No more kids: Respecting my partner’s decision

My partner April and I have been married for 10 years. We have a beautiful daughter named Willow who is 4. We got pregnant with Willow fairly quickly. However, April had a pretty difficult pregnancy. She was sick and felt exhausted from the beginning, and these symptoms didn’t ease up in the later trimesters. Needless to say, she was relieved when Willow was born healthy, and expected that things would get better now that we had our beautiful daughter.

Unfortunately Willow had colic and was very difficult to soothe. My work took me out of the country, which meant that I had to leave April on her own with Willow, often for long stretches of time. We lived away from our families, so she didn’t have much support. I hired someone to clean the house and cook meals for April while I was gone, in order to ease the load a bit, but those first months were still very difficult for her (and for me). I felt pretty helpless because we were relying on my income, but that meant that I had to be away. April was sleep deprived and felt very isolated – stuck in our home with a screaming, unhappy baby. It really was a horrible period in our lives.

Thankfully, by about the 6 month mark, Willow started crying less and sleeping more, and April started to feel more human again. By the time Willow turned one, as a family we had definitely turned a corner. Willow could interact with us more, and we marveled at all of her firsts – walking, talking, her first haircut… Life really was good, and although I was still travelling a lot and not able to help out very much, April seemed to have found her groove and appeared to really be enjoying motherhood. When Willow turned 1, we talked about the possibility of having another child. April understood my desire to have a sibling for Willow, but said that she loved our life now, and couldn’t imagine going through another 9 months of severe morning sickness, much less 6 months of dealing with a colicky baby and a 2 year old at the same time! I was disappointed, but I could also see April’s point. After all, she was the one who would have to go through the pregnancy, and was at home doing the lion’s share of the childcare. When Willow turned 2 we had another conversation about the “more kids issue”. April said she was still happy with just one child, and hoped that I could be too. The more I thought about it, the more April’s happiness, and by extension, Willow’s happiness was what was most important to me. So I decided that if this was what April wanted, I could get on board. Our family would be complete with 3, or 4 if you count our new puppy!

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