It’s a bit of a joke amongst mums that before you’ve even healed from birthing your baby, people are asking you, “So when are you going to have another?”
For a long time, I was staunch in my answer of “never”. If I’m feeling a bit cheekier I’ll say “as soon as Jim figures out how to birth it and breastfeed it for two years.”
Over the last few months however I’d describe my position as being much more “firmly on the fence”. There are days when having a 2nd kid sounds like hell on earth and days when I think back to Luella’s early days and muse, “but wasn’t it kind of nice?” This past week there were certainly a lot more of the latter, following the birth of my best friend’s daughter Goldie.
Seeing her older daughter as a doting big sister giving kisses and pointing out all her little newborn features definitely had me getting a bit misty. And when I brought Luella around to meet her, forget it. I was ready to get reproducing that night!
The reality, of course, is that now would not be an ideal time for me to get pregnant. Things are just starting to take off for Sydney Creative Playground and I don’t think I could walk away from it in 9 months time, even temporarily. And of course there are still MANY lingering doubts.
Some of them stem from personal family dynamics that I won’t go into too much detail with, except to say that the possibility of my kids not getting along is something I terribly fear.
A lot of it is of course tied up in my less than stellar birth experience and ensuing PTSD and struggles with Anxiety. I’m on an SSRI and don’t really love the idea of taking it throughout a pregnancy and my one attempt to wean off it did NOT go well. While I don’t foresee my anxiety becoming that bad again, you really never know and the prospect is a bit scary.
However, that said, I’ve had several people in the past week describe their 2nd birth as “healing” following from a tough time the first go-round. Maybe midwives trust you more the second time, maybe you trust yourself more or maybe it just gets easier. Now that prospect – of getting a second chance of the natural birth I so badly wanted – is very appealing. But of course, not a guarantee.
And I don’t know how I’d handle another pear-shaped delivery or worse – if I had to have a c-section. I feel pretty strongly that if I were to have a second pregnancy that I’d want to try for a homebirth. Looking back at my hospital experience I feel there were so many missteps and interventions that really threw me off. The idea of being able to relax and simply enjoy those hours following birth instead of being tested, prodded, forced to do this and that… all very very appealing.
But then of course I start going down the “what if” path. My pregnancy was so easy the first time, what if the next one has me puking day and night? Luella has always had minimal health issues. What if the next one has birth defects? What if it turns out Luella was a really easy baby and the next one never lets me leave the house? What if the next one doesn’t latch? Doesn’t like to be worn? Is a biter? Has crazy allergies?
I finally feel like I’m at a point where I’m pretty comfortable in this parenting thing. Do I really want to go and mess that all up???
Maybe it’s just hormones now that I’m not breastfeeding. Maybe it’s because I’ve come up with several really kickass baby names that it would be a shame not to use. Or maybe this is… gasp!… something I kind of sort of do want.
Not today. Not next month. I’m not really sure when. And who knows if it will even be possible again – I’m not getting any younger! But it’s definitely on the table. For now.