At 29 years old, I lay on an operating table, giving birth to my 2nd child by Caesarean section. My pregnancy had been difficult; I’d been 24-7 vomit sick for the first 20 weeks. That, combined with a part-time office job and the care for a 2-year-old, had made me wonder if I wanted to ever be pregnant again. I had always wanted a big family, but I couldn’t even begin to count they number of times I’ve said “I don’t think I can do this again” to my husband during the previous 9 months.
The doctor held up my daughter, 8 pounds, 1 oz, covered in goo and as much hair as I’d ever seen on a baby’s head. Sophia Diane. She was perfect. We had a boy and a girl.
“Are we tying your tubes while we’re in here?” My doctor asked.
I hesitated. I was PRETTY sure I never wanted to be pregnant again.
But not sure enough.
I looked at my husband. “I’m not ready for that yet,” I said.
I walked out of that hospital with my fertility intact.
If I had only known, I wouldn’t have.
If I had ONLY known what was to come, I would have said. “YES. TIE THOSE TUBES. I have more than I can handle.”
But I didn’t know.
I didn’t know that Sophie would cry nearly ALL the time. I didn’t know that she’d only sleep in 45-minute spurts day or night. I didn’t know she’d want to nurse ALL the time, that she’d scream at night to be comforted and that the only person she wanted to do the comforting was ME.
I didn’t know that she would be, for the first few years of her life, either happy or sad. My bi-polar baby, there was no in-between. I didn’t know that once she was mobile, getting her dressed every morning and getting her PJs on every evening would be the WORST, most exhausting moments of my day.
If I had only known, I would have told my doctor to tie. those. tubes. Because by the time Sophie was two, I knew I had WAY more than I could handle with her and her very-easy-perfect-first-child older brother Joshua.