It never fails to amaze me how genuinely shocked people are when they ask if The Hubby and I are going to have any more children and I say 'no' and they say 'Well never say never' and I say 'No, we really have made our decision, you know, snippity snip...' (stunned silence usually follows this).
Since we made our decision last year, we have been very comfortable with it. We had lengthy discussions, long thinking times and a period of 'leaving it to chance'. It was that final phase that made me realise that perhaps I did not want to have anymore children, through this period I kept thinking 'oh my god, if I am pregnant I just don't think I could cope.'
And I didn't just mean with pregnancy, I feel I am at capacity of coping well with the children that we have now and I didn't want to have another and it be to the detriment of our family we already had. I almost got to panic attack stage if my period was just a day late. Thus, I took the plunge and had the conversation with The Hubby that resulted in our 'final decision'. Although I think The Hubby would have liked to have had a final shot (pardon the pun...) at having a girl, he fully understood and comprehended where I was coming from.
The biggest concern for me in situation was time issue. That is, being able to give the children quality time, one to one time, 'unstressed mummy' time. Having J2, and him being such a live wire, was a bit of a shock to the system (J1 couldn't be a more placid nature) and I hadn't really and fully comprehended how much time this would take away from J1. I knew it was always going to, but I didn't realise how much. J2 is completely fearless and full of daredevil and mischief so attention wise he gets a good majority, just on the basis of keeping him in one piece.
Attention is spread thinly enough. J1 with his disabilities needs extra time, which I don't feel he gets now, without adding another baby in the mix. Some people asked why we didn't wait until J2 was a little older, and less demanding and then try, but all the time that there is a 'baby in the house' J1's extra time he needs is depleted. This is not going to change. It is not a variable in the equation.
What put us off having another one straight after J2 was that I wanted to enjoy his babyhood (I do not fair pregnancy that well) and I worried that 'The Pregnancy' and my own well being would overtake the importance of his baby-hood and again even further take away from what I could give J1 also.
In the end we were questioning whether the reason we were in the throngs of discussion about having another child was mostly so that we felt there would be someone else to love and look after J1 if (god forbid) for any reason we were not around. And that, was not a good or fair reason to that baby.
So, the decision was made. The appointment at the clinic made, attended and sixteen weeks later deemed a success. I felt content that although the Chapter of 'having babies' was closed for us, it opened up a lot of other doors, we could start planning things longer term, like a big family Disney holiday because there was no longer the question of how many of us there would be, if we had more babies how many years to wait (my rule is I do not go abroad until they are off of formula, out of nappies and can get sensibly in a restaurant!).
We now know the number of our brood so we know what we need in the future with regard to car's, bedrooms, house space etc. I have more of a clear picture of what the next few years hold for me in regard to what I will be doing, and have time to do. I can start thinking about what I would like to do when J2 also goes to school.
I, as mentioned on numerous occasions, am a 'planner' rather than a spontaneous person, so for me this all makes me feel calm. Of course, I did have the pang of 'Is this really, absolutely, definitely what I want', on the way to the hospital for The Hubby's procedure because there really is nothing like feeling your baby move inside you and pregnancy is an amazing priviledge, I had to be sure I was I really ready to give that up. But having babies is more than that, it's having children, from new babies, to explorative toddlers, to the school years and the teenage minefield, And for us, stopping at the number we have, for us, is right.
I suppose the real test of broodiness was just recently when 'One Born Every Minute' began a new series and a seemingly 90% of my friends announced they were pregnant, but I have watched the programmes and seen them with their bumps and still feel happy that our 'having babies' days are a wonderful memory and now it is time to really enjoy all the stages that our children are going through and start planning our exciting adventures and thinking about what the future holds for us all.