Giving birth to Tristan, at home in a birthing bath, was such a powerful and strong experience. Afterwards, I felt so alive and strong that I was sure I wanted to give birth again, preferably another two times. In hindsight, I see that I was high on happy hormones. I'd completely forgotten about the very difficult and painful pregnancy.
Eventually, after many months of sleepless nights I crashed back to earth and reality hit. Maybe three, even two, children was too ambitious for me/us. It wasn’t that I was not enjoying being a mother and caring for Tristan. It was more that I was so focused on giving it my all that I wasn’t able to hold back a little for me or for my partner Martin. All my energy was poured into Tristan’s wellbeing because I figured that my relationship with Martin would always be there until when Tristan wouldn’t need me so much anymore. It turns out, that’s not how it works. Eventually, I learned to find some balance in my relationship, care for myself, and love and give Tristan the attention he needs.
When Martin suggested trying for number two (when Tristan was 1,5y), I wasn’t really feeling it. I mean, yes, I wanted a sibling for Tristan, but this time, I wasn’t blind to the hardships this entailed. Plus, why disrupt this newfound peace? I wanted to wait another year, but then I thought, "What I am waiting for? For the time to come that Tristan would sleep through the night? Would it be easier if we wait? There is no "good time", so we decided to just let number two come.
My second pregnancy was no picnic, but I was able to steer clear of the severe pelvic pains I experienced while being pregnant with Tristan. I was tired all the time, but I think most mother experience this. There is no lying in after working for a day, or while taking care of your child during the day. So I was tired, nauseous, big (like an extra five stone!!), cranky, and uncomfortable from pelvic pains, but otherwise, I was okay.
Elena's birth lasted a mere three hours from start to finish - crazy, I know. Again, it was a wonderful experience, giving birth at home and in a birthing bath. And because I knew what to expect, I was more aware of everything. After giving birth, I was awash again with all these happy hormones, making me feel euphoric and wonderful. Well, the crash came a lot sooner this time. Two children - what was I thinking? Tristan needed me, but my baby Elena also needed me. For the first time ever, I had to deny Tristan my attention. The baby came first. It was an awful thing, deciding who needs you more. The nights were busy, as were the days. I quit working and hoped it would become easier, but it didn’t; it became harder. There was no thinking about baby number three. My only thoughts were of us making it through the first year. And then through the second year.
And now we're here. And we made it! Martin and I are trying to enjoy the freedom we are experiencing now that Elena is two and getting more and more independent. Both Elena and Tristan are happy, joyful, caring, and healthy children.
So, where is number three? Not coming. Nope, not with us. We have talked several times in the last couple of months and while I find it difficult to say no (it feels like I’m getting rid of an actual person, not just the idea of a person in my mind, and it makes me cry), I don’t know if we could do it again. The bottom line is that I want three children, but I want to raise them with Martin, not alone. I don’t know how you girls cope with the stress, tiredness, and the likes, because I don't... cope, that is. It put a big strain on our relationship, two times over now, and we're not sure we want to risk it again.
I still waver though. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that Elena is my last time being pregnant. No more births, no newborn smells, no more nursing a baby, so many no mores.
I have two healthy children. Should I tempt fate again? My mind says - no screams, "NO", but my heart sighs... a lot.
What advice can you give me? How did you decide to add to your family? Do you regret your decision?