I’m always jealous when someone says with absolute certainty that they are completely done having babies, that they know with all that they are that their family is complete and they have no deeply buried yearning to do it all over again, to be pregnant, to give birth, to hold another tiny newborn, to bring another completely whole brand new person into the world. I so wish that could be me. Certain. Clear. Complete.
But, I’m pretty sure I am finished. I type this as I enjoy a glass of wine at home, while my kids are having a sleep over at grandma’s house. I type this while I wonder at what time I should express breast milk – for the purpose of dumping – and look forward to the day that having my youngest away from me for a night doesn’t result in the dilemma of what to do with the excess breast milk.
I’m looking forward to weaning and NEVER BREASTFEEDING EVER AGAIN.
There. I said it. I’ve been breastfeeding and/or pregnant since February 2008. Can I provide a little context for that – I’m 27… I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for MORE THAN a quarter of my entire life. Considering the first two quarters I was a child – and the second quarter I was a teenager… that means someone has been living in, or living off, my body for pretty much all of my adult life.
There’s a certain mine-ness that I’m missing about my body. Of course I’ll still be Mum, I’ll always be Mum, and there’s absolutely no “getting my body back” – last time I wasn’t pregnant and/or breastfeeding I was 20 years old, I accept at no time in my future will I ever again have the body of a 20 year old who hadn’t been breastfeeding and/or pregnant for 7 years.
But it would be nice on a strictly biological level to be the only person my body is sustaining. Of course in many many other ways I’ll be sustaining two little people for many many more years to come, but not quite in such an intense way.
The other side of it, and it’s kind of awkward to admit to, because I’m no stranger to “Mother’s only breastfeeding beyond 2 years for their own selfish benefit” (true story, this has been directed at me before) I love being a “breastfeeding mother”. I do love that closeness, and the specialness of a breastfeeding relationship with my child. While sometimes it’s extremely irritating (nursing aversions have commence, and yes, I do think it’s my body’s way of telling me the time is coming where she will be booted off the boob for good) most of the time, it’s actually really sweet.
Because all good things must come to an end! And 6 years of breastfeeding is plenty for me. Another baby could throw potentially another 3 years of breastfeeding on top of that! That’s nearly 10 years. I just don’t think I have it in me!
And then it’s these moments. It’s the wine moments. It’s I’m going to go to bed tonight knowing that no one is going to wake me in the middle of the night. Not for boob. Not for a drink of water. Not because they afraid of the dark. Or they JUST need to tell me ONE thing… nothing. Because they’re old enough that every now and then they can have sleep overs at grandma’s house.
Another baby would be another couple of years before I can have these moments again.
Also another (at least) 9 months before I can have wine!
We’re getting to a stage where I can think about doing CRAZY things – like having a holiday and not taking them with me. Like an actual holiday that is actually relaxing! Could you imagine? I couldn’t even imagine!
There’s so much though that I know I’ll miss. Baby smell – even baby vomit smell (I know, I’m weird, but gosh I love babies so much). Baby gazing. Baby clothes. Babywearing (once my little girl outgrows it I know I’ll be sad to never wear my own babies ever again!) Just all the baby things. And the being pregnant. I was looking at my pregnancy photos today and feeling a bit nostalgic. I really rocked being pregnant when I was throwing up.
And in a way, it’s probably not the worst thing that I had clingy non-sleeping babies, because I feel like I definitely got value out of my babies. There’s no doubt that I could have had any more time holding them, smelling them, rocking them, breastfeeding them, wearing them. I really did get the maximum amount of time with my babies as was absolutely possible. (It MAYBE didn’t feel quite like that at the time, but I choose to be romantic about it now that it’s done. Perhaps the sweet older ladies and their “cherish this time, it’ll be over so fast” might have been onto something!)
I know I’d love another baby and even though I feel a bit over it I’m sure I would pull it together and cope with another baby, and I know once another baby was here I could never regret having had them, and sometimes I wonder if I’d regret not having more children… but that in itself isn’t a good enough reason for me to bring a whole other person into the world.
So I’m done. Mostly done. Probably done. I’m fairly sure that I’m done.
How did you know when you were completely done?