We have two kids: one boy and one girl. After one kid, my body bounced back to nearly pre-child conditions. After my second, it was similar, except one thing. Where I used to gain all my weight in my cheeks and hips, I now gain all my weight in my uterus. So I am constantly walking around looking like I am just about to make a big announcement. I never wanted to be, but I am now one of those people who “suck in”—not because I want to appear skinnier, but because I really don’t want you to embarrass yourself by asking me when I am due, and how wonderful to have a third on the way.

You may think I am exaggerating, but it is the gonna-have-a-baby-looking truth. In fact, one evening a few months ago I was changing into my PJs and I let that burrito belly relax for a minute. I caught a glimpse of it in the mirror and thought, “Ugh, I look so pregnant.” I examined closer in full relaxation mode, and thought, “That looks like I’m ready for a gender-revealing ultrasound…am I pregnant?”

I asked my husband, and he did a double take. (He will never admit it, but I saw it!) “No, no…you don’t,” he wisely replied, and then he (again wisely) wandered away, likely panicking, because for real, I was looking nearly throw-me-a-baby-shower sized. I dug a pregnancy test out of a back dusty corner of our linen closet and thought about how I really really really need this line to be a boring horizontal. About how I will kill myself all the way home if it isn’t. About why I know we are done.

Here is what I came up with…why I know… after I peed on the stick and waited:

1. Newborns. Before my kids, I didn’t like to hold newborns, and they knew it. I would try to do what I saw other moms doing…cradle, coo…but their heads always rolled loose from their bodies. The babies always crumpled in my arms like wilted leaves. I should have seen this as a sign that my newborns would hate me and treat me accordingly. Wally was colicky and screamed at me for 3 months, and Vivvi was perfect—except for a sleep regression at 4-6 months old where she woke up every hour, all night long no matter what I did—for 2 months. It was an expert torture technique. Just as I’d be drifting off, she would wake up again. For that time, it felt like my brain floated 2 feet above my body. I am currently internet-famous for sleep regressions, with 2,000 sleep deprived people visiting one of my posts every month to read about my tips (that I admit in the post didn’t work). But they are desperate, like I was, to try anything because it is the worst. I really don’t want to do that again. That brings me to my next point.

2. Sleep. I love sleep. It is one of the few things I am really, really good at. And now, even at preschool and early elementary ages, my kids interrupt that glorious, glorious time. My 3 year old has an 80 year old’s bladder, so she often gets up twice a night to pee. She does this on her own. I am proud of her, but not proud at 2 and 4 in the morning, when she stops first in our room to say, “I have to pee!” and refuses to budge from there, yell-whispering and yell-whispering it until we acknowledge, “Okay.” One more child would mean years and years of more nonsense wake ups. Nope.

3. Diapers. I am done with diapers. Years and years and boxes and boxes and pees and poops that I have to get up close and personal with—done. Whooo hooo!

4. Annoying phrases. With a 6 and 3 year old, I find myself saying certain things over and over that I never expected to say. Phrases like, “Stop touching your butt,” and “We don’t spit,” (or “hit” or “bite our toenails,”) and “Don’t say my name like that,” and by “that” I mean the constantly going up in pitch “Mwaaaaaaaaaahm?” that is yelled from another room. I want to say all of these things a few times as possible for the rest of my life.

5. Restaurant seatings. I would never list this, but if you ask my husband, this will probably be the number one thing he will say. He came from a family of four, and he was always happy to be able to fit into a booth. So I will include this reason, because I love him, and because it actually does make sense.

6. Leaving the house. Pre-kids, I never could have imagined the 20-minute process of getting from the house to the car. All the water and snacks and buckling required for even the quickest of trips still amazes me. Add to that winter, and that it takes 3 coats, 6 boots, 3 hats, 6 mittens and so much begging and prodding and whining for all three of us to get out the door, and I just cannot add another body and its extremities to cover and buckle and the noises that will come out of it to the mix.

7. One boy, one girl. Another boy would mean that much more pee on the floor, seat, and wall around the toilet. (Seriously, why all the splatter?) Another girl would mean, eventually, another teenage girl. I was a teenage girl once, and I remember all of the feelings. And we are not unleashing that terror on this house.

8. Me. Some moms are just made for having more and more kids. You know the ones I’m talking about—they are walking around with 4 and still looking at babies longingly because their uteruses are not closed for business. They are usually laid back, kind, and wonderful people and I cannot see myself in them one bit. I went to the pool with one of my favorites of these kinds of moms this summer, and Wally played with her two older boys nearby while Vivvi and her baby girl clung to us and we would occasionally look around by us for her toddler boy, who was usually standing in water that was a foot too deep, reaching up calmly, waiting for someone to pull him out so he could breathe again. She would casually rescue him while finishing the story she was telling, and I would stand in awe and amazement. Because I am not her, and I am constantly feeling like her submerged son most of the time with only two kids, reaching up for someone to rescue me.

9. Us. We are complete. I look at Wally IV and Wally V and Vivvi, and I know. We are the Otts. Like a quartered pie—it’s easy. It would take way too many calculations for my tired brain to figure out how to make 5 slices. I watch the kids play and fight and love and bother each other, and my heart is full.

So if I were to be pregnant with another, I would probably have to list it on Craigslist. But don’t worry—I’d make sure to write “free to a good home.” (Because I wouldn’t want to give it free to a bad home. I would make a bad home pay at least a little.) Of course, I am kidding. I would cry, and then pull up my big girl pants and deal with it. But I really really don’t want to—so please let me whine about this for this scary and waiting minute.

I sit with my peed-on stick, and I ponder these things, and I check with fear and trembling. And it is negative. And I sigh with relief. “I guess I’ll have to go to the gym,” I think. “Or better yet, I will write a post about how I know we are done to make sure everyone is clear: I’m not pregnant. I just gain all my weight in my uterus.”

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