|Somehow, our family of three works. Really, really well.|
Once this is known, I can't get through a conversation with friend, foe, family or stranger alike, without being asked "so, are you trying for a second?"
Note to new moms, moms-to-be or those of you "thinking" about getting knocked up, once you successfully birth your first child, you basically lose ownership over your uterus. You no longer get to decide when you are or are not going to utilize it's magical baby-making powers again, but rather, you must adhere to a strict timeline set by who knows, the pregnancy police.
Since May 10, 2011, the day Pearyn turned one, we've been haunted by this really heavy, really big, really, really suffocating urge to have another child. The weird part? I'm not sure where it's coming from, because somewhere along the way, this Chubby Vegan Clan got really, really set in their chubby vegan ways.
I'll admit to a touch of baby fever between the six-nine month mark ... I know, crazy right? My daughter wasn't even off the boob and I was aching to toss another one up there next to her (they could duke it out). I blame this on being a first-time mom and the fact that I didn't know how to cope with my daughter growing up.
That's back when I thought the independence Pearyn was discovering was something to mourn, a sign that my little girl was growing up. Now, a year later, I've truly embraced just how celebrated this maturing process should be. I no longer feel like an alien when my daughter picks up a fork and feeds herself; instead, I rejoice in the extra 10 minutes she'll be distracted shoveling food into her own mouth that I'll be able to do the same.
I no longer get weepy because she isn't small enough to comfortably fit in a baby carrier and be worn around like the sweet little prize she was; instead, I enjoy the feeling I get when her tiny little hand reaches up for my index finger and drags me along on whatever adventure she's setting out on. I'm proud of her independence. My body, my sanity and my stress level NEEDS her independence.
So now, nearly 31 months since embarking on this pregnancy, baby-having-and-raising whirlwind of a carpet ride, I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to convince myself to have another one now.
Don't get me wrong. We've always discussed having a second child, mainly because we want our child(ren) to know the sense of camaraderie that can come from a sibling (or at the very least, that it's possible, whether they achieve it or not will be up to them). Despite being six years apart and less-than-close while growing up, I feel a little less alone in this world just knowing my brother exists. It doesn't matter that he's four states and six hours away, he's alive, he's there and no one else in this world knows my parents or what our family really was all about like he does. A sibling is like a built in best friend, punching bag and voice of reason. I want that for Pearyn. I want that for chubby vegan baby number two, too.
|Me in my third-trimester glory.|
And my pregnancy, it was a piece-of-cake. That's the worst part. My health was perfect, blood work was A+, Pearyn measured right on track and despite a few weeks of morning sickness in the beginning, it was seriously smooth. I only gained 17 pounds and was back in my jeans four days after giving birth. I didn't suffer from crazy back spazms, didn't have to buy an entire new wardrobe (I didn't really "pop" until about 34-36 weeks, so I got away with my long winter sweaters) and despite the 18-hour-labor and third-degree tears (in places no one should tear), I healed and bounced back quickly. So really, I can't even blame my lack of desire to be pregnant again on a really difficult pregnancy, really, I'm just a big selfish meanie.
Pearyn was a beautiful baby, with big, blue, cow eyes that all the other moms oohhed and aaaahed over. She had an infectious grin, a bubbly giggle and was so alert and nosey her personality showed through from week one. But she was a BABY. A crying, couldn't latch-on-to-my-boob-for-the-life-of-her (let alone digest it properly), helpless, BABY. And I was a frazzled, expected-way-too-much-of-herself, crappy mom to my beautiful baby. And I'm not being hard on myself here folks, it's the truth. I am a FAR better mother to my toddler (and eventually my "kid," "tween," "teen" and "young adult") than I ever was or will be to an infant. It's like I'm missing that googley-eyed mommy gene in me.
That, and I'm just really, really happy with the family-of-three dynamic we're rocking. It's no secret that I'm a complete and utter control freak, so the idea of birthing another beautiful little creature that will completely engulf my schedule, not to mention tear away every shred of control I have, is beyond frightening to me. I know I've got to learn to give in, but after 26 years of being this way, it's a hard habit to break.
So to answer your question, stranger on the street, curious reader, nosey family member and beaming mom-to-be friend, I don't know when we'll start trying for our second child. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or maybe next year. All I know is I'm not going to try and put a timeline on it. Just because Pearyn reaches 18, 24 or 30 months old, doesn't make me any more equipped to handle a second child. Instead of planning any future children around the age of my current one(s), I think I'm just going to wait and go with my gut. And if that doesn't work, I'm just going to wait until I'm ready to turn in my control and just accept the absolute calamity that comes with multiple children.