My husband gave me permission to write about him so to start, I’d like to talk about his genitals. More specifically, his vas deferens. That’s right, the Big V, the ol’ snip-snip. Vasectomy.
We are done reproducing, clocking in with a final score of three children. My baby is five and fiercely independent (unless she needs juice, then she’s as helpless as a newborn koala) meaning I must now focus all of my more intense mothering urges on our twelve-pound chihuahua mix.
I’m not exactly happy about it, though. Not the coddling the dog thing (although, yeah) but no more kids. No more watching my belly swell with new life, no more intense and world-shifting births, no more nursing, no more sitting in a rocking chair late at night with only the soft glow of the moon and a baby curled peacefully on my chest.
I’m romanticizing of course, mostly because I can. But also because even the difficult moments: heartburn or three hours of pushing or endless agonizing colic seem to have taken on this sudden fuzzy nostalgia. I’ll never have to go through it again, but what if I want to?
We’ve chosen to be done for health reasons; pregnancy is difficult for me, recovery even more so. For financial reasons. For logical reasons. It is absolutely the right choice, and yet somehow that makes it all worse.
I’m making my peace with it, and learning to focus on the positives. For one, I have more time to focus on myself. For example: I can make and eat a hot meal without anyone clinging to my leg and sobbing. Also I can read or catch up on Facebook or work out in my room without anything catastrophic occurring such as floods, famine, fire, ect. I even sometimes get to pee all by myself. What freedom!
But more important than solitary urinating is realizing that I can close the chapter of my life that was focused on all of those early-stage parenting phases and move on to the next one. I’m now getting to watch the hard work of their early years blossom into a strong connection with these amazing people who are interesting and dynamic and finding their own way.
Not that all the hard work is done, no. My oldest is shuffling anxiously at the starting line of a long and treacherous marathon called puberty. My youngest is simultaneously bored by everything and wildly overwhelmed with life in general. My middle child is- Huh. What is he up to? Playing Minecraft, probably. (Actually eight is a pretty sweet age. I recommend keeping an eight-year-old around as much as possible.) But it is nice to look at what I have and all I’ve been blessed with and feel with a satisfying finality that this is our family, this is us, and the rest of the journey from here on out looks pretty great.
Jill Vettel is a writer and stay at home mom in Durham, NC who spends her days homeschooling, reading and looking up increasingly bizarre topics on Wikipedia. She does not actually carry her dog around in a sling, but has to admit that it was kind of nice.