I Secretly Want Another Child but I’m Too Afraid to Admit it
As I nostalgically folded my son’s outgrown clothes the other day, I couldn’t help thinking, “what if I had another baby?”.
At least, I haven’t said it out loud. My husband would be thrilled at the prospect, as he grew up having a brother on his side, but I don’t want to be pushed by his personal biases.
So what’s up with being all emotional and mushy, all of a sudden?
Well, for once, I’m during the fertility window…so that explains a lot about it. Nonetheless, though, I am not ready to give away all his baby items. I keep them there, just in case. I am not ready to wean him off the breast. I still keep him close to my body, tight, even though it’s gonna be the time to do it soon. I am not ready to seal my body off from fertility because I secretly wish it will be growing life in it, for one more time. I feel I could do better this time, but will I be able to, really?
But let’s do a sanity check first!
My first experience in motherhood was tough. From the 7th month of pregnancy on, I couldn’t move without hurting, I couldn’t sleep an uninterrupted night anymore (due to restless feet syndrome or the baby pressing on my bladder) I was starting to weigh a ton. Next, giving birth was nothing like I imagined. I wanted to give birth naturally, but my water broke at 36 months, and I had to go for an emergency Cesarean because I had zero contractions, and we wanted to avoid fetal distress. Fast forward to breastfeeding, that wasn’t easy either — I had to work my ass off for it instead of experiencing the idealized picture of the new mother-baby relationship. To ensure that my baby had enough breast milk for his bottle feedings, I had to buckle up for disciplined breast pumping sessions, which added to the sleep deprivation problem I developed early on this journey. My baby got pneumonia at two weeks old, which made everything worse. And so I went through post-partum rage (not even depression) and came to hate my husband ever since. Getting back in shape was not an easy job, either. If it weren’t for my support system, I wouldn’t have even given a thought to the whole idea of having another baby.
So to say that my first time around motherhood has been hard would be an understatement. But, here I am, in my mid-30s, wondering if this might be my last ticket on both fertility chances and a seamless pregnancy.
I wouldn’t want a big age gap between my children, even though I don’t want it to be close. I want to offer my first the chance to have a strong attachment foundation, as an only child, fostered by his parents' undivided attention until we bring a new one into his life. It’s safe to say that timing is of the essence in this decision-making process.
Also, I can’t help thinking if it would be really a good idea to go for another child when I don’t feel that I can fully rely on my husband for taking his fair share of responsibility in raising the children. But then again, people change, and I could perhaps give him the benefit of the doubt. He might come to understand, after all, that as long as you have a baby around you, the baby comes first.
Many second-time parents say it’s easier than you actually fear it will. I’m slightly reluctant to take their word for it because, in the end, regardless of how hard it is, you can’t go back in time and undo it. So, to live with it, you have come to relax your impossible standards of raising children, which in the end translates into a more relaxed experience overall. Therefore, it doesn’t become easier, but you grow more resilient and learn to adjust to the situations as you go.
With this in mind, I’ll keep my options open.
This time around, though, I would really like would be for the whole experience to be less planned than the first one, ending up pleasantly surprised by life, for once.
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