Todd and I have three nephews and nieces so far, all by way of Todd's brother. Oddly, they've all been harbingers of our own three children.
First Todd's brother and sister-in-law had a baby in 2004. Then Eddie arrived in our family in 2005.
They had another baby in 2007. Marian joined our family in 2008.
After a bit of a pause, they had a third baby in 2011. When Trey unexpectedly came along in 2012, Todd and I jokingly said we should have known he was on his way, since our newest niece was now a year old. Twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern, right?
We recently found out that our sister-in-law is expecting another baby in 2013. All I could think when the inevitable joke came about how this must mean #4 was in store for us was, "No. No no no no no. I am DONE."
I've had many people tell me that they knew when their house was full, so to speak. Whether it was after one child or two children or six, they just knew their family had reached the right number. I've always hoped I'd stumble into that same certainty, especially after my endless dithering and overthinking post-Mari, sometimes eagerly looking forward to the "big kid only" stage, other times wishing for a third child.
I know part of my present certainty is due to not wanting to relive the way I fell off the emotional cliff after Trey's placement, and I am sure part of it is due to the fact that Trey is still a giggly, smushy baby at the moment (although thisclose to being a toddler, yikes). It may very well be that I will feel differently as his babyhood slips away and it's time to give away the baby things. But perhaps not. I have already handed off the newborn cloth diapers (so wee!) with nary a pang of nostalgia or hesitation.
Whether this sureness turns out to be lasting or temporary, I know how unbelievably lucky to have reached this place. And with a deep sigh of relief, I will embrace it for as long as it lasts.