If there is one thing that I was absolutely clear on the first year of Jude and Ellie's life, it was that I was done having children. Did you hear that? DONE. D.O.N.E. At no point in the future would I be birthing or raising any more children. Period. We were pretty sure at the start of our second pregnancy that we were going to stop at two children. Then we got our bonus baby and that likelihood became a certainty. The plan is to accept our fate as a party of five.
Last Saturday, I visited my dear friend who is 33 weeks pregnant with her own set of twins. Like me, she has an older daughter. Unlike me, she has had a difficult pregnancy and is now on hospital bed rest. I wonder how it is all going to work out for her and I feel both trepidatious and concerned.
My friend has seen how hard the first year of my twin's life was. She was witness to the marathon nursing sessions, the short tempers, my inability to hold a conversation due to extreme sleep deprivation, the marital strife and stress, and the substantial regression of our older child. She is under no illusion that what she is about to embark upon will be easy.
So, it shocked the hell out of her when I said that I might one day want just one more baby. (Clearly getting just one more may not be an option for me, however.) You see, after Vivi, I didn't feel like I really experienced all the wonderful things that come with babies: the tiny toes, the curled up fingers, their coos and smiles, and the ability to curl into a tiny little ball and fall asleep anywhere. What is burned into my memory are the colicky afternoons and evenings, the chaos, and the sleepless nights. Ironically, it is their birth that I remember so positively. The baby part, not so much. Somehow, I blinked and Jude and Ellie turned into delightful toddlers and we're all much happier.
Thank heavens for that.
When thinking about a new baby, I long to have those newborn cuddles. Then my brain kicks in and reminds the rest of my body that I am NUTS. It is not going to happen because my sanity depends on it not happening. Besides, my friend is about to have two so I'm sure she won't mind if I savor the baby moments for her.
Isn't that what good friends are for?