It turns out my uterus is still all fucked up. It’s Violet’s fault. Wanting to be forever attached to me, she left some of her placenta behind, and after a year and three months, it’s still there. Not that there haven’t been valiant efforts to remove it. There was the scooping out of my uterus by my midwife’s hands immediately after Violet was born. That sucked. Then there was the D&C two months later, which failed. Then two weeks ago, there was the “hysteroscopy” (not to be confused with a “hysterectomy,” wherein one’s uterus is removed completely). A hysteroscopy is *merely* the shoving of a scope through the cervix and into the uterus, so that the doctor can take pictures of the inside of one’s internal organs. “You might feel some slight cramping” are words that will forever cause me to instinctively cover my crotch with my hands. Actually, the scope part wasn’t that bad. (Yes, it was.) The bad part was the cutting of my insides. Yes, all of your worst nightmares, and mine too, were real that fateful day I decided I could withstand the pain of awake surgery and opted out of anesthesia. “I had a baby with no medication,” I reasoned. “I can take this.” The thing is, there is nothing fun at the end of the cutting away of one’s uterine wall. No baby is placed on your chest. No one brings you gifts or flowers. I had nothing to focus on while I did breathing exercises. It was excruciating, but the pain came with no reward. I was trying to breathe through it, like I would have with labor pains, but I wasn’t IN labor. My body wasn’t TRYING to labor. I was not prepared for this in any way. Which is probably why I had a tiny seizure right there on the table.
“I feel… weird,” I rasped. And then my hands curled up and I could no longer move.
“Ok, we’ll stop!” I heard the doctor say. “I’m getting some oxygen,” I heard the nurse say. I felt the doctor taking my pulse. I felt another doctor massaging my arms. I felt Lance, slightly helplessly, rubbing my neck. My eyes were open, but it looked like I was blinking rapidly because everything kept going dark. It was… bad.
I’m fine now. Probably needless to say, but that hysteroscopy didn’t work. After I’d recovered, the doctor told me he hadn’t been able to get the calcified bit of placenta that refuses to part with me. “I’ll have to be very aggressive,” he told me. “We’ll need to do D&C again.”
After we left the office, Lance was like “Ok, no more kids.” Understandable. This was our agreement when I was pregnant with Violet, and it became iron-clad after Violet actually arrived. Quite apart from never wanting to be pregnant again and never wanting to feel like my ass is ripping right in half again, having multiple children is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. (Minus the probably.)
Reasons the Roggendorffs Do Not Want Another Baby
1) At some point, it might be nice to resume some semblance of a sex life. While just sniffing Lance’s cologne can basically sustain my libido for two weeks right now, that may not always be the case. Lance would probably pass out if I came out of the bathroom wearing lingerie instead of sweat pants. And babies are the sex killer. They can sense the pheromones in the air, and it causes a disturbance in their crib. Three-year-olds are even worse. “Did you lock the door?” I whispered to Lance two nights ago (our very own version of pillow talk), after Violet had been bounced back to sleep and we had tried to pick up where we left off. (Not easy.) “Oh, yeah,” he said, a look of absolute horror crossing his face, and I knew he was contemplating what was already on my mind; Noah’s night wanderings often lead him silently into our room for a drink of water. Not five minutes after he turned that click (and five minutes is enough time to get pretty… ahem… involved when you only have sex six times a year…) we heard the frantic turning of a locked doorknob. We froze. I mean it, we literally froze. It’s hard not to freeze when a torrent of icy water suddenly comes whooshing into your bed. (This is the part of the movie with a montage of flowers closing, doors slamming shut, balloons deflating, and elephant trunks falling limply to the ground.) And now you know what we’re dealing with (or not dealing with) on the sex front.
2) There are only two of us parents. Why would we deliberately outnumber ourselves? I saw a mother the other day trying to leave Target. She had a baby on her hip and was holding hands with a toddler about Violet’s age. And there was another kid too, a young one. But NO THIRD HAND. “How is this mom going to get her kids to the car!?” I found myself wondering in a panic. SHE NEEDS ANOTHER ARM. As it stands (two kids, two parents, for those of you following along at home), weekends are like, a total breeze. If we’re out to lunch and Noah needs to poop, Lance runs him to the bathroom, I stay with Violet at the table, bada boom bada bing. One to one ratio. It’s a pretty sweet setup.
3) Kids cost like, money.
4) Noah weighed 9lbs, 2oz. Violet weighed 10lbs, 3oz. So, logically, my next baby would weigh 11lbs, 4oz, and I would break RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE OF MY PELVIS. Also, giving birth is not kind to me. I hemorrhaged after Noah, and I hemorrhaged even worse after Violet. Not to mention, again, that I’m STILL fucked up from having Violet. Home birth is out of the question. It’s very likely that I’d have to have a c-section because of the baby’s weight. And that would suck.
5) I worry about Violet as a middle child. She’s not one to defer attention. There’s also a good bit of guilt mixed in there, since I didn’t really have a chance to truly bond with her when she was a fresh newborn. I remember getting quite frustrated with her when she would cry and cry and cry while I was trying to help my other child feel still loved and all. I feel worried that middle child syndrome would be so true in her case… she wouldn’t be the baby anymore, but she also won’t be the oldest. She’s just… the middle one. I just don’t ever want her to feel not special, you know? You know.
6) Sleep. That is all.
7) Our family feels complete. We feel whole. I have two beautiful, wonderful children, and I’m so fortunate and so happy, and our world is as close to perfect as one can get, I’m convinced. Which is why it makes no sense that:
It turns out I want another baby.
Ok, maybe it’s my age. Instinct is telling me to hurry up with the baby-making because I only have so much time left and I have to carry on the human race. The fact that I’ve already done that doesn’t stamp out the animalistic urge to procreate.
Maybe it’s because I know we’d never regret it. We MIGHT regret NOT having another, when our kids are grown and in college. But that third baby that’s always been somewhere in the back of my mind? (A boy, named Henry, for some reason.) We’d never regret that baby.
Maybe it’s because Violet’s 15 months old now. My baby girl is no longer a baby girl; she’s a full-on toddler. I’m not sure when that happened, but I AM sure it happened too fast. I’m just now getting to a point where I feel I can start enjoying her baby-ness, and it’s over. I’m not ready for it to be over.
Maybe it’s because Violet takes her baby dolls from room to room while patting them on the back and giving them kisses on their plastic heads. Sometimes two at a time, like twins. So maybe I want to see her smiling down at a real new baby, kissing a real new baby on the real head. Maybe it’s because Noah is amazing with babies. He loves them SO much, and he’s so tender with them. So maybe it’s because I want to see him, now old enough to understand and appreciate a new little one, with a new baby brother. (His words, not mine. Yes, that is what he asks for. A baby brother.)
Maybe it’s because the last three and a half years have been the happiest years of my life. Stressful, yes. Hard, YES. But when I’m sitting here thinking about it, I’ve never been more content EVER. Everything is more fun when I get to share it with these two awesome people. Watching Noah and Violet react to seeing the lights at Cheekwood, the elephants at the zoo, the beach for the first time… it’s pure magic. Teaching them how to cook, to read, to build things, to make art, to sing, to dance, are some of the most joyful moments I will ever know. And let’s face it, I doubt I’d go see Santa Claus at the mall just, you know, by myself. (Who am I kidding.) In fact, ALL holidays are more fun by a thousand times. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not ready for it to draw to a close. I know there are fun times to be had from now on, but there’s something about that first birthday after they understand what a birthday actually is. So many firsts that I, as a 30-year-old woman, get to have all over again, and I’m not ready for them to be done. Ugh, the selfishness of this is almost too much for me to type.
That’s a real problem. Am I going to bring another innocent wonder into this world because I’ve never been so happy? No. I have to resist that feeling. It’s not about me. The right question isn’t, would it make me happy. The answer to that is irrelevant, and also impossible to answer. The right questions is: Is it the right thing to do? For our family? For the world?
Something’s preventing us from (pardon the pun) cutting out our ability to have children. We’ve talked about it a dozen times, but when it comes down to actually DOING it, something feels… wrong. Which is why:
I’m having another D&C next week. It sucks. I’m not looking forward to it. And it doesn’t mean we are going to have another child. It just means the possibility will be present again. And for some reason, even though I know it doesn’t make any sense, I need that reassurance right now.
But seriously. We make amazing kids. I’m just sayin’.