After much debate, my husband and I have decided to try for baby #3. The decision wasn't an easy one. After all, we already have a four-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. We're out of Baby Jail. I haven't changed a diaper in six months (cue the Hallelujah Chorus), and the bibs are gathering dust. And yet, I am feeling the desire to see that wrinkly newborn face, and to snuggle with a tiny body curling up like a little bug on my chest.
We have been very fortunate and had no problems conceiving our children. Even still, I'm finding myself slipping back into the Neurotic Anxious Pregnancy Syndrome (N.A.P.S.). I am scanning drugstore ads for sales on pregnancy tests. I get a charge of satisfaction when I see a "buy one, get one free" sale. Because, you see, I Must Know Now. Who wants to wait for that time of month to learn whether a baby is imminent? The idea of waiting 14 days minimum is akin to water torture. They need to make cheap, disposable daily tests.
And I'll admit that I have taken pregnancy tests far too soon. It's like waiting to open a Christmas present. The package is right there. Maybe the hormonal levels are high enough. Maybe this will be the test where I can watch the magic of seeing two lines (Now, of course, they're making plus signs, just to add to the stress). Come on, now. Admit it. You've squinted at that blank space long enough, until you start to see double lines.
Then there are the body signs. With both of my children, I started getting hot flashes. The other day, I had one. A big smile spread over my face. Clearly, I had to be pregnant. Until I learned that the air conditioning at work was on the fritz. Rats. Foiled again.
But I think one of the most uneasy feelings I get about having a third child is the knowledge that this is it for me. This will be the last pregnancy, the last newborn. And I know my doctor will ask if my husband or I will want to make a more "permanent" decision about birth control. I don't want to make that decision yet. It seems too soon, and yet many women my age (or their husbands) have already taken the plunge.
How about you? What sorts of neurotic pregnancy antics have you gone through? And what decision have you made about vasectomies or getting tubes tied?
Michelle lives with her husband and children in southeastern Virginia, where she teaches sixth-graders and also writes historical romances.