So like I said, my baby is 2. She is not, in fact, a baby anymore. Gone is the floppy squooshyness, the immobility, the need to remain in the vicinity of my boobs at all times, the sling sleeping, the quiet complacency, the gummy smile, the chubby thighs and the soft bald head. These things have been replaced by skinned knees, long, skinny arms and legs, dirty fingernails, scruffy hair, a chipped tooth, a rapidly growing and increasingly hilarious vocabulary and some world-class hugging and cuddling skills. She is well on her way to being a real person. The second amazingly complete and perfect person to be hacked together from pieces of me and Adam.
Two human beings seems like a pretty staggering accomplishment to me, so we're done...I think.
Another baby is just not feasible for us. We're broke. We are crammed into a tiny apartment, quite literally on top of each other most of the time. I want to go back to school. Adam wants a better job. We want to travel. We want to boot our kids out of the house by the time we're in our early 40's...
Still, permanent measures seem a bit extreme. We're young and practical enough to know that we're not ready for the big snip. If anything should happen to me, Adam would likely find a new chick who still wanted kids, etc. So last week I went to get a Mirena IUD installed (implanted? inserted? there's really no good way to say it.)
Do you know one of the worst things about small town life? It's not the lack of amenities, the isolation, the inconvenience or even the smell; it's the fact that you only have one doctor. People in cities have pediatricians, family doctors, podiatrists and chiropractors. They have proctologists, naturopaths, obstetricians and dermatologists. Most importantly, they have gynecologists. In small towns the doctor who treated your croup when you were three is very likely the same doctor who gives you a pap smear. You have to talk to the same guy about your kid's foot fungus who told your mom you had Mono.
So here I am, waiting for this guy to come in and insert some hardware up my hoo-ha. Hoping to God there will be no chitchat, while the nurse does the preliminary work on which the doctor doesn't waste his valuable time. Inevitably she asks:
"When was your last menstrual period?"
"First week of June."
"Uum, Honey? Do you know what day it is."
"Yes, yes it's the middle of July, I know. But really, this is totally normal for me. 6ish weeks is my usual."
"It's more like 8ish."
"...(mental math) hmm. Still...I really don't think..."
"You're supposed to get these in the first week after."
"Someone should probably have told me that. Anyway, Doc was on vacation. Can you run a quick test?"
"Sure, but if you got pregnant in the last week or two it won't show up yet. I'm not sure if the Doc will do it at this point."
"I really don't think..."
"Is it at all possible?"
"Well...there's always a slight possibility."
I waited, they conferred. Questions were asked on all sides and in the end we decided to go ahead with the procedure and if Aunt Flo didn't come to visit in the next week or two I was to get me to the nearest drug store for a test and if need be we'd yank out the IUD. Because while I'm all about the prevention, I'm not interested in killing anyone who might already be living in there, nor yet causing any strange and terrible mutations by having hypothetical Junior develop with a hormonal IUD clenched in his little fist. Finally I was bare arsed and be-stirruped and staring at the ceiling in the attitude of nonchalant mortification common to women the world over. Then it was done.
I went home. I waited. I thought. I got to visit the same damn Doctor 3 days later when I took my mom to the ER after she threw out her back.
I hoped, for two completely different things:
-I can barely handle the two kids I have sometimes, I don't want more!
-A boy might be nice, for a change.
-We can't afford it.
-People make do with less, and you already have most of the baby stuff.
-I want to dedicate my attention to the girls I already have.
-Never again to feel the liquid acrobatics of a baby in your belly?
-What right do we have to keep bringing people into this uncertain world?
-Tiny, fuzzy head nuzzled, sleeping on your chest.
-There's no room in this house.
-No more first baths? First steps? First giggles?
-I want to go back to school.
-A tiny little bottom that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand?
-I'll be working at fucking Macs forever!
-Shopping for tiny onesies, fluffy diapers and wee little shoes?
-Putting three children through school?
-Seeing the world through completely new eyes again?
-The crying, The whining.
-The toothless smiles, the totally unrestrained laughs?
-The contentment on a tiny face feeding at your breast while a small hand plays idly with your hair?
-The very real fear of insanity and depression?
-The chance to pick out the perfect name?
-I'm not a good enough mother. I don't deserve any more.
-The chance to watch a new person grow?
For a week I waited. And finally it happened. I am NOT pregnant. And, for the most part, I'm glad. We're done. For the next 5 years anyway. By which time my kids will be 7 and fucking 10(!!!) years old. And I most definitely won't want to start over with all the baby crap then right? Right?