I cleaned out the nursery tonight. Sold the crib. Packed away the baby clothes. Looked through the photos of when my boys were born. Swept up all the remnants of baby and brought in something new.
The truth is, I've been on the fence a long time about having another baby. Ever since we brought Tuck home from the hospital, I've wondered if we should do it all again. Jeff only wanted two. I always thought I wanted one, then I had two, and then I started thinking about number three. A girl would be lovely, no doubt, but even another boy sounded fine. I always felt like I had more love, but never enough time or energy.
I then questioned every mother I met. So, how did you know you were done? Did the baby fever ever go away? Do you wish you would have had more kids? No conclusive answers. Just confident women who seemed content with the number of kids they had.
Ironically, it was the pregnant women around me that finally provided the answer. An amazing friend at work is having baby number four. I actually woke up in a cold sweat one night thinking this was me, my life, and realizing I can't deal with that many kids. Another friend recently moved, took a new job and became pregnant. I was so thrilled for her, but not one bit envious at all these new adventures in her life. And then, when doling out advice to another friend about fertile times of the month, I almost had a heart attack when my period failed to show up on time. False alarm, thank goodness, but I fretted enough to know what side of the fence I had landed.
It was time to move on. Instead of a nursery, I now have a room of my own -- an office, a personal sanctuary to write, a rocker to read (instead of nurse a baby) and pictures of those I love all around me. I even dusted off my favorite poetry books and lined them up like proud, little soldiers in my new room. While I love the babies I've been blessed with, I feel confident tonight. Something new is about to begin. For the first time in a long time, I think I'm ready.