After this experience and hopefully producing Baby J al dente, my uterus plans on taking an early retirement. Imagine being confined to hospital bed rest and having one, possibly even more small children at home, while their mother is absent for weeks, or months. If Jon and I had additional children at home, he would undoubtedly also wind up in the cardiac unit of the hospital. And, my poor mom would probably lose her eyesight altogether from her eye twitch.
Jon and I have had many conversations about the implications of producing only one offspring. Jon, unlike me, is a complete natural with children and effortlessly plays and bonds with all of our friends' kids. However, in the presence of children, I feel awkward, uncomfortable, and don't know if I should converse with them as little adults or the way that I talk to my cat. Even though I am undoubtedly inexperienced in my dealings with children, I do know that whenever I develop a bond with another person, my care-taking and protective nature is unleashed.
My husband and I both feel that middle-class families in our culture can sometimes struggle harder in comparison to upper-class or lower-class families. With both parents working, it is often a challenge to pay for child care, in which the annual cost can equate to a quarter of a couple's salary. Also, as both parents are constantly shuffling the 9-5 routine, an additional challenge is scheduling the time to pick-up, drop-off, leave work early if baby becomes sick or contaminated, etc. Along with child care, there are numerous other expenses involved in producing a mini-me. The cost of furniture, baby gear, pre-paid college funds, health care, all weigh heavily on parents who strive to provide an optimal life for their little one(s). While I can't fathom the idea of sacrificing our brand-new baby furniture, Jon's granny spent the first few months in a dresser drawer because her parents couldn't afford a crib. While it is true that many baby items we think we need are just a brainwashing ploy of commercialized consumerism, imagine the horrors if our friends and family discovered Baby J living in the bottom of our dresser!
I do feel a little badly depriving Baby J the chance at having a sibling (I am already experiencing Jewish-mom guilt). Many of my friends experienced these same emotions when they were pregnant but eventually sent their hubbies to the snip-snip Doctor. While many of my girlfriends have confessed that they inevitably recognize the difficulty in balancing parenthood and marriage, I think that a by-product of my generation is that we also want to continue to enjoy our lives, without sacrificing our precious vacations, 401Ks, and retirement savings. Some people think that this may be a selfish concept, and while that may be true, I am all about preserving my happy marriage and life.
My friend Jessica once pointed out the fact that your sibling is the one person in your life whom you will have the longest relationship with. Sadly, your parents will eventually pass away, your friendships develop at different stages, and most people do not meet their spouse until they have already survived a couple decades of dating. Among my friends and sister-in-law, I plan on forging a surrogate brother relationship with Baby J and one of their sons.
Even though I have a brother, I also have a part-time sister, Heather, whom was literally in the hospital while I was being born (our moms have been a best friend power couple-duo since their twenties). This weekend, when she came to visit me in my hospital room, we jovially recalled how we used to fight like sisters--we dug our nails into each others' skin, locked one another out of our bedrooms, I even ran away from my house--suitcase in tow--to escape her unbearable presence on one occasion. I have known her longer than I have known my own brother and although we grew up both loving and hating each other at different times, she will forever be my lifelong best friend.
So, for now, my uterus is fried, burnt out, and the oven will most likely be out of commission indefinitely. After I present my little bundle of joy to the world, Jon will be the next in line for the torture treatment. I apologize to my mother (actually she is probably singing from the mountaintops after what I have put her through and is probably thrilled not to have to endure this again--especially with another child in the picture) and my in-laws in advance for this decision. So, unless we suddenly come into a vast fortune, or have an immaculate conception, Jon and I plan on maintaining a minuscule semblance of sanity, allotted vacation time, and savings in our matrimonial endeavors.