hardly have kept this little keepsake of my daughter’s progress, even though it was dry & clean.
Besides, I’ve come to realise it was actually more of a milestone for me. It made me pause enough to have a “lump-in-throat Mummy Moment”. One of those moments where the grief of losing your baby/toddler/teenager to the inevitable evil of growing up, slightly chokes the joy & pride at moving your beloved bean onto the next stage. Feeling a wee piece of my heart tear as my little beings engage more in the world around them, standing more & more independently with their adventure taking them further and further and further away from my needy bosie.
I know there will be plenty of “lasts” in the next few years, as Facebook posts keep reminding me through misty, blinking eyes. (Work must think I’m a right sappy git!) Many of these moments entirely passed me by for my son, as there was a sibling, or at least the wish of a sibling, to prolong the pre-school mummy journey.
His “lasts” were not mine.
Now, every time his little sister has a precious “last”, it is becoming increasingly poignant to me.
So why not go for a third I hear you mentally tut while eyes rolling. Well, I would. But, if any of you are in the same situation, you’ll know it’s not that simple.
Firstly, it takes two. Two to tango and do the necessary fandango and Hubster is 100% (at last interrogation, it was actually 198%) positive that he is content with what we have. Which is entirely reasonable. We have two beautiful, manageably challenging and most, importantly, healthy children. They have taken (almost) all of our energy and now that we are finally carving back a little “us” time, Hubgrub cannot fathom why I want to plunge this budding return to normal functioning adult life, back into the ice bath that is babydom. I also recognise it would be a huge tempting of fate to push our luck and gamble for another healthy pumpkin. Especially when we have already hit the jackpot, twice, with our two nutters.
My age is also a sticking point. At 36, fast approaching 37, I realise that I am far from being over the hill and would hardly stick out like a pregnant sore thumb. Many of my friends of similar vintage are pregnant with first, second or third babies, but I can’t lie that it wouldn’t be a factor to consider. Pregnancy is a journey and a half for the young healthy body, so I can only imagine it’s an epic marathon of endurance for a body that’s already popped out two sprogs and has started to feel a bit creaky just with day to day living- let alone attempting to produce life itself.
I may not even be able to conceive easily. It wasn’t a walk in the park for the first two and Hubster still shudders and the thought of “Ovulation Robot Sex” when the smirking, sneering blue emoji would signal we HAD to have sex. For a man to feel obligated rather than excited about a bit of rumpy pumpy says a lot! So what with that and the extra time it could take to even get pregnant, this would add greatly to the whole stressful saga, especially for a reluctant partner, who if we even did go down this path, would probably be coaching Kamikaze Sperm.
Personally, I would not, with all my blessings, be willing to take a turn on the IVF emotional rollercoaster. That would be an indulgence too far in my very happy current set up and I wouldn’t need to go down that path.
The weans age is also a consideration for me as to whether attempt to recruit another crew member. As one of three, with an age gap of 8 years between oldest and youngest, I wouldn’t want a gap any bigger than this. I wouldn’t want to limit the experiences of the oldest by being held back by a toddler. Nor put myself through trying to be a “supermum” by taking on theme parks with a newborn strapped to my chest. Of course, there are lots of families out there to prove it can be a winning formula, it’s just nae for me. With my oldest about to turn 6, and a year to grow one, it’s clear that my own self imposed limitations are lining up those nails in the “family of five” coffin.
According to various blogs, forums and memes, there are many reasons against having a 3rd- cars, holidays, tables at restaurants, packs of buns, not to mention sanity. These are all good counter arguments in the back and forth baby banter my hubby and I have at the dinner table, between sofas and whatsapp (poor man!). I will admit to telling my brother and his wife they were, I think my text read, “totally mental” when they announced they were expecting an 3rd, as that point I was so swamped coping with two I could not even imagine adding another cog onto our complex clockwork of family life.
Time passes, children become more manageable, or maybe the 4 year vocational degree, with on job training, as a mummy finally kicks in. Life is definitely more spontaneous without regimented routines, baby centred plans and a change bag stuffed with travel essentials. Oh the joy when you can just pop into a corner shoppie and BUY a snack or bottle of water!
I cannot even offer a iron cast solid reason as to why I would consider having a third.
It’s just something I want. The Loud Crazy Messy Chaos of Three. Three wee souls bound together, supporting each other through all life’s hurdles. An extra cuddle at the end of the night, another wobbly hand to hold, a third soul with which to fall hopelessly in love, to delight in not fitting in the conventional mould of 2.4 children and rest happily as a family being blissfully non perfect.
It’s an itch I long to scratch. Or at least to be able draw a line under by attempting it.
With each passing month of “not trying” I whimper as the last page of the young children chapter in our story is getting closer and closer to being turned. I do feel it’s “now or never” and Hubster’s feet are firmly in the “Never” camp.
And that’s the bottom line.
We are not in agreement and this is never the way to bring a new life into the world. Contraception wise, we’re all coiled up, so there is no scope for the “happy accident” that can sometimes happen. It would have to be an active decision on my part to go to the doctor, behind my husband’s back, to have it removed. That would be a pretty big betrayal of trust on my part, and hopefully not one I would contemplate. Much.
I guess I just have to accept these “last” moments with a little pause and sob. The minimal scars these leave across the surface of my heart, will fade under shiney new layers of pride as I watch my wee warriors take on the world.
To quote a great work of movie theatre;
My Best Friend’s Wedding:
“This too, in time, shall pass.”
It’s time to try and let this fantasy go.
Along with the hope of ever getting back in my wedding dress.