Offspring Break: I'm Afraid Having Another Baby Will Ruin My Marriage

It's not exactly a secret that my husband and I had our first daughter a little sooner than expected.

Well, sure, you say. But whose fault is that, Chaunie? You should have thought about that!

And I'll give you that.

And I will also say that after adding two more children in the three years that followed, I am no stranger to how it all works. I get it, ok? And it's worked out just fine.

I am happy with the little family we have started-and grown over the past five years of our marriage.

But the problem is, I'm not sure I want it to grow any more at the moment.

For various reasons, permanent sterilization is not an option and hormonal birth control doesn't work for me; and if history is any indication, this time in our lives happens to be prime-time for baby making. I know everyone is different and I don't say anything about my reproductive status lightly, because I know many couple struggle with infertility, but the fact is, this is our lot in life…

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And I'm trying to learn how to deal with it.

Because the truth is, I'm just a teensy bit tired. A little bit tired of the 3+ years I have spent breastfeeding. A little disgruntled with the toll that back-to-back pregnancies have taken on my body. A smidgen ready to be able to enjoy being with my husband…

Without constantly worrying about getting pregnant.

I've taken more pregnancy tests than I care to count; every month I make myself crazy analyzing every twinge, pondering over every emotion. Do my breasts feel tender? Was that a wave of nausea? Where would we put another baby?

I can feel myself, either unconsciously, or very consciously, pulling away from my husband. I just need a couple more months, I'll think, rationalizing it in my head. Just a little more time to lose the few extra pounds.

I know it can't be healthy for our marriage.

I don't want to hide from my husband in fear of having another baby. I want to want him, willingly; I want to be open to life and love.

I want to accept our relationship, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health…

And in unexpected surprises.

But I also want a little time to stop and breathe, to rekindle our romance, to support each other in our professional lives, to feel like that married couple we never really got to be.

I'm not saying that I don't want any more children. I love kids and of course I think they are a blessing.

But is it so wrong to want to be with my husband-to just be with him-without putting a baby into the equation every month?

I don't know, maybe it's selfish of me to think this way; maybe this is what marriage is all about-the give and take, the joining together to become part of something greater. Learning to respect my body and asking my husband to do the same.

But man, oh man…

Is it also wrong to just want a teensy little break?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go check the calendar for the this month.

Just in case.

-By Chaunie Brusie

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