It’s always interesting to me how mothers come to decide how many children they will have. Some no right away that one is enough, others are not done after 6!
After having my first daughter, I knew unequivocally, right away that I wanted to mother a second time. That feeling did not leave me for a moment. In fact it grew ever stronger! The problem was that having already raised three children of his own, my husband was very satisfied and did not hunger for more!
I tried to compromise. Really, I did. So we got a puppy (see pic). The most adorable PBGV puppy you ever saw! But still seeing moms with new babies especially when they had older ones in tow, would send me into a frenzy of envy.
My dear husband, bless his heart, recalls training for a marathon with his best-friend-since-he-was-5 (named Danny).
“So the second child issue is resolved. We’re getting a puppy”, said my husband to Danny as they jogged along at talking pace. Danny, quiet for a long moment, finally answers:
“Aah, so you’re getting a dog and a baby.”
However, what even Danny failed to predict was that we were getting a dog and THREE children – two of whom arrived 2 minutes apart!!
By his own admission, my husband will now say at dinner parties after recalling the Danny story: “I finally put my foot down and gave in”.
I did not plan three, and had we spent the years that we talked about baby no. 2, actually MAKING that baby, perhaps my eggs would have been in better shape and IVF would not have been necessary. However, 4 miscarriages later, IVF was necessary and beautiful precious twins have brought huge amounts of love, joy, chaos and upheaval into ALL our lives.
I think about that strong compulsion to have more than one. Much of it is inexplicable, and I think hard-wired but one of the reasons I wanted another baby was because I wanted to be able to put all that hard-won expertise and inner growth I went through the first time, to good use. I imagined the ease with which i would sail along and feel masterful with baby no.2. But no, it was not to be! I was again plunged into conscious incompetence as I struggled to manage the needs of baby twins and a four-year-old whose world was turned upside down.
I now have a mostly happy 8 year old and TWO four-year-olds who daily turn my house upside down and grow smelly fungi things deep in the recesses of my, ah, minivan.
Till, next time,