What now?

So much  has happened in the last few weeks!  I finished pumping, and made a triumphant exit from the pregnant/nursing/pumping club.  It occurred to me that but for about a month between the duck and my surrobabe, I’d been in that club for nearly SIX YEARS.  Suddenly, I don’t have to worry about any of the million things that you end up obsessing over while in those stages and you know what?  It’s been very liberating and I’m really enjoying it!  A couple months ago, I’d have never been able to admit it, but I’m working really hard on ditching the mom guilt and just allowing myself to feel what I feel and own it.  Again, surprisingly liberating!  Physically, there’s been a few challenges and as the hormones were levelling off, I was blessed with a handful of particularly vicious migraines, but my neurologist gave me a little something new that really took the edge off and allowed me to mostly function.

Our kids have been so amazing through this journey and so we decided they deserved a treat and took them to Disney World for three days.  At like 6 weeks postpartum.  Way to think it through, EBS.  Way to think it through.  It felt like being in the trenches of real parenting. In the shit… While coming off of pregnancy/birth.

Walking out with the other zombies at the day’s (merciful) end, I look around at the rest of the walking wounded. A dad next to me wearing a Goofy hat complete with huge fuzzy ears, carrying a little princess coated head to toe in sparkles as she snored, lips sticky with the remnants of an overpriced cotton candy. A mom shuffling along, pushing a stroller full of absurd souvenirs, barely lifting her feet, muttering something about “goddamn rodent.”  Another man carrying his son on his shoulders, a huge wet patch extending down his back – a urine stripe like a badge of honour that screamed “I am all that is Dad!” I felt traumatized, in need one of those foil shock blankets they use on runners. Yes, we were deep in the shit, and it was COMPLETELY worth it.

Then, a month later, Schmoopy and I went on our first vacation ever.  Well, not EVER ever, but every time we’ve been away, I’ve been pregnant, or we’ve had the kids with us.  Just being together, with no set timelines, few worries (can’t leave the kids without worrying!) and doing whatever we want was exactly what we needed.   I’m feeling very spoiled to have been able to sneak away twice in 2 months, though I’ll admit that leaving the littles was hard.  Up until now, the longest we’ve ever spent away is one night, so it was an adjustment got all of us.  We found the adult fun that you kind of lose when you’re in the trenches of parenting and came back refreshed, relaxed and reconnected.

While we were away, however, he blindsided me with something of which I was unaware: he pretty much wants more babies.  See the S?  BabieS.  Wait, what?!  I guess he thinks 3 or 4 kids is what our family needs.  I… disagree.  It would be unfair not to discuss it, though, so we did at length.  I told him that I *may* be willing to negotiate to 3 kids, but I’m not committing to anything beyond that.  It seemed fair, but then the cocktails happened.  I should mention that because I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 6 years, combined withfear of increasing migraines, I haven’t had more than a couple drinks in as long as I can remember.  They were $5 for 3 doubles, though!  They were on sale!  We were being frugal!  (we were being stupid)  Suffice it to say that we spent more than $5 each, and so things went a little sideways.  From what I understand, we somehow decided in our infinite wisdom, that we would just not take any precautions and “see what happens,” and then I panicked at the last minute and pulled the plug.  That doesn’t mean, however, that a pregnancy wasn’t possible.  When this information came to light, I pretty much had a mini stroke and spent the next week freaking out and peeing on sticks. I completely withdrew from everything, just trying to survive the blinding panic. When it was 100% confirmed that I was NOT in fact pregnant, I was celebrating, and he was visibly disappointed.  I think I may have seen tears, even.  His position is pretty clear.

We’ve agreed to table it after another couple weeks of discussion back and forth.  I’m definitely not ready right now and I’m really enjoying just getting to exist as a single entity.  We debated methods of birth control, waffling between an IUD and the birth control pill.  Ultimately, we settled on the pill. It’s easy to stop taking, low-cost and less permanent, but does present an element of risk since the Bean was conceived while taking it (properly!).  Then my doctor told me that it was likely to have a negative effect on my headache situation, so back to the IUD, which sucks as far as process, cost and convenience if he wins the more kids debate.  If.  That’s where it stands right now, we’re not discussing it, but I do see his eyes light up when he sees an infant or a family with three kids.

I’m headed back to work in a couple weeks and ready to figure out what the new normal looks like.  I don’t know what the future holds for our family, but what I do know is that it will be an adventure!