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Gareth has made an appointment to discuss getting a vasectomy. As I’ve said before I would love more children, but we’re wondering whether it’s best to stop. I honestly can’t say  how I feel about it, my feelings are so mixed and I feel that perhaps they always will be.

I’ve been giving it a lot of thought over the past couple of weeks and trying to work out how I feel. I want to be sure. I realise that it’s not being pregnant again, or giving birth or having a newborn I yearn for, but rather the potential life that I may never know. This is a feeling that can never be fixed, because I believe that ultimately it’s a yearning for the daughter I never got to know.

It’s a strange feeling as you look at your child and cannot imagine your world without them in it, how a different decision in your life at some point could mean that they never existed. There are aspects of my life that might fill me with shame and that I wish were different, but actually without those moments I wouldn’t be who I am now and where I am now.

I remember my mum telling me that we didn’t run out of love (when I worried that I wouldn’t love my second child as much as my first) and she was right, one’s capacity for love is not finite, it expands to fit all those children that come along and the ones that never made it.

The thought of making a decision to stop that possibility is the hardest one for me and for Gareth too. We’ve discussed the reasons to stop, finances, space at home, space in the car, pregnancy exhaustion, time spent breastfeeding a newborn, and so on. Yet we both say if I happened to fall pregnant before the vasectomy we would be happy that fate had intervened. Perhaps we’re not ready to make the decision, but perhaps we need to.

I love all my boys so much, the biggest one becomes more independent every day and it won’t be long until he leaves home and starts out on his own adult journey. Then it’s me and the little ones and I want to enjoy time with them, I know this would be harder with another pregnancy. There are the reasons for having another that feel silly in a way, the joy of a positive pregnancy test, the first scan, the pregnancy kicks, my gorgeous pregnant belly, meeting my child for the first time, pushing my baby in the big pram, carrying them next to me in the stretchy sling. Just writing these down makes my heart swell and say “just one more”, but maybe I will always think of those things and hope for just one more.

If we said no more I can continue to keep in shape (I’ve been making an effort to be active), I could have my heart op, start climbing again, drink red wine now and again, enjoy being with the boys I have. These thoughts appeal to me too.

Yep. My thoughts are no clearer than when I started writing this. But you know, thanks for listening.

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