Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Baby Threshold

When my twins hit the ripe old age of 15 months, my husband and I were ready to have another baby. As I think back on that with my current non-shrunken baby brain I clearly see the insanity. Trust me, it seemed like a good idea at the time. We thought we only wanted 3 and we didn't want the 3rd to be on his own. We wanted him to be close in age with the twins so that hopefully they might be close friends one day.

Since it took 8 months to get pregnant with the twins, we planned ahead and started the process a few months earlier than we wanted to. Of course we got pregnant the first month and we were off to the races. I was crazy sick with my 3rd and the twins were running around like little banshees. Strike that, they weren't even walking til 17 months but they were raising havoc, in any case.

The other day I was thinking about what makes one woman choose to have only one baby while others have 5, 8, 18? I've determined that every woman and every family has a baby threshold. Some are never able to reach their threshold due to unforeseen medical circumstances while others far surpass it. Octumom, case in point.

My friend started having babies 3 years before me. She was one of those moms who could have been blindfolded, with her hands tied behind her back and she made motherhood look easy. Even with 3 children, she was breezing past many of my friends that only had one. Motherhood came naturally to her, I guess. That and it's really hard to ruffle her with stress. She just handles life well.
Then something happened. She got pregnant for a 4th time and that 4th pregnancy turned out to be twins. There went calm, cool, and collected.
Don't get me wrong. Michelle with her 5 kids in under 7 years still makes it look easy but once in a grand while I get to see her flustered. She is HUMAN! =)

Michelle found her baby threshold at 5. Pretty amazing considering most of my friends are struggling with 2. My husband and I have discussed our baby threshold for years now. We were planning to have a tubal ligation during my final c-section but since J wasn't quite settled on a family of 5, we decided to forego. No precautions have been taken in the permanant kind of way but I really can't imagine adding a baby to our home at this point. Little Dude is turning 3 on Friday and the twins are starting Kindergarten. How crazy would I have to be? Freedom is just around the corner.

While I don't know if I've hit my Baby Threshold (which I liken to the Pain Threshold or Pain Tolerance, and for VERY good reason) I may have hit my timing threshold. At some point you have to call it quits. And that might be harder to realize than reaching your Baby Threshold. At some point it's time to face reality that the clock has stopped ticking and it's time to embrace life as it is. I'm not there yet physically but mentally, I think I am. My mind is on to elementary grades, soccer practice and t-ball. I don't know that I have the mental flexibility at the rickety old age of 35 to go back to diapers and baby tubs. God could always change that though. He seems to have some fun in our lives when we think we're finally comfortable. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. I can only really tell you about me. My older three are close in age. The year that H was born, was the year that my baby (dethroned) would have started school. I was devestated that we were having another baby. I was done.

    Fast forward...H was the best thing that ever happened to me. I found that being a mom for the fourth time was a breeze. All the anxiety that threatened my sanity in my early years of motherhood had been banished. I was crossing over to SAHM status, and I got to be a part of every milestone...no more baby sitter pics of my child's first steps.

    When TLL was born...I was amazed that I was happier still. A girl, a perfect little girl with huge gray eyes was just what our family needed. Now, I am excited. Scared too. I feel bad about *cheating* TLL out of her star status too soon, but, I know we will endure. I found a tee shirt the other day that says, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," and while I am a huge Dirty Dancing fan, it meant a lot to me too...I bought it in like four sizes. I figure TLL will wear it on the hard days, and I will be reminded not to let her get lost in the shuffle.

    All that being said, I think twins would surely do me in. It overwhelms me to just think about it.