By BERN MORLEY
I knew I was finished. The minute I saw the Post it Note on the fridge with the words ‘Book Vasectomy Clinic’ scrawled across it, I knew my baby making days were over. It appeared my husband knew me better than I knew myself and even though at that point in time, i.e. six months pregnant with baby number 3, I had no intention of having a number four, he knew it would only take the mere sighting of a cute baby and I’d be back on the newborn express.
See, babies are my crack. One whiff, one sighting, one hold and I am hooked and need a more personal fix. My husband was well aware of this, hence the post it note. He had also done some logical thinking, damn him. Going from a family of 5 to a family of 6 meant more than just adding a new name to the Medicare Card. It would require a 7 seater car. It would mean a four bedroom home (at the very least). It would also mean that we would probably not retire until we were dead, (although to be honest, we are fairly prepared for that scenario anyway).
Are these reasons though, that are essentially material based, valid enough to veto child number 4, 5 or even 6? If you had caught me off guard in the post baby haze, three years down the track say, when the memories of vaginal tearing and sleep deprivation were conveniently forgotten, I’d have said, no, not a good enough reason. In the cold light of day however, knee deep in shitty nappies, ignoring the overdue gas bill and having cleaned up my body weight in vomit, I’d probably quite happily snip the offending sperm carrying tube myself.
So yes, I guess what I’m saying is that three is the magic number for us. Most all of my friends have three children and, like us, they went back for more punishment bliss when they were at that comfortable, fuss free time of their lives when their existing children were basically self-sufficient. And I can’t even say we had our third child because we wanted a child of a particular sex. We already had a pigeon pair and they were/are good kids.
Then, perhaps just to teach us a lesson to mess with fate, we had the now Mr 6, the hurricane on legs. This child came out born ready, almost smoking a cigarette with perfectly coiffed hair whilst revving his vintage motorcycle on the sidewalk. He took no more than 2 hours to enter this world yet I can guarantee you he will be making his mark over an entire lifetime and not necessarily in a good way. I digress, the fact is, this kid was jumping out of trees and breaking wrists before he could even tell me No. And he tells me No A LOT. That said, more than six years on, do I ever get the overwhelming urge for another child? Honestly no. I love this stage of our lives now. It’s not necessarily better or easier, it’s just the next phase, as it should be. We are getting to do more stuff for ourselves. Things we’d both put off. I suppose then, that 20 minute appointment at the clinic where the doctor pulled out his glorified soldering iron and burnt the pathways to fatherhood to render my husband infertile were I guess, sad, yet in hindsight, the right decision.
Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours.
Have you consciously made the choice? What is your magic number?