In the past hour, I went from having a conversation with a new mommy about how shitty and rewarding motherhood can be, to finding out that a girlfriend just gave birth, and another girlfriend is expecting her third. Cue baby fever.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother. In my early 20s, I chose my career so I would have the same spring break and summer vacations as my future children. I tried for my second when the first little monster was 9 months old (and got knocked up on the first shot!) All I’ve ever wanted to be was a good mother, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am barely making it with 2… so why, oh why are my ovaries crying for a third baby right now?
Is it the finality of it, because I am approaching an age where said ovaries will begin shriveling up? Is it because of that conversation hubby and I had on our last date night, when after too much wine, he admitted that he always wanted to have another baby but felt bad telling me cuz I had been struggling so much (and I broke down crying in the restaurant)? What a mindfuck that was. I really had no idea before that. If I had known, maybe I would have hesitated a bit before selling every baby item we had owned on Facebook Garage Sale. Maybe Rosalia has started wanting to hold onto everything because she knows something that we don’t. A clairvoyant did, in fact, tell me once that my daughter had special powers… but I digress. So, ya. There’s that. Do I really want to buy everything all over again? New crib, new stroller, new swing, new everything that we now consider necessities when bringing a human into this world?
But here is where the inner conflict begins. Giancarlo loves babies. Rosalia would be over the moon if only we could give her a baby sister. And the truth is, it will likely make her life easier when she is an adult because otherwise, she will bear the weight of her aging parents alone. Not only that, but if Giancarlo continues on the same path, he may need a caregiver even after we are gone, and that will rest solely on her shoulders if she doesn’t have a sibling. And what if she doesn’t want kids? I will never be a grandmother. Unlike my husband, I have no delusions. In no world will Giancarlo be able to be a father. There – I said it. But I want to have a full table and little monsters running around at Christmas time when I’m in my golden age. Maybe the only way to secure that is to bite the bullet and get cracking on another baby.
Then there is the elephant in the room: what if this third baby is as high needs as Giancarlo? I’m not sure I could handle that. No, I know I COULD handle it because I have a great support system… but I don’t want to. Does that make me a terrible person? Maybe. If I could make some kind of contract with God and have a guarantee that my third child would not be handicapped, I think I would do it. I mean, I could get the crib and baby swing, second hand, right? Easy peasy. Sleep deprival? I already don’t sleep! Might as well shove a bottle in a baby’s mouth while I’m awake! Money? We would find a way to manage. My mental health? Oops. You got me there. My last postpartum depression lasted 5 years. That’s only a slight exaggeration. I am scared shitless of losing myself and my sanity again. So just like I have always done when I walked past a pregnant woman or held a newborn in my arms, I am going to tell my ovaries to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, and I will ignore the pang in my heart, and convince myself that I am fulfilled with two little monsters.
Or not… for as Paul Arden once said, is it not better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t…