Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Let's Hear From Some Other C-Sectioned Mamas

Today I'm going after the mamas who feel they need to tell me what a rotten crap head I am for not having Baby Numero Due.

Let's start with the C-section No. 2 -- which, if it weren't almost certain for me (for various safety reasons that, no, have nothing to do with my being worried about peeing uncontrollably for the rest of my life) I would probably feel less stressed out about it. But the idea of getting pregnant, and knowing I have to enter an operating room, need to have another needle enter my spinal cord (paralysis anyone?), must have my body cut open, morphine IV flowing, and surgical staples planted into skin makes me very nervous. Then spend 2 weeks not able to walk well, unable to pick up my baby, and have drugs coarsing through my body while trying to nurse. Sure I can try to go without a scheduled C -- and have an emergency C should my scars, belly, uterus rip open in the midst of labor. Sounds lovely -- right?

Then of course there's the whole work element which while I absolutely love and want to do -- is also not a choice I can actually give up. Even with that there's no full-time nanny in the budget and so the thought of trying to make deadline again on 3 hours of sleep is overwhelming.

And truthfully I am getting damned tired of being labeled a failure for having one child: Failing my daughter for not supplying her with a sibling. Failing my husband for not supplying him with his longed for multiple children. Failing myself for not being a proper woman and pumping out babies during these years and clearly making this choice because of some damned vanity.

How about the success of having a lovely healthy happy child, and being able to devote time to her in the way that I want?

I've never been very fond of groups trying to pull me into their way of thinking. Lately it's been quite clear that having one child -- riding some fence, it appears to most -- makes me an outcast to those who remain childless, and an outcast to those who have two children or more. Like I won't decide which political party to vote for, decide if I believe in God, or decide if I think skinny jeans are hot or some new joke from the fashion industry.

I am happy to hear of others experiences -- but as for the proselytizing? Keep it to yourself.

10 comments:

Amy said...

Kudos to you!

After a horrible pregnancy, complete with constant "advice" from my coworkers (sample- you're wearing high heels? do you want to miscarry?)I was finally enjoying my (then) 4 month old when I started to be questioned constantly at work (AT WORK!) about when I'd have another. Why do other people feel this is a subject THEY feel they get to weigh in on?

Thanks for taking them on (:

Jill said...

So here's a dirty little secret of us heavy breeders (more than one). Part of the reason for having more is the purely selfish reason of "what if." What if something bad should happen to the first. That sounds like a reason deserving of some therapy - but I think that it plays a big part in why people have more than one.

So enjoy your rabbit secure in the thought that you might just be better adjusted than the rest of us.

Manhattan Mama said...

Minnehana -- I totally understand that thought. I even have it myself. And "heavy breeders"? Please --- we're all parents! You're not a heavy breeder -- you're a cool mom who's wants more than one. Kudos to you too!

And Amy -- you're right too. I guess my main point has been -- People need to stop trying to judge moms for the choices they make....and don't EVEN get me started on the private school moms who think I am destroying my child's brain for sending her to a "public institution..." (Since when is school the same as JAIL?????)

Emily said...

I agree with you MM. I was constantly asked when I was having the next. I was the same as you, worried about finances and I was just starting out in the freelancing journo/pr game after Molly and I wanted to build the contacts so I had something to return to IF I had another.

I finally felt ready myself this year. I thought it would take ages, so to get up the duff after a week of trying was a massive shock. Even more of a shock was the same due date as Molly. It's taken a while to get used to the idea and when I read back on my blog I sure started out angry! And yes, this sticks me right in isolation with those who remain childless.

There will be a three year gap between my children when this one is born. To me that is fine, but it doesn't stop people questioning whether that is too big a gap. FFS! There is a near 13 year gap between me and my 19 year old sister and we are really close.

I was an only child for 12 years and it was fine. I did get lonely from time to time. I remember playing with a set of telephones for kids and running from one end to another pretending to answer. I had an imaginary friend for a couple of years (but that might have been because my parents were divorcing at the time). But I don't think that loneliness is unusual. Every child has to find their way.

I learnt to make friends very quickly and never ever had any trouble finding someone nearby to entertain. I had 40 cousins as well.

Being an only child isn't a life of solitude misery with a massive dose of selfishness. And the decision to grow your family should be yours alone and people really should keep their sticky beaks to themselves. You shouldn't feel under pressure to produce for anyone.

Only you know what feels right at this present time.

At least you haven't got a sister in law with four kids under 7. I feel prety much unable to moan about anything with one child and being pregnant because she has had/done it all and had it all much worse than me (and this is without me being sarcastic but factual, as I love her dearly). I can never match up in mummy terms, so I keep quiet most of the time.

Sugarmama said...

Hope I wasn't coming across as proselytizing in some of my comments during guys' week. I wouldn't dream of telling another woman how many children she should have! I hope I wasn't interpreted that way.

There are definitely many in the children-need-siblings camp, but you may be interested to know that I've been getting snide comments and looks from people when I happen to mention that we'd like to have a third child. As if I'm being greedy somehow? There's also such a thing as too many siblings?

Oh, and I'm totally down with what Minnehana says, warped as I know that makes me.

kyouell said...

My husband joked around about wanting 5 kids when we were engaged (I was 37 to his 30). Turned out it was because he liked the dynamic in my mom's family; since it worked out so well for my grandparents he wanted to pattern our family after theirs. Awww.

Due to my age I'm guessing that max we can do is 3, which sounds nice to me. Why? I dunno, it just does. But I've been questioning my motives lately because of our son's Down syndrome. Is it just because I want to feel the joy of a perfect baby for more than 3 days? Is it because he is most likely infertile and we want the chance to have a boy who will carry on the family name? There are lots of reasons that I worry have not-so-nice motivations.

As for a c-section again, I will do it if medically required (just like the first time), but I want to try VBAC. I think that's a very wait-and-see situation for me. I felt like I cheated the first time because I never even felt a contraction and I'd like to know what I missed. Although most moms tell me I was lucky and I am crazy!

I don't think you are wrong for your reasons. I just hope I'm not wrong for mine.

Manhattan Mama said...

kyouell, I think my feelings are that no one is wrong for ANY of their reasons. That whatever we choose -- we choose for ourselves. No one walks in my shoes, but me. So no one knows what's right for me -- but me.
Emily -- no sis-in-law with four. But I have a sis who has two and has done it all -- before me. So I am there with you.
Sugarmama-- nope. Didn't think you were proselytizing -- and see? everyone gets it. Even those going for Baby numero tre. It's good for me to see this too -- even though I feel like having one child seems to be the biggest sin of all....

alphamale said...

MM, this is a matter of personal choice but in coming to your decision it is important to at least consider TP's feelings on the matter (not that you wouldn't, but had to be said). In theory having #2 is great but in practice it puts a lot of strain on the relationship (it would be easier if we were octopi). In some respects it is best to just get it out of the way but if either of you are not 100% behind the idea it won't help. We would like to have another one but the thought of sleepless nights etc gives me a cold sweat and now that #2 is a toddler and I have my wife back from the hell that is post-natal land I am desperate to start enjoying 'us' again. It's a tough one. All I can say is that you'll never regret having #2...

Manhattan Mama said...

Hey AM -- Of course it's a joint decision. Don't misunderstand -- this is practically a nightly conversation between The Prince and I.....we both listen to each other's points respectfully (depsite my snarkiness here...)

And of course I can't imagine not regretting another once they arrived. But I think you're right. Both partners have to come to the decision with 100 percent.

mo barnes said...

First (baby and C-section) was a nightmare. Second one a doddle - particularly recovery from C section. Personally, wished I hadn't stopped at two, now they are grown up. I had all the same ambivalence, and a very anxious time when carrying number two.

Good luck whatever you decide.