I’ve been sorting through baby stuff. It’s a slow process but I thought I’d use free time in lockdown #2 for something useful. On the one hand it’s been good – I’ve enjoyed going through bits and remembering when Rishi (our eldest) or Jamie (our baby) used to wear an outfit or play with a particular toy but on the other hand I find it really sad. Time goes so quickly and they grow up so fast, it doesn’t seem 5 minutes since Jamie was using the sleeping nest and he’s getting more and more independent by the day.
I am trying to turn the clear out into a positive by having blankets and a soft toy made out of their favourite toys, donating to charity, gifting to others who are having babies (lockdown has a lot to answer for, as one of my friends said “I thought I’d make use of my time and make a baby”) and putting any money made towards some outdoor play equipment.
The real reason I’m sad is because I feel like the clear out means that my baby days over. People are now asking, “when’s the next one?” or “are you having any more” and our standard response is “no, that’s it for us” and I feel a pang of pain every time I say it or someone asks. The honest answer is that I would love more children, but that’s not the best decision for the family. We are so fortunate to have had two beautiful boys, some people never get to make the decision that they dont want any more children, some are still hoping for one.
If I could, I’d keep having children for years and have a little football squad but the fact is, I can’t. My husband has said that he doesn’t want to risk it again because he can’t risk losing me – and pregnancies take so much out of me with the hyperemesis that it’s too hard and unfair on the family. I know that’s true. I know it’s the right answer. This week Jamie was 10months old and it struck me that we started trying for a baby when Rishi was 10months – and how much I’d missed out on with him. Jamie is wonderfully exhausting so I have no idea how we coped with Rishi at this age with me being so poorly, maybe I’ve just forgotten.
So no more babies. Two little boys for us. I have spent years wanting a family and then wanting to get pregnant and now, I’ll be actively stopping that from happening. I am trying to turn it into a positive, making the most out of what’s left of my maternity leave, arranging exciting little trips for my boys and being active (something I couldn’t do with hyperemesis) and present – and doing the things I had always dreamt of doing with my kids – sharing my love for the outdoors and showing how you can be creative and hoping that I can create a love and interest for this also.
All I’d say is that when you ask “that” question, whether that’s “do you want kids” or “are you having any more” or “are you having kids” remember that the answer might not be an easy one for everyone, and if you still chose to ask it, that you should follow up with support, acknowledging that the answer they give might not be the one they really want to say. It’s tough, but you never know what struggles that person is coping with.
Right, now I’d better get back to my sorting. There’s a lot to get through!