As I fold up baby blue newborn onesies and pack away fuzzy green and yellow sleep sacks, my womb starts to feel empty and my right boob starts to leak a little. I am longing for just one more baby. Although my youngest son is barely a year old, long gone are the precious early days of life: that brand new love, the feeling that I could hold my baby close indefinitely, the sweet sound of suckling—and of course, that new baby smell. Marco is cruising and playing like a big boy now, and as wonderful as that is, he’s not my tiny baby anymore. I start to silently weep when I think that he will never let me hold him again endlessly, that I won’t feel that spectacular bump on my abdomen that, despite all its hardship, was also a symbol of pride and joy, and that I won’t ever be able to “break the big news” to my husband, family, and friends ever again. As I wipe away a particularly heavy tear, I get up to find my husband so we can lock ourselves in the bathroom while six little hands pound on the door asking us “WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING IN THERE?”
And then I find my fucking mind because I obviously lost it a minute ago. Having another baby would be wonderful in so many ways, but do my tired bones need another reason to ache? Considering all the complaining I do about the three kids I already have, another baby may very well be self-imposed torture. I fantasize about how my life will be so good in a few years when all my kids can walk/sleep/read/write/tie their own shoes/cook/clean the house/earn their own money. Getting in and out of the car sans assistance is also a HUGE one. Why would I want to set myself back another couple of years just for that new baby smell? I’m sure plenty of friends will continue to have babies whose heads I can borrow for a quick sniff. (Right?)
In order to get that “I want another baby” idea out of my head, I had to come up with a few reasons why I shouldn’t. And well, I came up with a lot. Below are eight benefits of never having any more kids:
- “Are you going for a girl (or boy or twins or insert stupid assumption here)?” will never be asked of me again.
When I was pregnant with my Marco, my third boy, too many people asked the above question, and people said the rudest things when I told them it was another boy. The worst by far was: “I’m so sad for you. How awful. Are you totally depressed now?”…Yes, jerkoff. I’m depressed I just wasted my time talking to you.
- My boobs are officially my own
No more tugging for milk, running into the office bathroom or some other unacceptable work facility for a pumping session. This also means no more messing with crappy nursing bras. They belong in a dark underworld along with my husband’s ex girlfriends.
- One word: Birth
I gave birth to Marco not quite an hour after giving a speech at my kids’ daycare’s graduation ceremony (after laboring in their front office for a half hour as a male professor timed my contractions and a hundred people watched from a distance. Yeah.). Giorgie came six weeks early and entered the world not even two hours after my first contraction. My husband got lost on the way to the hospital, parked in the farthest spot possible, made me walk all the way to ER, and scolded me as I fell on the floor in pain. When I pushed Giorgie out 12 mintues later, I am pretty sure he felt bad (he was SURE it was false labor). Jube made me miss my cousin’s wedding (where I was supposed to be a bridesmaid), and after 12 hours of labor, 4 of which were spent pushing, I had a c-section. That still makes me really sad.
Besides the trauma of birth itself, the fear of impending birth is also beyond frightening. Questions like “Will I be numb enough during the C-section?” “Will I be in the news because I had to pull out the baby on my own on the side of the road?” or the one I obsessed about: “Will I (gasp) poop during labor?” don’t ever have to keep up at night again.
SLEEP! Hallelejuah! At some point in the near future, I may get a chance to actually sleep. When my husband and I casually talk about having a fourth boy (with three already, we know the next one will have a penis too), we typically retract our excitement when we realize the realities of more sleepless nights.
- REAL SHOES!
I had Flintstone feet for the last two months of my first pregnancy. While I’m not a fan of heels or uncomfortable shoes in general, I also don’t want to HAVE to wear flip-flops everyday. And if I want to go buy some really impractical shoes now, I am free to!
- The Prospect of Predictability
With the exception of some random moments, there will be a sense of knowing what the day will bring with older children—I guess until they become teenagers anyway. No more scheduling around naps or two-hour tantrums over the wrong kind of socks.
Sacred, gift-from-the-gods nectar (or beer or tequila or whatever your poison). ‘Nuff said.
- I can FINALLY GET RID OF SHIT
No more “well, if we have another baby, we’ll need that swing that takes up most of our attic”. I just gave away a bunch of baby stuff and boy does it feel good.
Okay, so I won’t get a sweet baby at the end of nine months, but I also won’t have as many headaches and as many little voices screaming “MAAHHMM!” (like Norman Price in Fireman Sam). And when the kids get sick, there won’t be as many rounds of sickness. As I’m going through round three of an illness now, I just don’t know if I could handle a fourth (or god forbid fifth or sixth)! And even though I won’t be able to go on any more no-guilt ice cream binges, I also won’t ever have to deal with poop as black as coal and sticky as glue.
And every time I feel the urge for another baby, I will read this post to set myself straight. Feel free to do the same.