Quiet thoughts on a big topic

I frequently debate closing down this blog but put off making any sort of decision until a day like today, a quiet and rainy day when I need to get my thoughts out of my head. I used to have a private blog where I puked my thoughts out during the stormiest period in my life. Then I blogged for Weddingbee, where every scary post brought a renewed sense of community and “Whoa, I’m not alone in this!” At Not Quite Betty Crocker, admitting to our relationship’s dysfunction was therapy. Then pregnancy and all those doubts, followed by the PPD thing – all good fodder for posts, all necessary outlets for my thoughts and good for my well being. Now? Eh.

But then, days like today.

While laying with my son during his entire three hour nap on Saturday, I began to imagine having another baby. A staunch defender of the “let’s stop while we’re ahead” one-kid philosophy, I was surprised to be thinking through details. When I start in on the tactical, it’s a real thing.

Next time we’d know not to freak out, I thought. Next time we’d deal with the sleepless nights without wondering what we were doing wrong. Next time we’d swaddle (or not) or use a swing (or not) or whatever free of the we’re-ruining-him-forever guilt. Next time maybe I’d succeed in breastfeeding. Would I use a n*pple shield from the beginning? Stick it out without wondering if I was starving my baby? I would TAKE MEDS BEFORE NINE WEEKS OF MISERY HAD PASSED US ALL BY. What about VBAC’s? Could I just admit I’d rather schedule a c-section and be done with it? Would a baby miss out on something by not going through contractions? Javi would need to be solidly in kid-land first, of course.

Yup, all of that. Our decision not to seriously consider having another child until Javi is much, much older apparently freed me to think through some details without the constant no-no-no-no-not-now! interruptions. Through it all, comfortingly, one consistent thread: Javi would need to be old enough not to need baby-parents anymore. That’s certainly a (very, very) personal decision, and given my personal history and feelings and crap-from-growing-up, the idea of having another child before Javi is at least four makes me deeply, profoundly, unnervingly sad.  While my head is years ahead and thinking about details, my gut and soul and heart are firmly (and comfortably, solidly) in Not Yet Not Now No Way land.

I love, love, love being a mama. I wasn’t sure I would, but I do. Being Javi’s mama is the best role I’ve ever had, one where I consistently discover new versions of my very best self. I am more patient, more loving, more confident as his mama than I’ve ever been, ever, in anything. I’m not sure I want to start over as someone-else’s-mama.

And then, just before I moved on to the never ending shopping for Christmas gifts, one last thought: who has a second child just because they think they can undo some of the trauma of the newborn phase with the first? Not one thought about what theoretical-second-baby would be like, save a brief vision of flying with two little boys, one a toddler, the other much older.

Glad we have at least three more years to fill in those blanks. Or not.

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3 thoughts on “Quiet thoughts on a big topic

  1. It’s so scary to admit that I’ve started to think about baby #2 already… thoughts like “maybe I won’t be so terrified if 10 minutes go by without movement” or “with my next baby, maybe I’ll look forward to sonograms instead of dreading them because what if there’s no heartbeat?” I think it’s normal when something has been traumatic, to fantasize about doing it over differently… or somehow better.

    xo

  2. Is it ironic that while you were sure about just stopping at one before, I was sure about having more than one and now I’m not?? The logistics with work and baby and personal life are so so hard that I don’t know if I want to add another little one in the mix now. I also LOVE being able to sleep at night time and don’t know if I want to start all over again. Maybe, like you, I need to give it more time in between than I originally thought even though it isn’t what I thought the “ideal spacing” was (2-3 years apart). That said, I have most definitely thought about having a totally different experience with a newborn if we have #2. Since we went through a really really tough time the first few months with her being in the NICU for 9 days, then not breathing well at home, lots of doctor visits, and ultimately surgery at 11 weeks, I would LOVE for something different. A normal newborn experience. I am well aware that even that may not exist though!

  3. Funny, I just asked my husband this weekend if he would be ok if we just had one. I love my little lady so much, and each time I go to meet a new born baby or see one- I just have NO desire to be in that stage again. I thought I wanted them 2 years apart, but my husband said- ok, we’ll revisit this topic in a year, and it felt like a weight was lifted from my chest. All of a sudden I felt so much freer to make decisions for the next year. Obviously, this means I am soooo not ready for #2. And honestly, for the first time in my life- I can say that there may not be a #2. Also, watching all of our siblings have two and it just seems that much harder and right now financing a second one is not an option. And unlike you, if we had a second one and I couldn’t/didn’t have a vbac- I would be devastated. I can’t drop the idea that I missed out on an amazing experience.

    Since this weekend, I have been giving my little girl extra squeezes just in case she’s my one and only.

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