As we know, I am telling quite a lot of people about my current pregnancy, and when I do so, I have developed the need to follow the news up with the information that I don't intend to have any more.
This is because I want to pre-empt them thinking that I'm some kind of manic breeder, who either has no idea how to use contraceptives, or who is some martyr who just wants to devote herself to discomfort and the needs of others, I dunno. Well, what's wrong with either of those? It's not a sin to have children. It's not a sin to have 12 children! But I still don't want to be perceived as either of them, for some reason.
Yes, the pregnancies have followed in somewhat quick succession, but they're not really that close compared to, say, me and my sister, or my husband and his brother. These babies will be 23 months apart, perfectly respectable. There were many reasons why I chose to have a baby at this time, to do with my age, my career at this point, my finances and the desire for S to have a sibling he could have fun with. These were my reasons, dammit! Nothing to do with what anyone else thinks! Yes, there have been gasps of, "Oh! You didn't give yourself much breathing space did you?!" and, "Congratulations, you mad thing!" but who gives a crap what they think?
Apparently I do. And I was unable to stop myself from frowning and muttering, "Well, it's a lot to put your body through..." when judgy friend from a few posts back mentioned that she had stopped using contraception. (She has two children under the age of 2). I'm telling myself I was just getting my own back for her calling me silly the other week.
But really, have I too absorbed society's message that procreation and women's pregnant bodies and childbirth are obscene and that they should be controlled and constrained? Probably.