I sit here at 8:10 on a weekend morning having already been awake for multiple hours. Charlie actually slept through the night for the first time in a long time, but the boys start their wake up process every morning at 5:30 regardless of weekend status or what time they went to bed the night before. Sometimes I think back enviously to the time before kids when getting up “early” was 8 am, how after work I could literally come home, sit on the couch and do nothing, when time was not a precious commodity.
And yet, here I am, thinking how I want one more.
To be fair, I never thought I wanted children at all until I was told I may not be able to have them. Suddenly, it was all I had ever wanted. And after each one I was sure it was my last one until the universe decided to surprise me in a big way. Each time I wonder: can I really do this? And each time I realize that even though money is tight, and resources are slim, I can. We can.
They drive me crazy, every single one of them, there’s no doubt about it. Max with his constant creativeness thats leaves half finished inventions around my house. Oliver with his sass. His constant and unforgiving sass. Charlie with her fierce independence at such an early age. And then there’s all the worrying. School, social issues, and distractibility for Max. Insane amounts of hyperactivity for Oliver. Charlie being so tiny and yet so fearless that she’s constantly covered in scrapes and bruises. But within all this, I love them fiercely and know what a gift it is so have them in my life…to have given them life.
It’s funny. I know people think it’s relatively easy for me to get pregnant and have babies. I mean I have three children 7 and under so it can’t be that hard, right? But for the three children I have, I’ve also had an ectopic pregnancy and four miscarriages. So I know the struggle and the loss and unbearable pain along with the amazing amounts of love.
So, when Charlie is toddling around in her baby Sauconys, I’m both proud and depressed. And when she shows an understanding of what I’m saying, I’m both in awe and saddened. And when she begins talking my heart both grows and darkens at the same time. Because while I’m watching her firsts, I am most likely watching my lasts. And I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet.
I know all the downsides to having one more baby. You don’t have to remind me or convince me. I’m 35 which means a lot of increased risks. The judgement of others. We would have to buy a new car. Mike would delay working for another 3 years. Formula is hella expensive. Pregnancy and I never really saw eye to eye (I hated every single minute). Less sleep than I’m getting now. Did I mention having to buy a new car? Every single thing points to Charlie being the last in line.
And yet…as I pack up her clothes when she grows out of them, they go upstairs in a box labeled “baby girl clothes” and not to the consignment shop or to a friend. And as I sit reading or watching TV I make mental notes about what names would be cute on baby number 4.
Because you never know.