Over the past year Mr C and I have been discussing whether to have a third child. We have been toing and froing, unable to make a decision. Our families would be surprised to know that we have even been thinking about having another child. After two traumatic births we were told not to have another baby, that it would be far too dangerous. However, the onward march of time does wonders for softening memories and your memory has a convenient way of forgetting words you don’t want to remember. I have become increasingly broody and my biological clock is ticking so loudly that I feel like the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I have become obsessed with time. On Sunday I spoke about how time seems to be speeding up and that has really felt the case when trying to make the decision about trying for a baby.
When Youngest was born my nan offered her sympathies because we didn’t have a “pigeon pair”. My first reaction was,
“are you nuts! Why I would want a pair of pigeons?”
Then my mum explained the meaning behind the term – a boy and a girl. I was outraged. It didn’t bother me that I had two children of the same gender, if anything I felt it was rather lovely that Oldest now had a sister. After another traumatic birth we were just relieved to have a happy outcome. I didn’t give two hoots (see what I did there) that we didn’t have a “pigeon pair”. But then I felt the comment niggling away at me and it continued to niggle. Had I failed by not giving Mr C a boy? I mean isn’t that why Henry the 8th took on so many wives. He was desperate for a wife that would give him an heir to the throne. Did Mr C want a boy to carry on the family name? I understand that there are things that you can do to increase your chances of having a boy. My mum is very up on these; she has listed them all to me over the years and they include:
- The man drinking black coffee.
- The man wearing loose underpants.
- The man and woman only having sex on a full moon.
Ok, I might have made the last one up but it illustrates how ridiculous I find these so-called attempts to control the gender of your child. My mum informed me that they are not crazy old wives tales and that it is why I have a younger brother. This may have caused me to shout –
“too much information Mother”
Quite frankly when we were trying for the children it did not occur to me to try to control the gender. I adopted my usual approach of just rolling with it. Oooh how apt as I was actually rolling in the bedroom. Sorry, touch of my mums there. What I am trying to say is that trying for a baby can be a challenge. It isn’t always easy, it doesn’t always go to plan and it can be emotionally exhausting and at times heartbreaking. Trying for a child can put a lot of strain on your relationship.
Mr C and I have had endless conversations about having another child and all the time my ovaries have been screaming and my womb has been aching. It felt like one of us would make the decision to have a child and then the other one would have doubts. The other month I may have shouted at Mr C
“for the love of god I am offering myself on a plate, just impregnate me”.
Yep, I know, my seduction skills are top notch. However, Mr C then informed me that he didn’t think he could go through another birth. It was then that I really appreciated how it wasn’t only hard for me but also hard for Mr C. In our first labour I was whisked off to the operating theatre whilst he was left alone outside, not knowing what was going on. He tells me it was a good hour. In the meantime he could just hear my screams of agony as they used forceps on me. Then apparently I went silent. I can’t imagine how unnerving that must have been for him. In reality they were prepping me for the c-section and I was now being given strong drugs. When he was finally allowed in he found me on a hospital bed, delirious from exhaustion as I had been in labour for over two days. He then had to fight to try to keep me awake so I could witness the birth of our first-born. It still saddens now me that I can’t really remember her birth.
Our second birth was not much better. We had been reassured that the same wouldn’t happen again but it did. Apparently, it is do with the height difference between me and Mr C. Also I apparently have very narrow hips. Again I battled, determined to give birth but again I couldn’t. The highlight was having my legs akimbo as the consultant and about 8 students all examined my foof. When he told me that I was going to have to have a c-section I was not happy. In fact I may have shouted –
“you bloody tell me this now?!”
In the operating theatre my waters properly broke and that was when they realised that I had polyhydramnios which can cause complications. So first time we went through a c-section after being told to prepare for our baby being born “abnormal” and then we were effectively told the same again, second time round. However, both times we have been amazingly lucky and for that I am so grateful. This is why gender really does not matter to me. After the c-section with Youngest I was not allowed to hold her and she went straight to Mr C who took her upstairs to the ward. I was then taken to recovery. They wouldn’t let me up for hours because they were worried about my blood count and I remember begging to be allowed to see my daughter. In the meantime Mr C was sitting on a ward all alone, holding our newborn who was hungry. Again he didn’t know what was going on and he says that he has never felt so helpless.
I can understand why Mr C feels apprehensive. At one point we even discussed getting a dog. A dog has many benefits but at least with a human you know that the clearing of poo will stop eventually stop and hopefully you don’t have a hairy baby who sheds hair everywhere like a dog does. I am joking. I did not really suggest the possibility of a furry baby being the ideal replacement for an actual baby *cough*. This week though we finally came to decision and all discussions of another baby have finally stopped. For the first time in ages I feel like I can move forward. Last week we had a rather timely reminder for why we should just be grateful for what we have. Last week in Guernsey a mother died giving birth. I was shocked and heartbroken when I heard the news and I can’t imagine how her family must be feeling. We take for granted that giving birth is safe nowadays but bearing a child is still one of the most dangerous things that a woman can do. We have been told that it would be too dangerous to have another baby and I have come to the realisation that it would be selfish and foolish of me to try.
I am lucky to have two beautiful daughters. My family is already complete and so we won’t be having another baby, I just wish that my biological clock would listen!