I was born to be a mother. Every since I was a young girl, with my plethora of Tiny Tears and teddy bears, walking them round the “park” which was our small garden in my doll’s pram. It was my dream.
Realising that dream didn’t come easy. I wasn’t interested in a career (much to my teachers’ despair), I had no burning ambition to be anything but an incubator for the next generation. I would dedicate my life to raising my 2.4 family, revelling in the arms of normality.
I married at 25, and from that moment, the packet of pills was cast aside, and the baby-making began in earnest. So much so that love-making and rampant, knee-trembling sex went out of the window. As often happens to those desperate to see that blue line or pink dot appear in the window, sex became a clinical necessity, governed by temperatures and cycles and mucus. For the next 25 months in fact.
Yes, it took 25 months and what must have been hundreds of pounds spent on pregnancy tests until that fateful day. I sat there, having dutifully peed on the stick, and closed my eyes, barely able to breath. I think I must have recited The Lord’s Prayer in my head 50 times before I dared look at the result. And yes, there, unbelievably, after 25 months of too much blood, sweat and tears, was the proof of the life we had finally created inside me.
It was easier after the first one. Too easy, in fact. When Son1 was about 13 months old, I decided I was ready to try again. The Husband was delighted – he hadn’t seen much action, poor thing, what with both of us being exhausted new parents and me not quite being happy to share my body again. So we were prepared this time for it to take months again.
Bang! The following month I was in shock. It had happened the first month of trying. I couldn’t quite believe it. Nor could anyone else.
Daughter1 was born on Christmas Eve, a truly magical and empowering birth, which had me convinced I wanted to be a midwife later on when the children had grown up. I found the next best thing (after being a mother of course) – training to be a doula. I loved pregnancy, and anyone who was pregnant. And babies! I loved the Doula course, and was more and more convinced that midwifery would be the path I would follow later. Despite the fact that I was exhausted, and nauseous. And my boobs hurt like hell…
On New Year’s Day just over a year after Daughter1 was born, Daughter2 made her presence known inside my by now extremely fertile womb. There was no stopping us!
4 years later, The Husband and I were in the Maldives celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. I raised the subject of did we want another one. I was always broody; the mere sound of a newborn cry in Sainsbury’s would send my senses into overdrive and my boobs aching. But we had three perfect children; we weren’t exactly well off (this holiday had been paid for by credit card even though we couldn’t afford it – The Husband had rashly promised me as we ended our honeymoon that we’d be back for our 10th Anniversary, and I wasn’t going to miss out). No, we talked, drank, talked some more, drank even more, and decided that no, enough was enough and we were more than happy with our lot.
We returned from our idyllic holiday, and rejoiced in our family. But I was exhausted, and nauseous. And my boobs hurt like hell…
Wow. We were both in shock. It was too early for testing, but I knew. He knew. Fuck it. What were we going to do? We had just decided no more. But nature has it’s way. Guess we were destined to take over the planet (or at the very least, the school). So we got used to the idea.
Then my period came.
I was devastated. Bereft. Empty. The Husband too was majorly disappointed. We had geared ourselves up – first for no more, then for just one more. We couldn’t have afforded another mouth to feed, the girls would have had to share a room, Christmas presents would have had to remain small, there would be no horse-riding/Japanese/Tai Kwondo lessons. But the kids were used to all that anyway…
The answer was obvious.
The following month, the pregnancy test was positive, as I had known it would be.
So yes, we have four fabulous children who drive us to distraction, bleed us dry and beat us down with their battles. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. With Son1 now 13, Daughter1 11, Daughter2 9, and Son2 now 5, we are entering a new stage of life. For that is it. No more. I’m so over being broody. Yeah babies are cute, and yeah pregnancy is like, wow, so amazing, but I’m no Earth Mother. At one time I thought I could go on forever, popping them out, but I think 4 is enough for us.
I’m over 40 now. Midlife crisis time (for me, not The Husband, poor thing). Life is happening again, this is my rebirth. I’ve done my bit for overpopulating the planet. I think my clock went back 20 years when it hit 40.
Now I just want a puppy.