Tick Tock

My baby turned 3 yesterday.

I don’t know if it’s hormones or heartache, but some days — like the day my baby turned 3, or the day I spend in the company of my now 9-month-old nephew — the longing for another baby is intense.

My brain has a lot of things to tell my heart (and my womb) on those days.

How hard it would be. I am toward the end of my fertility (although not the very end, as the box of Tampax under my sink can attest). Even with the right timing, it could be difficult to conceive now.

The risks involved. Neither my eggs nor my husband’s sperm are, so to speak, spring chickens. The risks of advanced maternal and paternal age should be considered. (My brain then counteracts its own argument by pointing out that my paternal grandmother was 44 years old — and my pap-pap even older — when she had my father, and he’s just fine.)

The hard, cold fact that having babies isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. My body (to date) has conceived just fine. But somewhere around week 32–34, it’s ready to shut down production. I would end up on modified bed rest again, end up getting induced, etc., etc. Two out of three times this has all gone just fine, but, you know, that one time weighs heavy.

The time I would need in terms of personal/vacation hours just for midwife appointments and sonograms.

The mere fact that my exhaustion and disorganization, already problematic, would increase, and probably result in my house becoming so cluttered and/or dirty we would end up on Hoarders or the 11 o’clock news.

And so on and so forth.

Why can’t my biological clock accept that fact that I have reproduced, successfully, twice already, and leave me alone? The rush of desire, yearning, lust when I’m in the presence of a baby is just insane-making.

I did not have that rush before I had babies. I accepted motherhood as a positive aspect of my marriage to Dan. I didn’t marry Dan out of a desire to have babies. I didn’t marry Dan out of a desire to be married. (Not that there is anything wrong with fantasizing about being married or having babies. I just didn’t do it before I was getting married and having babies.)

It’s not even about wanting or not wanting to have another baby. Yes, I do, in my heart, in my body; no, I don’t, in my brain, even in other parts of my body that are so flipping tired at the end of a day.

I don’t want to want. That part, if it were over, would make it so much easier to face the fact that it’s not likely (or advisable) that I have any more babies.

Of course, I don’t exactly want to go through premature menopause, either. So I guess I’m just stuck for a few more years.

17 thoughts on “Tick Tock

  1. It’s as if you are reading my mind. My baby turns 4 year old in a month. Oy. He is already getting to big for me to swing around and cuddle in my lap. It makes me want. That’s it. Just want. My husband keeps dropping hints that maybe — maybe — another little person would be “fun” and possibly complete our family. Sigh. My aching-almost-39-year-old-body-red-eyes-with-bags-attached-sleep-deprived-already-too-marshmallowy-midsection-never-mind-the-mommy-brain-drain-self needs to come to terms with the fact that I believe (REALLY BELIEVE) my child-bearing days came to a conclusion four years ago. Sigh.

    • Oh, bluzdude, I do enjoy them, immensely. The feeling I have, the yearning, is pretty much involuntary. I don’t know if there is a similar involuntary reaction in men (vis-a-vis babies; boobies, maybe *wink*). But I do enjoy being with babies very much; it’s afterwards I feel a little forlorn because I’m probably not doing the baby thing again.

      But, hey, never say never!

      • The closest thing I have to that kind of involuntary response is, now don’t laugh… I’m serious… Golden Retrievers.

        I used to have one when I was a teenager and she was the best dog ever. I loved her dearly but she left us far too soon.

        Once I moved out on my own, I was never in a position to have another dog… living mostly in apartments and being away for most of the day. I also have no inclination to walk dogs twice a day for their entire lives. When I had mine, we lived out in the country. We let the dog in and out to do her business and I scooped the poop every so often. Someday, when I have a house and a fenced in yard, I may get another Golden.

        But until then every time I see one, I just have to stop and stare, and if I’m lucky, give it a pet and a hug. At that moment, I am enraptured and totally want one.

        So I know that’s way off topic, but that’s what I yearn for. And dog maintenance doesn’t take nearly the time and effort as baby maintenance, so I completely see your point about not having another. I constantly marvel at how tough it is to be a parent. Those of you that pull it off have my complete admiration!

  2. Hello,

    I’m confused by this statement <<> Are you saying that women with premature menopause have no desire for children, that the baby lust ends? That’s what i hear, and i can tell you that you’re dead wrong! Knowing that you can’t have children, at least not easily, is soul sucking.
    Catherine

    • Oh, goodness, no I wasn’t trying to imply that. I was thinking that the hormonal part of the baby lust probably abates once menopause sets in. I don’t mean to imply anything about women with premature menopause.

      Sorry if I offended you.

  3. As a woman with premature ovarian failure, who never had the opportunity to have children, I have a difficult time relating to you – you HAVE a child. I cannot help but get angry and depressed when I hear women who have had the opportunity to experience pregnancy, give birth, and have children bemoan when they cannot have more. The want for those of us with POF never dies, and in the mommy-centric, child-centric world we live in, we will never be allowed to forget it, either.

    • I am not bemoaning anything. I am aware of how very blessed I am.

      I am sorry for the way you feel, and for your POF. Nothing I can say can take away the pain of your situation.

      I wish you peace.

  4. I hear ya. I am amazed that it took 3 years!! Mines not even a year yet and I feel that way!! But I still have tine

    • Good luck when you start trying again. Trying is (at least) half the fun, right?

      And enjoy your soon-to-be-toddler. Babies are adorable, but once they start walking and talking, the fun really begins.

  5. I so, SO completely understand how you’re feeling. I never dreamt of having children or of getting married- I didn’t play dress-up or mommy when I was little, none of that. Then I had a baby and OMG I WANTED ANOTHER NOW. And I was then told that I couldn’t have any more, that the first was an unexplainable miracle. (I know. Seriously!) and the agony I went through- the thought that I’d never hold another baby again, never experience pregnancy again…it nearly physically hurt. And even NOW I get hit with that ugh of never feeling those little kicks again and never smelling my own sweet baby’s breath as an infant, you know? So yeah. I know how you feel.

    • Wait, your doctors told you one was a miracle, but now you have four, right? Wow. Someone must have been looking at the wrong chart.

      I’m just curious what it is that makes one just yearn for an infant. We know how challenging it is, and yet, babies cause some kind of Pavlov’s reaction in so many of us.

      • Yes, I have 4, and yes, a *fertility specialist* said that he doesn’t know how I conceived the first one. He doesn’t know about the other 3, because I didn’t want to go down that road (testing, IVF, all of that). They were all sans drugs/fertility doc. And nope- he had the right chart.

        I don’t know what makes women want babies so much, either. Procreation/continuation of the species? Knowing that we only have a limited amount of time? Some social pressure we feel is on us? *shrug*

      • I’m a little worried that a fertility *specialist* doesn’t know how you conceived. For most of the population, it’s a pretty straightforward process. 😉

        Yeah, there is some kind of biological imperative involved in the ‘tick-tock’. I never felt pressure from society to have children, but I suppose that could be because at this point, I’m pretty immune from outside judgement. After all, I’ve done my part.

        Thanks for the comments.

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