Six months ago, when I was asked the rather forward question about if we were planning to have another child, I used to snort derisively and reply with a wry grimace, "Not likely! One's been hard enough!"
I meant it, I wasn't just deflecting their slightly rude curiosity about my private business. Why is it that people, in some cases virtual strangers, think that it's OK to ask you such a personal question? It must have something to do with the public property you automatically become as soon as you get pregnant.
Anyway, must get back to my point, for fear of being accused of deflecting again – six months ago, the idea of having ANOTHER baby – a demanding, time-thieving, sleep-stealing, marriage-testing, figure-ruining, way-of-life-destroying creature in my life...well, I think you can get the idea of how I felt about the matter.
Not that I didn't love Oscar with every fibre of my being and shred of my soul – of course I did (and do), passionately. It's just that I found the whole concept overwhelming. I felt I was barely coping, keeping one baby alive, warm, fed and not crying for most of the day. How on earth could I even contemplate having two of them?
Now, something has changed. Oscar has just turned one (peep peep, toot toot, hurrah for him, and me, and P!). He's becoming a little boy. No longer a baby.
He's nearly walking, he's said some words ("Cat", "Mumma", "Dadda", "Yeah"), he wants to do some things on his own. I can see him growing up and becoming more independent from me. He loves playing with other children, and I think it's that issue that started me thinking that well, maybe he would like a little brother or sister.
Self awareness alert: I do know that this train of thought was a mere convenient justification for my renewed maternal urges – anyone who's watched toddlers at play knows very well that most toddlers will shun the younger ones in the vicinity but can't get enough of those that are older. This goes almost double for siblings, especially if you mix in more that one other family into the situation.
In reality, it would appear that I am responding to my biological programming – a first cuddle with a friend's newborn incites intense feelings of wistful longing, news of a good friend's third pregnancy made me happy for her yet envious at the same time. I see families with two kids, and rather than seeing the exhaustion ringing their eye sockets, I see happy families, even when the children are screeching and squabbling over a toy/sandwich/Mummy's keys.
It suddenly hit me like a lightening bolt – I want another baby!
It's not just about biology that I feel this way – I think it's about wanting to complete our family. Luckily for me, P is not against the idea (hello? phew!) – but we have agreed that we won't try again for a while (not that I'm getting any younger, but still).
So, as for my original misgivings – my figure has already been ruined, my sleep deficit will never return to the black, our marriage is (thankfully at the moment) stronger than ever and our lives will be forever different to the way they were before we had children anyway – the die has already been cast. We must be nuts!
How do you feel about having more children?
Did you always want more than one or did you change your mind?
Is it that much harder having more than one?