I wanna have another baby. I wanna pee on a stick and feel my palms get all sweaty while I wait for that excruciating two minutes. I wanna drink ginger ale for three months because I’m too queasy to consider anything else. I wanna feel the quickening, this time sooner because I know what it feels like. I wanna have to haul my giant body over the edge of the bed and hate every stitch of clothes I own because none of it fits. I wanna go to the hospital with my dear man with that anticipation of meeting a whole new creature that we made. I wanna smell that magic baby smell; I wanna feel my breasts get heavy with milk and be all a little life needs, at least for a moment.
But I don’t know if we will. All the excruciating debate before we ever decided to have children is fundamentally different now: we’ve got one. Why would we tempt fate and try for a second? She’s fabulous, funny, empathetic, silly, musical…she teaches me something new every day, and just when I think I've figured her out, she totally reverses course and keeps me from complacency. She plays the harmonica and dances in circles and loves hopscotch beyond reason.
While I love V beyond what I ever expected, beyond anything I have ever known in my whole life, and I know I could love another child like that, too, I’m not sure we should have another baby. I turn 35 this month, and I know we’re not ready yet. If fertility and life expectancy were not issues, we’d have another baby in maybe 4 or 5 years. But by then I’ll be 40, and…I know lots of women have healthy babies at 40, and there are fertility treatments and adoption and…I don’t know if we were meant to parent two babies. I thought we were (or at least that I was); I had always imagined I’d have two or three babies. (Of course, until I had a newborn I thought twins would be fun, too, and clearly I was a moron). It was just how I’d imagined things for eons.
I’m not sure of anything. It’s a new idea to get my brain around, this possibility that we are three and we will stay three. I feel a little like, if I’d known, I would’ve spent more time loving all the sensations of pregnancy and nursing and newborn baby smells. I would’ve complained less about the lack of sleep and just savored more, if I’d known she was my last chance.
Maybe this fall we’ll get a wild hair and start a new baby. Or maybe I’ll just learn to savor the smell of a near-three year old, all pineapple and dirt and carrot sticks and farts and pudding and finger paints. She can play her harmonica for me, and maybe I’ll dance around in a circle with her tomorrow until we both get dizzy and fall down. I never imagined anything like her before she was born. Heck, that’s half the fun.