Ok, so I did bring it up. I brought it up because it's on my mind. A lot.
I thought I might delve a little deeper into the subject because I am sure I/we are not alone. John and I have a very difficult time talking rationally on the subject of having more kids. I am hesitant to post about it, because I don't want to put words in his mouth, or paint an inaccurate picture regarding his feelings on the issue.
I think what it boils down to, is that while I desperately want to have another baby, he is very, very afraid.
John is an "in the moment" kind of guy. He doesn't even think about what he wants to do tomorrow, let alone how he wants his life to look 20 years from now. He tends to put much more thought into the potentially bad things that might happen than I ever have, and sometimes the fear that he has of the unknown is immobilizing.
Pretty much every major step forward that we have made in our lives since high school has been a direct result of my planning. I planned where we would go to college. I planned when we would get married, where we would live, every major vacation, when we would buy a house, and when we would have kids. I have dragged him along, for better or worse, kicking and screaming every step of the way (not literally), and in the end he usually thanks me for it.
The plus to being the planner, is that when things go well you get to take all the credit. The downside is that when things do not turn out the way you plan, you end up taking the heat. Like, for example, when you get pregnant with twins born 16 weeks early. Now, John would never come right out and tell me that he blames me for how our lives have changed since having our kids. He may not even think it. He doesn't have to, because I do a fine job of it all on my own.
The thing is this... I have come to a place where I am feeling a little more at peace. I don't feel sad and guilty all the time anymore. I look at my children, and I see two perfectly delightful little girls, who seem to be relatively well-adjusted and happy. I look at our family and I see that we are functioning fairly well. We have bad days where everyone is grumpy and short-tempered and generally difficult to get along with, and we have great days where we are well-connected, lovable, and having tons of fun together. And, like everyone else, we have many, many just kinda in-between normal days.
John would say, "why would you screw it up just when it's getting good." I would say, "now that it's so good, I want MORE."
The truth of the matter is that I am used to getting what I want. John has said to me many times, "You're going to do what you want anyway, so why even ask me." I admit it. But this is just something that I don't feel like I can do anyway. I don't want to do it by myself. If we are going to do it, I want him to support me 100%. Being pregnant again would be terrifying for me as well, and I would need someone to help me carry that fear. If things went badly, I would need someone to share the pain with me. I can't do it on my own.
Ultimately I do not know what caused my premature labor with Holland and Eden. I do know that it was NOT related to blood pressure, diabetes, or incompetent cervix (things that tend to recur in subsequent pregnancies). Though I did NOT have an infection when I was admitted to the hospital, I did have a UTI earlier in the month that I believe may have triggered something. I also know that, being pregnant with twin, my uterus was growing quite rapidly, which may also have been a contributing factor. In addition, I was going to the gym and working out regularly, which is fine in most normal pregnancies, but if I were already in labor without knowing it, certainly couldn't have been the best thing for me to be doing.
I've had four long years to ponder these factors, to think about and research what I might do differently the next time around. There are a lot of options, and while I certainly know that there are NO guarantees, I think the chances are pretty good that we could manage the next pregnancy differently, and have a much less stressful outcome for all involved.
Yes, I know that having another baby would be a lot of work, that it would change our family dynamic in unpredictable ways, and that there would be days I would wonder "what the hell was I thinking." But in the long run, I think there's a good chance it would be worth the worry and the stress and the risk.
Some things in life are just worth fighting for.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?