People often ask me when we are having our next one. Baby, that is.
I usually respond, ‘Ummm I don’t know.’ And honestly, I don’t. I’m very conflicted about the idea of adding to our family.
(Excuse the confusing title – technically speaking, I already have three: one birth daughter, one step-daughter, and a son. But I only have one with my husband, so our second would be the potential new baby, of which I am writing about.)
Now that we are all on the same page . . .
Back to the issue of having another baby. I am hesitant about it for many reasons. Maybe you can relate?
Both of my pregnancies were lonely, for very different reasons. My first, I was just a teenager. The popular belief that ‘everyone is doing it’ didn’t really apply to my situation. I didn’t have any friends to share in the experience with. Into the 6th month of the pregnancy I switched schools and practically stopped going out (unless you count going to lunch with your parents – which, let’s be honest, isn’t all that cool to the average 16 year old . . . although I am thankful for it now!).
My second pregnancy was lonely for other reasons. I was in a brand new country and had only a handful of friends – all of which led busy lives. My husband worked full time and I was at home alone most days. I had to constantly battle loneliness and homesickness. I couldn’t confess my feelings because I was adamant to stick it through – to make my life here in England.
Aside from the loneliness, – and unlike my first one – I didn’t enjoy pregnancy the second time around. I was one of those disgusting pregnant ladies. I was hormonal and gross and sweaty (cough*windy*cough). Most pregnant women carry that ‘glow’. Not me. I struggled with my iron levels, and maintained a pasty, ghostly Casper-like appearance.
And I had a high risk labor and delivery with Kiean. It was traumatic. You can find out more in Placing Bets.
I think about number two, and I struggle with the thought of going through it all again. Some people cope beautifully with sleepless nights and breastfeeding. I am not lucky enough to be counted among them. Then there’s the practicalities, like getting a family of 5 back and forth to the US every year. I can’t see how it would work. Also not being able to drive (still haven’t mastered the whole driving in the UK thing) and being stuck at home with a baby again doesn’t appeal. And then I think ‘Oh, I am a terrible woman. I should want another child. What’s wrong with me?’
Sometimes I look at Kiean while he sits and plays with his toys. He often asks me and Leigh to join in. I want him to have a little sibling to play with.Then I think about all the things I’ve just written. It’s a catch 22.
I’m 27. I’ve got time on my side; however, Kiean will be three this September and the gap widens with every passing day.
Surely someone out there has these feelings too? Or am I alone in this? (Please say you do, it will make me feel much better!)