Friday, March 6, 2009

Considering a sequel

I spent much of yesterday holding a newborn baby.

She was tiny and snuggly and five-weeks-old. She snuggled into my chest just like Will used to do, knees pulled up to her chin, head full of dark hair cocked over to one side. She sighed and slept, and Will didn't even mind, busy playing with her own best friend (and the new baby's cousin).

"This is nice." I announced. "Maybe I could do this again."

But then I remembered.

"Oh she's great during the day," the newest mama told me. "But she's up most of the night. Usually until 3 or 3:30. The other night until 5."

I remember even when Will was sleeping well, she'd get up at the crack of dawn to eat and then play. She always played for 2 hours, so even if I was exhausted I just had to wait that two hours and then we could go back to sleep.

"You couldn't do that with a toddler running around," my friend reminded me. "As soon as the baby was settled you'd have to be up for the day with this one."

Right. Those quiet hours of snuggling and sleeping with a newborn are reserved for first and only children. And the not-so-quiet hours don't disappear just because there is a sibling who will need attention in the morning, afternoon or right now. Now! Mama! Right! Now!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Last week my youngest sister and I arranged a lunch for my sister-in-law, who will be having her second baby at the beginning of April. Her son is 3 months younger than Will, so when this baby is born he won't be quite two.

I am thrilled and excited for her, of course. It was fun to talk baby carriers and strollers, tiny onesies and maybe dresses, if it's a girl.

But my overriding emotion was not jealousy. There was no soft light or sense of whimsy surrounding the mother-to-be.

I was just grateful that it was not me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On our date night last month I threw out the idea of a second child. I consider it a lot, overthinking all the possibilities. (Do I want to do this again? Could I deal with two? Can I imagine not doing this again? Is our whole family here yet?) I thought it might be a good idea to find out what my husband was thinking.

"Maybe when Will is 3?"

That was something I had considered. "To start trying."

"No. To have another baby."

"But . . . she's almost 2 now."

He shrugged. "It will probably take about a year."

"But . . . then we would have to start trying soon. Like now."


"But . . . I just lost 20 pounds!"

" . . . "

"But . . . I'm not ready."

" . . . "

"But . . . I don't even know for sure . . ."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The one thing I do know is that if we decide to have another child, I want to be excited about his or her arrival. I want the anticipation to be stronger than the anxiety (at least most of the time). I want to feel like I cannot wait to meet this new addition, to help this little person find its place in our family.

I can't say that now.

I am so not ready.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

You make me laugh out loud. We should start a support group: "Indecisive Mothers of Singletons". My fear of twins is causing me to push back our timeline indefinitely.