Before I had children, and even after I had Ainsley and Freddie, I had pretty much convinced myself that I wanted 4 children. I tried to take it step by step and not plan too far into the future, but still everyone thinks about what's next even if they're enjoying what is.
When I was pregnant with Cohen, I started questioning what I wanted. Suddenly Clif was very on board with having a 4th, but I was feeling that third pregnancy. I was 35. Pregnant and 35 is WAY different than pregnant and 29 or pregnant and 32. What would pregnant at 38 be like? I wasn't sure I wanted to find out.
Then Cohen arrived and I suddenly felt very content. Clif was quick to take back his ideas about a 4th. In the hospital he said "I think three is good." But I was not ready to give in. Even though I had this overwhelming sense of "this is it," I still had that image in my mind and it wasn't easy to let go. I insisted that we wait until Cohen was 1 year. At that point we'd decide.
The idea of change is hard. Harder than the actual change sometime. The anticipation of a new job or a move or a change to the plan brings on way more anxiety for me than the actual event. It was hard for me to believe that it would be the last time I experienced the excitement of pregnancy, the joy of a new baby, the comfort of nursing, the softness of pudgy hands and feet.
But then suddenly it wasn't.
From the moment he was born, I felt a stillness. A calm. All summer, home with the kids I felt so happy and content. I don't need to wait for the 1 year mark. I just know that Cohen will be our baby. He will be it.
Clif and I have never been ones to worry about what a new baby will do to finances. It's all temporary. And you know what...no one helped me pay for college or a new car or my wedding or a house or anything, and I'm doing okay. So that has absolutely nothing to do with it. Right now we have 5 people and 2 dogs crammed into a 1400 square foot townhouse. So it's not about space. We've never had an issue loving another baby, so it's not about that either. Babies and kids are hard...but the rewards so outweigh all the sleepiness and clinginess and business.
I can't give you an explanation. It just is. I know there will be no more babies and that decision was not as hard as I expected. It actually wasn't hard at all. Clif and I just said it one night at dinner. There were no tears or heartache. Actually, I believe there were some jokes and laughter.
So my thoughts of the future are no longer occupied with baby things and baby clothes. For the first time in over 7 years I'm looking at what comes next. Welcoming the idea of not being pregnant or nursing or diapering. I've even thought about a mini vacation, with my husband, by ourselves! I've thought about what kind of house we want to buy knowing our family is complete.
And it is complete. No doubt that each of my children have provided a huge, chunky, piece of that puzzle. There are no more holes. No missing pieces. We are content and we are whole.