Last night when I drove into my driveway with a hysterical newborn, a car full of clean clothes and a trunk full of groceries I was exhausted. I became exasperated when I saw Logan hadn't brought the garbage/recycling cans to the edge of the driveway. I grabbed my sweaty, red little man from his car seat and unsnapped Sadie while holding Aaron close to my body to shield him from getting a chill. I slammed the gate open and Emma, our dog, stared at me. I looked up and all the lights were lit in the house. I became more irritated as Aaron continued to scream and I wondered why Logan hadn't put Emma in her kennel since it was already dark outside. I tried to open the front door. It was locked. I started to bang on the glass getting madder and madder forgetting I had a key to the house. Logan opened the door, smiling and shirtless.
I brushed past him, angry. I immediately began to drill him, asking him why he didn't bring the trashcans out and put the dog away. Sadie walked in and I saw Logan holding the door open and ask Sadie to give him a hug. Aaron continued to scream. I left the room and sat on the couch to nurse. Finally Aaron calmed down, the groceries were in the house, the laundry was brought in and Emma was kenneled.
(I must admit in hindsight I feel horrible for the way I treated Logan. This shrewish behavior is not typical. Logan is a mensch and a very helpful husband. I think we were both more exhausted than we realized.)
During bath time Logan sat in my nursing chair and began to tell me he wanted to talk about the idea of more children. I had mentioned to him the day before a conversation I had with some friends regarding their husbands and vasectomies. Some husbands wanted multiple children and some only wanted one. He told me the conversation encouraged him to think about his own stance on children.
He held Aaron in the crook of his left arm, his cellphone in his right hand and began. He admitted how hard it is to raise children. The lack of babysitters, the nine months of pregnancy, the nursing - all of these things take away me, his wife. We became pregnant with Sadie after we became engaged. Neither of us believed we could get pregnant and when we did 6 months into our relationship, we were shocked. Other than the first 6 months of dating, we have never been alone. We haven't had wild adventures together. We haven't lived the life typical American 20 and 30 something couples live. We see friends together rarely. Our lives are family centered. I've spent most of our relationship either pregnant or nursing. Sadie only moved out of our bed when Aaron moved in. We now have four of us sleeping in our bedroom - Sadie in her bed adjacent to ours and Aaron switches from the swing to our bed through the night.
I think it has taken a toll on my husband. I started to cry when I realized what Logan was saying - that he was "80% sure" he did not want anymore children. He had a daughter and a son. He felt complete. When I started to cry from an ache deep within me Logan comforted me. He said he didn't realize I felt so strongly about having more children, he was willing to have more if I really wanted more. The idea of stopping at two hurt my heart. I felt betrayed. When we spoke about children at the beginning of our marriage we liked the idea of having a large family. However, my challenging pregnancies and subsequent parenting style has changed Logan's perspective.
In Judaism there is the concept of "shalom bayis." It stresses the importance of peace in the home. Harmony between spouses above all else. Maybe we are an anomaly, but having children has added stress to our marriage. Two children takes away even more of our personal time. Usually Logan attends to Sadie and I take care of Aaron in the evening. We barely have time to speak two words to each other. And if we do attempt to talk, Sadie is jumping in Logan's face demanding attention. If we put Sadie to bed earlier, Logan doesn't get to see her since he works such long hours.
I know we are deep in the trenches at this point.
A part of me does long for freedom. A part of me rejoices at the idea of not putting my body through pregnancy again. In many respects I have fulfilled my "duty." I gave my husband a girl and a boy - we could be done.
A small voice inside me cries out, begging me to continue.
What if it is the voice of my future child waiting to come into this world?
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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