Motherhood

On Having A Third…

07.25.16

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Aaron and I have come to the decision that Lilah will be our last child. He’s been settled in that idea since the day she was born, but for me it was a much more difficult decision to swallow. To be honest, I’m still not even 100% settled into the idea. Every time I see my pregnant friends I feel a pang of jealousy in my stomach, wishing that I too was creating a new life. Every time I hold my friend’s baby who is under a year old, I feel a longing to experience all of those “firsts” all over again. I look in complete awe at the person Lilah is becoming and wonder what our third child would be like. What would he or she look like, how they would make us laugh, what challenges they would bring us.

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The reality is, in our list of “pros and cons”, the cons greatly outweigh the pros. I had pretty severe PPD with Lilah. I haven’t talked about it much because it was one of the darkest times of my life. My marriage took the greatest hit and I was in a complete haze for most of Lilah’s first year. I had no motivation to do anything and felt like running away from all of my obligations. Even the smallest task felt overwhelming. I could barely bring myself to get out of bed in the morning and motherhood felt like a chore, not like a gift. The idea of going through that again is reason in itself not to try again. I also think I feel so guilty about missing out on the joy of Lilah’s first year and that I could make that up by having another baby. But the truth is, that doesn’t make up for it. I’m not getting Lilah’s first year back, but I do get another chance with the rest of the years of her life. These two girls need me and to be unable to care for them in the way I want would break my heart.

The second reason is we don’t really have a “village” out here. We have friends who we dearly love but we don’t have any family nearby to help us out. We are in this every single day, 365 days a year. I miss the days when we would go to Aaron’s moms for an afternoon BBQ and we could just sit back and relax for those few hours, or when she would come over to help when we all got sick, or when Edith would spend a night with her and for that one morning we could wake up with no obligations and no one yelling for their yogurt or bottle.

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New York City is also just so darn expensive. Ballet classes, soccer camp, and all of the extra curricular activities they are going to want to participate in after school are 10x more expensive here than anywhere else. I don’t want them to have to chose between two things they really want. I want to be able to give them all of the opportunities in the world. I want to be able to save money to give them when they are starting a family of their own that they could use to help get a house or use to get back on their feet during a hard time. I want to travel the world and four plane tickets is a lot easier to buy than five.

Lastly, I want them to have all of me. I finally feel like I’m not drowning. I’ve got the hang of things pretty good now. Aaron can go away for a few days and the girls and I have a good time. I can take them on all sorts of adventures in the city by myself and not feel overwhelmed. I feel like they both get quality time with me and I can be the mother I always wanted to be. I can tackle all the laundry, keep the house clean, cook decent meals, and find a balance with work and I’m not sure that would be true if I had a third baby.

So while I’m not sure that feeling of “baby fever” will ever really go away for me, I am settling slowly into our decision. And I am focusing on being 100% present for these precious years when they are still little, still need me to sing them to sleep, and still want to crawl into my bed in the morning and yell at the top of their lungs for me to get the yogurt.

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Photos by Victoria Gloria. My dress from Anthropologie.

10 comments on “On Having A Third…”

    1. Thanks, Kris! I thought of writing this post when Victoria sent these images over. They just reaffirmed that everything I need is right here with me <3

    1. Thanks babe! It’s hard to put it out there but it’s where we are and it helps me accept our decision. Love ya!

  1. Sigh. I have 3 kids like I had long wished, but still miss being pregnant and having another little baby. Hard to accept that it’s over… Luckily I’m already 40, so my chances are soon lost and don’t have to think whether it would be possible. Maybe I can finally concentrate in other things after having baby fever for 17 years ?

    1. I also miss being pregnant. I felt so comfortable and beautiful. Of course I forget how terrible I usually feel after for six months but my husband calls that selective amnesia.

  2. What a beautifully poignant post from start to finish! I love how you ended it with grabbing the yogurt and circled it back to one of your reasons and not having a “village.” I think this decision is a TOUGH one for a lot of couples, and hardest on mothers, I think as we have the cross to bear as far as carrying the child and delivering and recovering as well as maintaining a home and nurturing and caring for the family. It is THE hardest job I have ever held, but you are absolutely right in wanting to do it to the best of our abilities. You had some great points for me to think about in our situation. While I didn’t suffer from PDD, I am sorry to hear that you did, all of the other factors and so many more pop into my head as well. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This post is everything I feel sometimes. Except for the PPD, but I can’t even imagine on top of that. I’ve always wanted only 2, but I never realized how much I would love being a mom. So the baby fever thing, I fully understand. But also the traveling and giving 100% of myself to the 2 that we do have (and to hubby, and sometimes some time for myself) instead of spreading myself too thin. We need some kind of support group for being done making babies, huh? 🙂

    xx Viv

  4. Just discovering your blog- it’s beautiful. I have the same feeling about having a third. My heart wants it so very much, yet living in NYC is so hard and so expensive. We’d have to leave our apartment and I know how much less of me my children would have, especially as a working mother. They say the third child is a status symbol in NYC! It’s a horrifying notion but it is sort of true. If I didn’t live under the constraints that I choose to live under for so many reasons, a third would be mine.

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