An unexpected pregnancy 11 months after marriage; a baby at 22 years old. Since we had one, why not have another? Then I had TWO babies by 24 years old. Not exactly what I had always planned, but if you have had kids, then more than likely, you've also loved them to pieces as soon as you laid eyes on them. Your life changes. A lot. But, you roll with the punches and things that once mattered (late Friday nights, big parties) aren't nearly as important anymore. I love my kids dearly... but do I want any more?
I had never really thought about how many kids I wanted. Definitely two, not more than four. After having my second child, however, I knew that my family was probably complete. I didn't have awful pregnancies, but they weren't a piece of cake either. With my first, I had excruciating back pain that was only made better by holding my left arm above my head ( the recliner was my best friend for months) and for both of my pregnancies, I had to take daily injections of blood thinner due to a genetic mutation that runs in my family (no, I don't glow in the dark or have 6 toes). My second pregnancy went pretty smoothly until week 34, when I started having symptoms of pre-eclampsia. Even after I was induced at 37 weeks, I still had blood-pressure problems for a couple of weeks. My baby developed horrible reflux around 4 months old and after two full months of all-day screaming by a sick baby, I hit my breaking point and sought help for post-partum depression (PPD). My second pregnancy and post-natal experience wasn't a walk in the park, to say the least.
Lots of people tell my husband and I that we're too young to say that we're done having children (he's about to turn 27, I'm 26), but, we don't want to jinx ourselves. We had a hard time with our second baby. It was tough on me both physically and emotionally and all of that transferred to my husband as well. I just don't want to go through that again. I don't want to put my children or husband through that again. I also have a more personal reason for not wanting more babies. My mom had myself (age 5) and my sister (age 18 months) when she had a third, surprise baby. We thought nothing of some of the babies oddities in those first few months, but at 7 months old, she started having seizures and was eventually given a diagnosis on the autism spectrum around age six. It sounds awful, but I do not want to have a child like my sister. I'm TERRIFIED of having any other children and finding out that something is wrong with one of them. I feel so lucky and blessed to have two beautiful, healthy children and I simply can't imagine compromising that.
The whole reason I'm bringing up this issue is because I'm having some health issues that *could* be related to my IUD and we're thinking of yanking that sucker out. Both my husband and I appear to be quite fertile and I'm petrified of getting pregnant. So, we've got to have the talk. The talk where we decide if we are completely done having children and if so, which one of us is getting fixed. Even though I'm almost certain we're done, it's a little bittersweet to make a final decision. I just keep telling myself that if I am craving a newborn at some point, I'll babysit some and then hand them back over to their mamas when I've had my fix.