How Do You Know When Enough is Enough..

About thirty minutes after James was born I declared that I was the happiest I had ever been but I was never doing it again. The pregnancy had been hard and his birth was traumatising to say the least. I was on cloud 9 but there was no way I was putting myself through that again..

I kept saying never again for three more years until one day I decided that it couldn't have been that bad. I thought back to the pain of labour and decided that it really couldn't have been worse than period cramps..

This time it was ten minutes after Emilie was born that I announced never again.. I had one of each now. My pigeon pair. I didn't need anymore children.

How do you know when to stop having children though?

Recently I've been experiencing the symptoms of menopause. At the ripe old age of thirty, I've been seeing a doctor and undergoing blood tests to find out if all my symptoms really are pointing to menopause. At my first appointment the doctor asked me.. "Have you completed your family.." I answered quickly, "Yes.."

Once I got home, I sat down and for the first time the implications of menopause really hit me. If I really was coming to the end of my child bearing years, was I ok with that? It's one thing for me to sit there, with a baby in my arms, having just given birth and say that I was done. It's a totally different thing to have that decision taken away from me. To have my body say, "Okay, you're done now.."

Other women have said to me, you just know when you're done. You can still cuddle a baby and think it's adorable but you don't get that longing for a baby yourself. Other women have told me that they would always want more. My Mum has always said that she loved being pregnant and giving birth and would have done it over and over again. I'm actually surprised that she stopped at three!

I've watched a lot about the Radford family over the years and I've always watched them feeling equal parts admiration for how they dedicate their lives to raising such a large family and also thinking that they are crazy! I might be confused as to when to know when to stop having babies but I know for definite that I don't want 16.

I guess it's different for every woman and one of those things that is personal for each person. I do know though that all my life I wanted to be a Mum. I never had major career aspirations, everything was all about becoming someones Mummy. Now I get to do that everyday, so if my body does make the decision that enough is enough then I'm still one lucky person.

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