questions of family size

ah, how I long for those first days of “trying” to get pregnant. more accurately, the “let’s see what happens” phase of family planning. it’s all so intoxicating, isn’t it? the heady possibility. the unknown.

those days are gone, as evidenced by the chorus of snores I hear now from the bedroom nearby. life with kids is no longer unknown. it’s known. and it’s no mystery “what happens” when greg and I don’t use birth control. babies. babies happen.

which is great, don’t get me wrong. I love creating life and adding people to my family. but there are many days when I look around a bit shocked and disoriented by all of the people I have created. they’re messy. and they never stop eating or talking. it’s great. my life is good. reeeally good. (nacho libre).

after greg and I were married, a baby seemed an unquestionable step, though I did enjoy shocking people with how quickly we had our first child. getting pregnant a second time was inevitable, but that was when the easy coasting regarding family size ended. since that time, there seems to have been more of an urgency to the question. not just because of my “advancing maternal age”. how many children? are we done? will we have more?

and the most dreaded: birth control. shudder. i don’t think i need to go into detail but if you want to get specific, I refuse to pop hormonal pills any more. seemed harmless enough in my twenties, but at that time I was more likely to eat ramen noodle for dinner and douse my clothes with febreeze instead of washing them. the phrase “bad judgment” comes to mind and I quake just thinking about my kids in their teens and early twenties. ew.

and I don’t think I need to list or bust out a diagram for how condoms put the damper on connecting with your spouse in a physical manner. I mean, it’s hard enough to find the time and the energy to both simultaneously be in romantic moods. then add in all the logistics, and it’s almost not worth it.

so, where does that leave us? I’ve lately found myself in an odd predicament. “greg,” I said, “it’s weird. I have these two overwhelming opposite feelings right now. one is, I’m terrified of getting pregnant. and the second is: I have these pangs of really, really wanting more children.” it’s got to be my “biological clock”. the sad irony that I think I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how many children you already have. the deep yearning desire to procreate seems to only intensify with age.

greg is in a whole other boat and keeps asking when he can get his vasectomy. but a friend with fertility issues recently put it in words that made sense to something deep in my gut. she said she never wanted to get tested because she never wanted to face the finality of the answer. it’s that closing of the door that’s terrifying.

don’t get me wrong. I don’t want any more children. good god, NO. except that I sometimes overwhelmingly DO want more children. lots, and lots and lots more. and I hate birth control. and I’m terrified of making a permanent decision about it.

so, where does that leave me? purgatory. immobility. indecision. I have a feeling I’m not alone.