I have two wonderful boys – I love them more than I ever could have imagined, but there is absolutely no way we will be giving them a brother or sister and expanding our family. There are many reasons why I won’t be having a third baby and here are just a few of them…
I only ever wanted two children, I have an older brother and I always saw myself with two kids when I thought about the future.
Until I had Toby I think I had only ever held a baby a couple of times before. I had never changed a nappy, or fed a baby and when we brought him home from the hospital at just over 24 hours old I didn’t have a clue what I was doing! Two babies later I’m obviously a lot more competent but do you know what? (and here’s my controversial bit) *whispers* I don’t really like babies very much.
I’ve never been one to coo over other people’s babies very much. I mean, babies don’t really do anything do they? Maybe if my two had been a bit easier (and we’ll get to that in a minute) then I would think differently but I could not put myself through looking after a completely helpless newborn again.
Probably the biggest reason we won’t be having another baby (well, it’s sort of two reasons but they are definitely connected) is reflux. Reflux and sleep. I didn’t really know anything about reflux until Toby was born, but after six awful weeks he was diagnosed with silent reflux and put on medication. I’m not going to go into the whole reflux story as I’ve written about it a lot before but Toby was medicated for reflux until he was two and a half. Apart from a brief spell between 2 and 4 months old, he also didn’t sleep through the night until he was two and a bit. Which meant that when Gabe was born, as well as a newborn to contend with, we also had a toddler who would wake a few times every night too.
And when Gabe came along we hoped that things would be different but at just a few days old we realised that he had reflux too. His is actually worse than Toby’s was and at 25 months old he still has two different kinds of medication for his reflux. And it’s only in the last few months that he has started sleeping through the night, sometimes.
So, if you count the pregnancy insomnia, I had over four years of sleepless nights. Everyone expects sleepless nights with a newborn, but when you’re getting in to years of sleep deprivation it starts taking its toll.
Reflux is hell. I think you can only know if you’ve been through it just how soul destroying it is to have a baby who doesn’t sleep, or who only sleeps when they’re lying upright on you, who cries pretty much constantly and who you can see arching their back in pain when there is nothing you can do to help.
In a way I think I’m lucky that I don’t want another baby. I don’t feel broody when I see other people with babies, there’s no twinge in my ovaries. Because even if I really did want another baby, I don’t think I could risk having another reflux baby and another two years of sleepless nights.
I am actually so happy that the baby days are behind us. Gabe is talking more and more these days and it’s so much easier now he can communicate more. Toby is at school and learning so much. They are both brilliant little boys and I can safely say our family is complete.
I think I will always carry a little sadness that I will never know what it is like to be the mother of a daughter, but I wouldn’t change my boys for anything.
How many children do you have? Did you know when you were done….or are you not yet?