Not blogging! Babies. Why give up something that you only do once a year? Oh, hang on a minute…
When I say I’m done with babies, I don’t mean that I’ve finally decided not to go and pick them up from my mum’s house and move into the Travelodge by the station (a long-held 3am fantasy). I mean that, at the age of 40 and three quarters, well into my heavy eye cream years, I think I’ve finally given up on the notion of having a third baby.
All the signs were pointing this way; no more bedrooms in the house, no more money in the bank, dwindling (if not dwindled) fertile years and a husband who shouts, “HA! NO!” every time I even whimsically mention the thought of having another one.
But, as one of three, who had her two in quick succession (2014, pop, 2015, pop), I was left with the feeling of not being quite finished. The idea of not having my little sister, the last of my siblings, in our family is just astonishingly ridiculous. I look at my kids and think, who could be next? Yes, it’s really hard and fine, I’m really not naturally suited to the hard graft of parenting little children but they’re just so awesome. I bet the next one would be wonderful.
Then again, I’m too old for this shit. You may be my age, or older, and not too old for this shit, but I am. I’ve always been too old for it – even when I was 21 and out clubbing, I was too old for that. I want to spend my 40s earning money, exercising, drinking alcohol and sleeping through the night. I don’t think I’ve got the oomph that a potential set of three would need, or deserve.
And another thing, I don’t want to spend all of my 50s helping kids with their homework (although, as one wag pointed out, there is always the option, ‘Just don’t help them’, ha).
It was today that made me realise that my days of nausea, beachball tummy, weeing in a specimen jar, munching Rennies and constantly freaking out about kick frequency are behind me. I had a lady exam at the hospital wing where I had my babies and walking in through those sliding doors, seeing all the women with their giant stomachs, nervously clutching their notes, walking around in nighties attached to induction drips, shuffling off home with paper-white skin and black bags under their eyes behind partners carrying tiny, squalling scraps of baby in car seats, I felt a big grin spreading over my face. Even though I was there to find out if there was anything sinister lurking in my womb or on my ovaries (there wasn’t), the sense of joyful freedom took me by surprise.
“Fuck that,” I thought to myself, as the midwife called a woman resembling a barrel in a frock through for a sweep. “Fuck that,” I muttered gleefully as a pregnant woman tried to reason with her stropping toddler. Fuck. That.
So, there we go. Conception stress, pregnancy wonder/angst and lactation are behind me. Bring on the nit years, the grazed knee years, the long-limbed, giant-toothed, summer fete and Christmas tombola years. Bring on the perimenopause, the PTA, swimming lessons and sleepovers. I’m done.