Thursday, August 5, 2010

The 3rd Child Dilemma

So whenever my life seems to reach a state of ease and lightness, inevitably I feel the need to do something to stir it up again. I cannot figure out the motivation for this, other than I guess it is human nature. At this point in my life, I don't really have any further career aspirations. I am not sure if I still want to be a midwife and if I do- I am sure it is not at this point in my life. My current job helps pay the bills, allows me to be the kind of mom I want to be, and I do occasionally feel I get to touch peoples lives. So with no career aspirations, what keeps coming up for me as a repetitive thought is whether or not to have a third child. I am completely bipolar on this topic either emphatically stating ABSOLUTELY NOT, or conversely thinking it would be fun to do it again. No matter what I tell myself I think about it though, it is always there simmering in the background. Everything that happens in my life gets reviewed under the filter of "with a third child" this would have happened, or this siutation would have been handled this way.

In a perfect world, I would love to have another baby. If I could guarantee I would not have the same emotional issues I did last time. If I could be assured that I have enough time and love to give to the two amazing boys I already have in addition to another DEMANDING person. If I was able to be a little more flexible with my job and get more family time. If we had more money, less of a copay, another bedroom, and the list goes on.

I tend to get sucked in to the romance of having another baby- when having been through it twice, I know better. It is nothing but the hardest most labor intensive work on top of getting NO sleep and having your crazy person hormones raging. Don't get me wrong, there are some random incidences of sheer joy thrown in to keep us mothers from running away screaming to the mountains to live in a tent alone.

The amazing thing that came out of my "troubles" after having Ryan is a desire to become a spiritual seeker. I feel that I am on the brink of finding a way to flow with life and surrender to the inevitability of hard times. I am learning how not to add more pain to my life by struggling against the flow. I am even to a place where I can be thankful for hard times as those are the times when growth is possible. Being a mom has been the most useful tool for this as there are many times when I get to practice my skills. What I have learned makes me think that maybe just maybe, I could handle having another child- and not only that, but maybe I could even enjoy having a newborn again...

There are days as a mother where I feel fulfilled and in awe. Grateful and honored that I was chosen to care for these amazing little souls. I have SUCH a desire to help these people become whole and suffer as little as possible. When you really get down to it, it is a humbling and FRIGHTENING experience. I have other days when all I want to do is sit down at the computer and finish balancing the checkbook which should take about 5 minutes and I get interrupted 5 times- "Mommy can I have my next breakfast", "Potty please mommy", boys fighting- mommy has to intervene, someones mouth needs to be wiped, someone needs help with a toy. These are the times when I get impatient and snippy, I just need 5 minutes!!! These days I think, "HOW can I possibly have another child?!"

There are so many reasons NOT to have a third child- all stemming from fear. What if the next baby wasn't healthy and I had to devote all of my time to him/her and the other two get neglected. I worry about making Ryan a middle child. What if I did have anxiety issues after having the next baby. How will we fit 3 teenagers in our house, how will we SURVIVE with 3 teenagers. Are we pushing our luck by having a 3rd when we have already been blessed with 2 healthy wonderful children? How can I go through the FEAR of having a baby again- vaccines and illness. How can I go through pregnancy again?

On paper, there is really no discussion- the cons list is pretty big! So what is it in me that keeps bringing it up? Is it a biological desire to procreate (akin to why men think about sex so much), is it spirit urging me to have another. Is it a power trip that I just think it is so cool that Erik and I can make a person that the idea is just too intoxicating to pass up? Is it the tiny knock of another soul asking to come through Erik and me? It is so hard to know. When I look into the faces of Reid and Ryan how can I feel anything but amazement. Of course all of that torture was worth it!! The difficulty of the job is mirrored on the other side by how joyful and amazing it all is. All the terror, frustration, and heartache you have as a parent is repaid when you feel two little arms around your neck or when you hear "wuv you mommy". And despite how it feels when you are immersed in dirty diapers, screaming, and puke, it really does FLY by. As I sit here looking at my child who will be 5 in a few short months and my BABY who will be 3 in 6 months it is hard to figure out where the time went.

Two kids for our family was a given. We both came from families with 2 siblings. The world is made for families of 4, There are logistical ramifications for having a family of 5. If we decide to have a third it will feel like jumping out of an airplane- you are pretty sure everything will be okay- afterall people do it all the time, but you are still praying like hell for that paracute to open. It would make a most intense twist in my spiritual journey, that is FOR sure.