So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my uterus.
For most of my life I have taken my uterus for granted and haven’t thought about it much at all. During my two pregnancies I thought about it A LOT, of course, but once my babies joined us on this side of my cervix, I kind of forgot about it again. But now I feel bad, like I haven’t appreciated it enough. It grew two healthy babies and helped usher them into this world just as it should. (And one of those babies was 9 pounds, 10 ounces and almost two weeks late—that’s above and beyond the call of duty, uterus-wise.) If uterus-having were an Olympic sport, I’d at least qualify for the finals, I think. (No medal, though—those would go to the Super Uteruses, like the ones in surrogate mothers and Michelle Duggar.)
So why am I now suddenly all, “How great is my uterus?”
See, I had a birthday recently. The First Annual Celebration of My 39th Birthday, to be precise. And as the big 4-0 looms ever larger, I can’t help but wonder if my uterus’s time is up.
If it’s not just a dead womb walking.
I have always said that I want to be done having kids by age 40. I’m not sure why I drew the line at 40—I guess it was all the talk about how your fertility decreases around then, at the same time that your chances of having problems with your pregnancy increase. For whatever reason, for me and many of my friends who put off having kids until our 30s, 40 is the big cutoff date. Last call at the fertility saloon, if you will.
Well, 40 is just one year away. And if you do the math, given a nine-month pregnancy (HA!), that means we have just 3 more months to decide if I’m retiring the old uterus or calling it back into baby-making action one last time.
And I just don’t know.
There are some days when I KNOW, unequivocally, that my two darling boys are enough for me. It’s not just the days when they fight like rabid badgers, though that certainly helps. But it’s also the days when they are just wonderful; when we are lying in a heap on the couch reading a book together, or sitting on the floor at the airport eating a McDonald’s picnic and watching planes take off as we wait out a 2-hour delay. And I think, “How can I ask for more than this? Why rock this happy little boat?”
But, then… Then I remember being pregnant. Feeling those first kicks and hiccups and even the right hooks to the bladder. Somehow the balloon ankles, sciatica, and crippling nighttime carpal tunnel pain are forgotten. Instead I think about that delicious anticipation that comes before you meet your newest little one, the nine months of wondering what he or she will be like, and then the slow process of getting to know the precious little human you helped create.
(If a mom with a new baby happens to walk by as I’m having all these thoughts, there’s a good chance my ovaries will just explode.)
|Ovaries exploding in 3, 2, 1...|
It doesn’t help that every time I turn around or log onto facebook someone in my real or online life is announcing their third pregnancy. I can’t even read my favorite celebrity gossip magazine without hearing about Jennifer Garner’s new (third) baby or Tori Spelling getting pregnant just one month after her second baby with her current husband was born. (By the way, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post, am I right? ONE MONTH? We all know what that means, and that is completely cray cray. Good lord, give your poor lady parts a break, Tori!)
Of course, everyone assumes that if we tried for a third, I’d want a girl. And sure, there are times when I think, “Wow, everyone in this family farts a whole lot,” and then I think it might be nice to have a daughter to hide in the corner with, fanning ourselves and spraying Febreze at anyone who gets close. And, I have to admit I kind of want to see what would happen if my husband ever had to deal with little-girl hair. THAT would make for some entertaining facebook photos, I’m sure.
But truthfully, when I think about having another child, I don’t secretly wish for a certain gender. I just think about holding a squishy little newborn and smelling his or her wonderful little head. (What is it about newborns’ heads that make them smell so good?) I think about another round of first smiles, first steps, first words. I think about the amazing, addictive, indescribable feeling of love I have for my sons.
But still, I just don’t know.
I wish that the decision to have a third child were as cut-and-dried as the decision to have a first or second. With our first baby, the question my husband and I had was relatively easy to answer: Did we want kids or not? The answer was yes, the timing was right, so we moved on to the fun part. Sure we were a little scared and not entirely sure what to expect from parenthood, but we forged ahead anyway. The decision to have a second child was also easy. We asked ourselves, “Do we want our child to have a sibling?” The answer again was yes, and though it was a little more difficult to find time for the fun part with a toddler in the house, we managed to make it happen.
|It's Ryan Gosling holding a baby. *Drool*|
But, a third? Not so easy. Right now, we are so lucky. My two boys are healthy. They are active, happy, little beasts who, sure, tend to break things and whine a lot and refuse to eat most vegetables, but who also, for the most part, get along with others and follow most social norms (you know, just not the ones involving nudity). They are by no means perfect, but they are perfect for US. How do I know if we are meant to have another?
So. My husband and I have some thinking to do in the next month or so. There’s a lot to consider—even more than what I’ve laid out here. My uterus is looking for answers, and I can’t keep her waiting much longer. (Uteruses are female, right? It would be weird otherwise, I think.)
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you—how did you know when you were done having children? And how did you know how many you wanted to have?