In the hours after Oscar was born, I made James promise me that we wouldn’t have another. In the weeks that followed I bought a journal to write down my birth story in detail so that I could deter my future self from further babydom. I also told anyone who would listen that I was ‘Never, ever, EVER doing that again.’
You understand, all of this was not because I didn’t want another child. Of course I wanted another. But I found Oscar’s birth traumatic and terrifying and afterwards amidst my total elation and joy which I’m so thankful I experienced, I was in shock. James and I both were. Giving birth is incredible. It can also be raw and real and scary.
So here I am, eight weeks shy of Oscar turning two and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about baby number two. Wondering when and if we’ll be blessed with another. Yearning like I’ve never yearned for anything before.
Timing is kind of key. There is a lot going on personally right now which needs to be sorted out, ideally before that happens. But at the same time I don’t feel prepared to wait. I’m 34, and y’know I kind of just want to crack on. I don’t want there to be a huge age gap between Oscar and his baby brother or sister. And also – you can’t plan these things. Who knows how long it will take to get pregnant when we do decide the time is right? Who knows if I’ll even get pregnant? Every life is a miracle. I know that from the difficulties we had when I was carrying Oscar and suffered haemorrhaging. At one point we were told I had a 50% chance of miscarrying. We were walking on egg shells for the entirety of the first 21 weeks of my pregnancy.
I now feel kind of selfish for being so vocal about never wanting to do it again in those early days. I’m so unbelievably lucky that I was able to have a healthy baby and it feels pretty disrespectful for me to say such things when some people want children and would give anything for that privilege.
So how long have I been feeling like this, yearning for another? Over a year. In fact I would say Oscar was probably less than six months old when I knew that I’d likely do it all again. That journal that I bought. I penned all about my induction experience, right up until the part where they broke my waters, then I stopped writing it. I remember thinking: ‘I don’t need to document all of this. If I do decide to have another baby, why would I want to make myself feel worse?’ Totally defeating the object of why I’d committed to writing it in the first place… So I guess even in the earliest of days I subconsciously knew I wasn’t done.
My approach to pregnancy would be different second time around. I already know that next time, I’ll have an excitement that wasn’t there when I was expecting Oscar. Of course I couldn’t wait to have my baby, but I was so petrified of the birth that it clouded everything. It dulled my excitement in every respect, because I found it almost impossible to think past my impending labour. Now I know the joy that lies beyond that and I have a much greater perspective. What I went through giving birth is clouded by the feeling of everyday rapture that is my son. The trauma is dulled by his simply being.
Today the things I wonder about in terms of having two children is how that would/will work logistically. My hands feel entirely full with Oscar, so the thought of another tiny human thrown into the mix, kind of blows my mind. But then I see friends all around me doing it and not just getting by, but doing such a grand job. Out of my antenatal group of eight, one couple already have baby number two in tow and two others are expecting. My beautiful friend Ruth, who is a self-employed singer, songwriter, poet and all round mover and shaker just had her second in January and has me in awe. While my dear friend Lauren is making life with a toddler and brand new baby look storybook gorgeous. I’m addicted to watching her Instagram stories – baby Rory is perfection! And as for my lovely friend Sally, who is currently 39 weeks – any day now my beauty. I can’t wait to see your family photo album unfold too.
So for now I’ll wait it out a little. Though how long is a piece of string? One thing is for sure though. My life may not be in order for baby number two. My heart however. That’s a whole different story.
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