Monday, 18 January 2016

Sticking at Two (but wanting more)

I’ve had a Rolling Stones song stuck in my head for the past few weeks. Now obviously that is an awesome state of affairs. But the reason it’s in my head is perhaps not so awesome.

This could be the last time
This could be the last time
Maybe the last time, I don’t know.

I’ve always been drawn to big families. I’m the youngest of three, my Mum is the youngest of five, and I have an impressive array of cousins and second cousins. I love it. I love it to the point where, when I was dating my now-husband, I told him I wanted five kids.

Ever the pragmatist, he managed to talk me down to four. Then to three.

And I was still quite keen on the idea of three until I got pregnant with number two. But this pregnancy has made me realise I can’t do it again.

I know that many women would be aghast at me for saying this but my body is not really made for pregnancy. I have low blood pressure, meaning a first trimester plagued by dizzy spells and fainting. I have always been easily fatigued, meaning I currently struggle to get through a day without a nap. And, probably most importantly, I have a pelvis that just doesn’t behave itself.

In my first pregnancy, I developed Pelvic Girdle Pain (also known as SPD) at around 30 weeks. That was bad enough as by the end I was pretty much housebound. This time I started getting symptoms at 6 weeks. That means I’ve now been in near-constant pain for 6 months. And I’ve around 2 months to go.

Not only is this pretty miserable for me, I feel awful about the effect it’s having on Eleanor. My energetic girl who loves to run, climb and roughhouse is being seriously limited by the fact that Mummy can’t run or even walk fast, can’t bend down, can’t sit on the floor, can’t even have her sitting on her knee some days. Mummy’s too tired in the afternoon to go for a walk or do crafts. Mummy’s grumpy because of the pain and sleep deprivation, so gets irritated by repeated requests to play babies, or school, or Christmas. I feel like I’m letting her down. And I know that I’m doing this to give her the sibling she’s longed for, but I can’t help feeling like it’s not fair on her that she should be so limited because of my rubbish body. If I’m struggling to look after one child whilst pregnant, how much harder would it be with two?

There’s also the fact that I’ve now been a stay-at-home mum for four years. Yes, I work from home, but I don’t feel I can really take off with that until I’m done spending most of my waking hours looking after my children. I want to be able to stay at home with the next child as I have with Eleanor, but I’m not sure I can manage more than five years of trying to fit the other bits of me around that. I feel like my professional life is on hold.


So it looks like we’re sticking at two. This could be the last time I’m pregnant. Part of me feels relieved at that – no more pregnancy sickness, horrendous dizziness, mobility problems etc – but mostly I feel angry at my body for letting me down. And scared that I will forever feel like our family is not quite complete. Of course I love my two children, and I know they will always fill my heart, but I never thought I’d end up with a small family. I feel unbelievably blessed with the family I have, but I’m worried that I’ll always miss the child I didn’t have.

Linking up with #MaternityMondays by Farmer's Wife and Mummy

MaternityMondays

9 comments:

  1. This post really strikes a chord with me! Part of me would love to have three children, both me and OH have 2 siblings and it just seems sort of right to have three ourselves but I've had so many complications in this pregnancy I just don't think I could do it again. Or put my children through it either.

    Part of me does feel content with just having two and I have days where I think I'm mad for even wanting two never mind three! But like you I'm scared I'll always miss the child I never had. #maternitymondays

    Abbie | www.lilymaeadventures.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, it's good to know I'm not alone! I agree, at times I worry about how I'll cope with two and wonder why I still want three! But I guess it's a big family thing, two seems such a small number to me and I'd always envisaged having a bigger family, it's hard to get my head around not.

      Delete
  2. Such a tough heart verses head decision. I understand what you are feeling being unable to do all the things for you daughter but it will soon be forgotten and i'm sure she won't remember, my two eldest have forgotten about mummy not being able to do things when I was pregnant now that their brother is here. We decided that we did want number 3 and it really has made our family complete however having 3 is very hard work sometimes I wonder if we should have stopped at 2!! #maternitymondays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not just because of the limitations it puts on my daughter, it's also the knowledge that generally SPD gets worse with each pregnancy, I've heard of people ending up in a wheelchair or with lasting severe pain afterwards so I don't think I can risk another pregnancy. Makes me sad though. #maternitymondays

      Delete
  3. I'm pretty confident in my decision to have one (no way do I want to go through pregnancy again), but yes, there are days when I think 'what if?', and I kind of get your point about missing the child you never had. Must be much harder if you really want more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's kind of reassuring to know that even when people are confident with their decision there's still that element of wondering. Makes me feel like I'm not being irrational - well, not totally!

      Delete
  4. Aww, I'm sorry pregnancy us so hard on you. Hope the weeks fly by fir you and little one is here soon. It is such a tough decision, especially if you have always pictured a big family. I have one son and I know I definitely want another. I totally understand the whole professional life being on hold thing as well, I feel the same. I think people always wander what it would be like to have more, even when they know their family is complete xx #maternitymondays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm 34 weeks now so not too long to go, still feels like ages though! It is so hard letting go of something I've always dreamed of, but it's something I'll have to come to terms with I suppose. I know even if I had another there would always be that 'what if', but giving up on a big family feels really hard.

      Delete
  5. I said that until number 2 was born and now I would love another but I got bought a puppy to try and soothe my broodiness ;) #MaternityMondays

    ReplyDelete