I've spent a lot of time struggling with this decision. What is worth keeping? What isn't? Am I even going to have any more babies? The honest truth is...I don't know. But I do know that I'm not having any more any time soon. So, I'm selling, donating, and pitching stuff left and right.
The whole idea of never having children again terrifies me a bit. When I think that I may never experience all of the joy that comes along with having a little person inside of me growing, I want to cry. I loved being pregnant, I really did. I love pretty much every part of it. I love the kicks, the big belly, and the constant feeling of love, excitement and anticipation. If I thought that I could handle it emotionally, I would carry other peoples babies for them. I loved being pregnant. The thought of never giving birth again even makes me sad. I had such a positive and uplifting experience when I delivered Vanessa-Kate. I can't imagine never holding my own fresh, newborn baby again. I can't image never having that "Look what we just made!" moment in the hospital. I want to breastfeed again after Vanessa-Kate. I'm not ready to give up all of the amazing experiences that come along with creating a new life. But...none of those are good enough reasons to have more children. Do I want more...or am I just sad to be leaving the phase of my life behind? I suppose that only to future can say.
However, in some ways I am relieved to feel somewhat certain that I am finished having children. One reason is that now I feel like I can focus on my career goals. I don't fear that working of my schooling to eventually become a midwife will have a negative affect on my family anymore. After I had Ian I knew that I didn't want him to be an only child. I also knew that I would like my children to be relatively close in age. The question of when we were going to have another child loomed over many of my decisions. I feel at peace with that now.
Then there are times when Toby and I slip away for a couple of hours, just the two of us. Then I start to imagine what it might be like to enjoy the company of my husband without babies and toddlers who need constant attention and supervision... and that seems pretty nice. We both love every moment of raising our babies, but we do miss having a bit of quality time to ourselves.
The fact is, I don't know the future holds for us. I do know that we have to wonderful children whom I look forward to watching grow. I know that we both want to focus on finishing the schooling that will help us to reach our own personal career goals. Maybe we'll be a family of four forever. Who knows? Maybe we'll be at a point in our lives five years from now where another child will be the right choice. As for now though...I'm getting rid of baby stuff. It breaks my heart a little bit, sure. But in some ways, it feels like a new beginning. Like everything is just starting.