Three: the magic number?

And while Josh pines for his second child, I think myself to sleep every single night over whether we should try for a third.

Every time I think it, or have the discussion with Jill, I come to a very definite conclusion. Jill and I agree. Yes, absolutely. Once we even shook on it! Decision made! And the next day it is like we are coming to the thought for the very first time.

We’ve talked about three kids from the start. Jill would have one. I would have one. Possibly, we would adopt the third. Oh, the naiveté. We were wasting our most fertile years together talking about making babies.

As Gus catapults out of infancy, I want the mounds of tiny clothes and giant baby gear out of the house. See you later breast pump!  Sayonara swing! Buh bye bouncy seat!

Instead, the outgrown stuff goes to the basement; it stares at me from clear plastic bins begging the question every time I do laundry. Which is to say, a lot.

Suddenly, we’re 37. I have birthed two babies. Jill has had none. It is complicated.

Today, I am at work where I have been very busy in a very different way than being very busy at home with kids. I just went out for a coffee and ran into a friend who was out with her three young kids, two of whom have special needs. She was standing, nursing her baby in the middle of a very busy sidewalk. She did not appear to be overwhelmed, upset, or tired. She is nursing her baby in the middle of a busy sidewalk! And she is having a perfectly lovely conversation with me!

This is a woman who is clearly fit to be a parent. Mostly, I am afraid I am not that woman. I am afraid I’m too old, too tired, too selfish, too cheap, too scared to not only have three kids, but to go through the all-consuming stress of somehow making that third baby. And I am afraid that if we do miraculously make one, well, I’m afraid I’m just not that good of a parent.

I know we don’t need to make the decision today. (And by “decision” I mean “decisions.” IUI? ICI? IVF? Who tries? Whose egg? Who carries? If that doesn’t work, then? Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.) But whereas the golden sperm is magically suspended in time, our baby-making parts are not. There is a sense of urgency.

And that is why we will make a decision tonight. And then, another one tomorrow.


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