I'm not having any more children. It was never a big secret, but shortly after I got pregnant with Kensi, I said I was done having children. When we found out it was a girl and people would ask if we were going to have a third child to try for a boy, my response was constant... "Shop's closed." In response to the confused and questionning look I would inevitably get, I would elaborate: "snip, snip." That would usually get the point across.
I was 31 when I had Brooklyn, in fairly good shape and pretty healthy overall. It took me over a year to recover physically from being pregnant and having her. When I say "recover," I mean to get to a point where I felt phyically "normal." It took almost 2 years for me to recover mentally and another almost 2 years after that before I would even consider the thought of having another child. With Brooklyn, it took us almost a year to get pregnant and I had 2 miscarriages along the way. At 36, having made the decision to double our number of offspring, I faced not only the usual challenges of my body dealing with pregnancy, I was now chasing a 4 1/2 year old and was dealing with a medical community that considered me to be "old." (Of course, the term they used is "AMA" - Advanced Maternal Age. Old.)
As if that was not enough, my body betrayed me on a larger scale. When Brooklyn was 7 days old, I had seizures and spent several days in ICU. (Rob was awakened at 4 a.m. to me having a seizure and had to call 9-1-1 and then watched me have scan after test after scan while they tried to figure out what was going on with me.) They came to the ultimate decision that it was eclampsia and I was a rare case where it manifested itself 7 days after delivery, rather than during pregnancy or within 24 hours after delivery, and what made me more rare was that my pregnancy was "textbook" and I had no symptoms.
This "condition" was a big concern to my new OB, who kept a close eye on my blood pressure throughout the pregnancy. He decided to induce me, to keep an eye on how my body responded to the delivery, and of course things still went "south" on the 7th day and I was back in the ER with high blood pressure and ended up having a seizure. On my second day in the hospital after the seizure, the OB came in and sat down to discuss things and mentioned that he didn't think there would be any more children in our future. Of course my initial response was my mantra of "shop's closed."
Fast forward to this past week, one month after Kensi's arrival. I was back at the OB's office for another follow up (and blood pressure check). When discussing the next few weeks, he finished with "and we will discuss sterilization options." Talk about a sock to the gut. Not that I hadn't already made that decision on my own. Not that I wanted to have any more kids. Not that I hadn't been saying all along that I was done having children, and that "snip, snip" was in someone's future. But to hear it from the OB, and to hear it so bluntly, put it in completely different perspective.
So now it's out there - this blunt declaration of my future as a mother. Because of the stress that pregnancy (and delivery) puts on my body, because of the dangers caused by a sky-rocketing blood pressure, I should not subject myself to that condition anymore. But the word "sterilization" is such a cold word. Maybe there's a better way to express it? Of course, people make these decisions every day, and people map out their future every day. I had made plans and was mapping our future as a family. I just never thought I'd be making this decision because the doctor told me I had to make it. Any maybe we can come up with a warmer word for the process?