When our son was six months old, I agreed with my husband that we would not have more children. We had one wild, strong-willed two-year-old girl and our always-sick-with-some-virus-from-daycare boy who was not yet sleeping through the night. This was a complete change in our “plan” before having two kids under two. I always dreamt of having four or five children, but things changed. Life happened. Our son had croup, covid, and bronchiolitis back to back, leading me to take off an entire month of work. Our daughter transitioned to her toddler bed after jumping out of her crib, and there were a lot of tears from everyone, likely stemming from a severe lack of sleep.
That was one year ago, and looking back now, I know I certainly was not in the right headspace to make long-term family-planning decisions. So when I casually mentioned to my husband that I did envision us having another child someday, I was taken aback that he hadn’t changed his mind about being done having children. “I’ll just give him some time,” I thought. “He will come around.” But he hasn’t budged on his stance, and it seems that he may never be swayed. I want another baby, but my husband does not. So, where do we go from here?
I know that we can change our minds at any point and that life plans are not concrete, but I can’t help but wonder if the events of the past four years have temporarily clouded his vision of our lives in 5, 10, 20, 50 years. We’ve endured a lot these past few years. We’ve suffered a miscarriage.Ten0 months later, I had a severe tear and eight weeks of bleeding after our daughter was born, plus postpartum depression and anxiety plus the world shutting down due to Covid right before my maternity leave ended to top it all off. A year and a half later, our son’s birth was initially uneventful, peaceful even, until he had the cord wrapped around his neck. When my OB placed him on my chest, his lips were a bluish hue, and he didn’t cry, and I asked the doctor to please recheck him because something seemed wrong. In virtually no time at all, a team of NICU specialists swarmed our minutes-old baby boy to monitor his oxygen levels and help clear his lungs for 6-7 minutes. Is this the image that haunts my husband when he imagines bringing a third baby into the world?
Maybe he has learned to let go of those more intense memories. We’ve both certainly done a lot of work over the years to better cope with life’s unexpected events. Perhaps he is thinking practically that we can stick to a man-to-man defense versus switching up our current game plan and playing a zone. Maybe he knows his limits and wants to be fully present for the two children we’ve already brought into the world. There’s also, obviously, a monetary incentive not to have another child. We would likely need a bigger house, and my salary barely covers the cost of daycare and preschool for two kids.
While my husband is ready to schedule his March Madness vasectomy, I am not there yet. In fact, I’ll be the wife calling the urologist and canceling his appointment indefinitely. I need more time to process this change in plans; honestly, a large part of my heart hopes that time will expand his mind. I love my husband and the two little humans we have created, but I can’t shake this feeling that our family is not yet complete. I do feel fortunate to have a loving husband who is also my best friend and two wild, adorable, snuggly toddlers. I suppose for now, I should start trying to get on board with the new plan while being present and enjoying the season of life we are in right now.