I wrote about this before being told about the changes at work. I debated on whether or not to post but ended up posting. What I say in here is still true so here it goes:
It took a while to get pregnant. The “it is good thing if it doesn’t happen at once because then you’ll have so much fun trying” seemed the worst line ever spoken. And at the same time I am fully aware that doctors say 80 percent of all couples will become pregnant within a year of trying and that it was also the case for me. I did become pregnant. And that without the help that so many people sadly need.
Waiting is the hardest part. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. That is why I decided, while still pregnant with the girl, that we would start trying for a second child when the firstborn was 15 months old. I couldn’t stand the thought of once again having to wait when I was so ready to receive.
September 2010. 15 months. Want to try? No way. The girl has fits on a daily basis, J and I fight, we all sleep and enjoy too little. I had days of telling myself I did not want another kid – seriously! There was a 10 day period during the last third of 2010 were I thought a second child would be great, where J and I whispered about it lying side by side in our bed at night but fits and sleep deprivation returned and we stopped talking about it.
On 19th of December my family gathered around for a pre-Christmas celebration since 2010 was the year of Christmas with the in-laws. The girl behaved, she walked around hand in hand with her 4-year-old cousin who clearly adored being dragged around by the youngster. The 10-year-old cousin who has adored the girl ever since her birth (and she him) was visibly jealous of his sister. J and I had an entire meal that evening. We sat at the table at the same time. We talked to my brother and his wife and to my parents and more than once we all laughed. The girl? She entertained herself and couldn’t have cared less about our presence.
We went to J’s parents for Christmas. With no other grandchildren to entertain her (she is the only grandchild on that side of the family) she wasn’t quite as “I couldn’t care less about you” as she had been at my parents’ but she played with whoever was willing to oblige her “sit” (while clapping the carpet and thereby pointing out the spot to sit on) and both J’s mother and sister were more than willing.
The Christmas break has also meant the world to her verbally. She is talking up a storm. She will say “thirsty” and “me not touch” and “Mum” and “Dad” – she has a new word a day if not two. She is even forming little sentences which totally caught me by surprise and has just made me squeeze her even harder and whisper “I love you so” more often.
Christmas made me realise how much she has grown, how she is now a girl who can play and entertain herself. And Christmas made me realise that I want one more. I haven’t been ready before now. The past 19 months has been way harder than J and I imagined they would be but we are also seriously cashing in on pleasure these days.
When J and I met 4 kids was what we talked about. We are now down to 3. Saying this we both realise that if number 2 is as difficult as the girl was, 2 is what we will get. (And yes, I realise that mother nature has a saying in this as well. I of all people am freaked out about not getting to decide myself but having to let nature run its course – trust that I know this instead of pointing it out if that was what you wanted).
Finally feeling ready to try for a second child is HUGE to me. Back in November and December thinking about eventually having a second child would confuse me. I couldn’t decide when the best time for a second baby was. We have an election coming up some time this year. There is the possibility of a new government and for me that would mean a new employer. I couldn’t help but think about postponing a second baby until after this so that I would add yet another scalp to my speech writing belt. Maternity leave is also likely to mean returning to completely different assignments at work and was I ready to give up what I have now for something I might not like as much? My thoughts were never centered around “do I want another baby?” but around “is there ever a good time to have another baby?”.
Discussing a second baby with J over the Christmas break made me realise that I couldn’t care less about the election and the changes that might follow and affect my job. So what if my assignments are completely changed when I return from maternity leave? What I want is a family. I don’t want to be 70 and tell the girl that she didn’t have brothers and sisters because there was never really a good time. Who knows if I will have to tell her that she didn’t have brothers and sisters because we couldn’t but at least then it wasn’t in my hands.
Ask not if there is ever a good time to have a baby, ask if you really want a baby, as I am sure Kennedy said at some point. If he didn’t, he should have.