Keris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…
Back in September, I wrote about how my husband, David, would like a second child, but I wasn’t ready. (Read it here.)
Well I’m still not ready, but I *am* going to be 37 in a couple of months so if we’re going to do it, I’ve accepted that we’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later.
Plus I’ve started to think another child might not be an utterly heinous nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, the idea still doesn’t fill me with bliss, but it doesn’t want to make me throw up or cry either (and yet the thought of giving birth again still does).
David’s keener and cautiously excited. Not only does he worry that our almost-4-year-old is lonely (How can he be lonely? He’s got me!), he also really likes the idea of a baby. I don’t. If I could skip the first few months of sterilising, night feeds, mashing, weaning and worry, I’d be much more enthusiastic, but I’ve got so used to having a relatively self-sufficient pre-schooler, that going back to a tiny helpless newborn seems daunting.
Of course, it’s not all practicalities. My mental chatter is out of control. An example?
“What will it do to Harry? What will it do to me? What will it do to us? Is the house big enough? When should we start trying? Now? Later? I’m not getting any younger. Have we got enough money? Will we ever be able to go on holiday again? Why did I stupidly sell that highchair? We have to get the boiler repaired. And a radiator put in the other bedroom. And will I be able to stand the pregnancy? The worry? The birth? The worry about the birth? What if I die? I haven’t got life insurance. Must get life insurance. Will David be able to cope with two kids on his own? Harry’s old enough to miss me. Would he hate the new baby for taking his mummy away? I’m not going to die, that’s stupid. What if the baby dies? What if David dies?”
Etc. It’s exhausting.
And that’s not even the worst of it! A couple of weeks ago I was looking through the Ikea catalogue and there was a picture of four kids jumping on a sofa. Holding it up, I said to David (sarcastically), “Hey, why don’t we have four kids?” and he, snuggling up against me, said, “I did always imagine us with three.” “Oh for god’s sake,” I replied, charmingly.
But the thing is, I always imagined us with three too. So watch this space. (You’ll have to watch it for a while…)