Ross is a huge sucker for babies and would carry around someone else’s baby gladly for hours. But me? I’m not interested in another baby. Don’t get me wrong – I like them and think they are beautiful and am happy to baby sit or hold the baby anytime. I don’t get upset or frustrated if the baby cries, and I love celebrating milestones with friends who have new babies.
But Kale will never have a sibling.
I had a lovely pregnancy, all things considered. I was fortunate enough not to have morning sickness though there was definitely smell or taste induced nausea. I had back stiffness, and trouble sleeping, and terrible acne, but really, it wasn’t too bad. I consider myself pretty lucky when I hear some friends’ pregnancy stories. I enjoyed being pregnant.
I am pretty indifferent to how my birth experience went down. There was never any feelings of miraculousness or beauty. It was exasperating, truthfully, to be overdue and hot and fat and at the mercy (more or less) of medical professionals who had procedures, best practices, next steps, and charts and I was just yet another patient in need of care. The hospital was institutional with dated and uninteresting decor and fixtures to stare at, the staff were competent but were just doing their jobs, and after my caesarean birth all I wanted was to be permitted to check out so I could get back to my house. I had an incredible midwife who made everything tolerable. I do not look back on it with some sort of hazy nostalgia – it was a means to an end. I’m not sad about it, but I don’t celebrate it and I don’t want to repeat it.
I have friends on both sides of this coin – families with two-plus kids and one-and-done families – and everyone has great reasons for why they want one or more or many. I wrote about this back in December 2011, but today, I’m thinking about One and Done again after a friend shared her recent IUD experience. Here’s four of my reasons:
- It costs a stink-tonne of money to raise kids and I like having spending money. From vacations to sports and other extra curricular activities we enjoy, you add more kids and your expenses go up. There are definitely efficiencies in having more than one -things can go through more than one kid, you spend less on socialization activities, and you can even get discounts for families – but I like having cash to go out for social nights, all while paying our bills, holding little debt, and saving for RRSPs and Kale’s education.
- Small house, small car. There are no conversations in our lives about having to get a second car or buy a bigger house “for more room”. Our finances work better with our one car and our small house. We can stay in the city by not having these expenses. If we had to get a second car, I’d have to give up something else. If we needed a bigger house, we’d have to move further away.
- Scheduling is easier. While scheduling isn’t easy, it is definitely easier with only three people’s lives. I have a really busy schedule, with work and volunteering, and Kale has activities and sports we have to work around. A normal month around here has something on every single day and while that can sometimes be a challenge (“Okay,can you take Kale to t-ball tonight? I have a meeting?”) it is nowhere near the challenge I hear when there are four kids who are all in a sport on the same night at four different fields.
- I can give all of my family the attention I want to give them. I put in a lot of effort (see also: kissed a lot of frogs, etc) into finding the right partner. My relationship with Ross is rock solid and I want it to stay that way and I need to be sure I give him attention. I also need to be sure I give attention to my child who has so much to tell me all the time. I find I personally struggle when my attention gets divided with multiple kids (say, on a playdate). And, I really need to be sure I give myself attention – I need to listen when I need time to myself and with only one kid, that is infinitely easier.
While an unplanned pregnancy would be accepted with open arms and excitement (after the initial shock wore off, of course), I have given a fair amount of thought lately to how to proceed to ensure my desire for one-and-done is met. After the false start of Ross undergoing a vasectomy (see the post about that here), we’ve done, well… nothing. I went and got myself a prescription for an IUD, which I never filled and kind of just ignore and now it’s likely not fillable. Now that I’m forty and approach menopause, I also have to think about how that plays into things. But I need to do something. Since writing about this topic 2 and a half years ago (wow, really?) I feel even more sure, that I am firmly on team One and Done. It’s time to fish or cut bait.