So. I am not pregnant.
About two months ago, I though I was pregnant. Even though we being very careful to NOT get pregnant, I really, really thought I was. My period was days and days late. I was all achy and crampy and grumpy and tired. I started thinking about what it will be like to be pregnant again and would it be a boy or a girl and what would we name him/her and would I be able to manage three small children and would my marriage survive three small children and and and? And then I realized that, no, not pregnant, just getting my period. Which, I should have known in the first place by all the crazy thinking I was doing.
So. I am not pregnant.
Back in March or so, Nelson and the boys and I were out to dinner. In a real restaurant! With real non-fast food! And the children were behaving and eating and so were the adults. It was fantastic. Then, Nelson says to me, "So, you want to be pregnant again by Christmas?"
Just like that, out of the blue. I didn't know quite what to say.
I looked around at my three guys. The littles eating/playing nicely. My husband enjoying his dinner and our adult (!!) conversation. It was...nice. No breastfeeding at the table, no little containers of baby food, no wee mite strapped into his/her car seat like a ticking time bomb of poop/pee/tears/spit-up. It was really, really nice.
"No. NO! I'm not ready. Maybe pregnant again by this time next year? Next spring. No new baby until Miles William is at least three."
We've been having these amazing family weekends outside, working in the yard, playing in the sandbox. They boys are both a such good ages this year. They can really do things and since Miles is pretty low key and Oscar is nearly three, they can play independently and actually play together. They both sleep through nearly every night, which means I sleep through nearly every night. This is as close to well rested as I've felt in three and a half years.
I would almost call this whole stage of parenting easy. Comparatively. Easier than being a first time mom with an infant, or a second time mom with an infant and a toddler. A preschooler and a toddler together are less intense, and I'm much more relaxed.
When I think about throwing a baby into the mix, it causes the teeniest of grimaces. The yard work would not be so easy with an infant strapped to my chest and wanting to nurse every two hours (or hour and a half, as was the case with Miles.) They cry. Their diapers have to be changed every couple of hours. They are very dependent and time consuming. That infant stage is a lot of work and not much sleep and throw that on top of two other little people to manage? Tough stuff.
Miles William is still incredibly cuddly and snuggly, but he is now fully weaned. I'm not nursing a baby for the first time in nearly three years. No babies. Thankfully, Miles loves hugs and kisses. He still lumbers around like a drunken sailor. In short, he's still a baby. Oscar was so independent, as soon as he could crawl he hit the road. Miles, not so much. And I like that, that he is still my baby. My non-nursing baby.
When I went to visit my friend Amanda and her new baby a few weeks ago, it was all I could do not to swoon over her sweet smells and little squeaks and general itty-bitty-ness. A friend recently told me she is pregnant and I swear my uterus echoed with emptiness. Another blogger announced a pregnancy and I felt...jealous. Just a little, but still.
So, where does this leave me? I'm happy with my family, and I worry what another pregnancy and a new little baby would do to our dynamic. I want to be pregnant again, I want another little baby. But won't I always? I'm a person who likes babies and who (sort of, sometimes, at times) likes being pregnant, so won't I always lust after another pregnancy, another birth, another baby? I'm going to have to say "when" at some point. Is this that point, after my two fantastic boys? Or will I KNOW when I'm done, just unequivocally know in my heart of hearts that my family is complete?