Last week I started going to an acupuncture clinic. See, Gregg and I have been trying to get pregnant for two years now, and we’ve been to all the doctors, and been on lots of drugs, and the answer is the magical: there’s not really anything wrong.
And so for a while after I had a miscarriage and a second maybe-it-was-a-miscarriage-but-maybe-not?, we stopped trying. I’d pretty much closed the door on having a third kid. I gave away all of the baby stuff (but not the crib because it’s illegal to give away a crib now, apparently). I talked to the doctor about “permanent” solutions so I’d never again have another miscarriage.
But I kept seeing pregnant women everywhere. It was like they tripled in number, appearing in grocery store aisles and walking down sidewalks, waiting in line at the bank. It was some kind of very slow flash mob directed only at me (in my mind). And as much as I didn’t want to go through another miscarriage again, I wanted to try again.
So I made an appointment for an acupuncturist that my friend recommended, and I’m going once a week. She had me lay down on a table and said, “You’re too cold to keep the baby. We warm you up.” I am cold all of the time, and have low energy. The infertility specialist told me that it was my thyroid, and put me on some medicine that I take every day now. And that helped to a point, but I was still cold all the time. My energy was better, but not great. Two treatments at the acupuncturist and I’m already warmer than I ever have been in my life. I have to pull off my sweatshirt and wool socks and third blanket that I’ve become accustomed to wearing to bed each night to not wake up freezing. I don’t need to wear my winter jacket indoors any longer. I feel…almost normal?
There’s only one problem. I don’t really know if I want a third kid any longer.
I am no good with babies. I am really much better with older kids. My writing career is going somewhere. All four of us can fit in a sedan. The boys are almost done with car seats. No one wakes up in the middle of the night. No one needs me to carry them constantly. The house isn’t a complete disaster every second of the day. I can travel without guilt.
And yet I know my boys would be great with a baby. I know they’d make the best older brothers. I know they’d cherish this kid, and it would make them better people. I know this hypothetical kid would do the same for me and Gregg, just like the boys did for us, too.
I know I can’t have it all, and so…is this the thing I give up? Will I always regret it? I keep turning it over in my mind, somehow trying to see signs or answers all around me. I don’t feel the tug that I first felt to have another kid. But I also don’t feel a resounding NO.
But maybe the lack of an answer is an answer? Or maybe I need more time? I don’t know, so I want to ask you: how did you know when you were done having kids?