The anxiety grows. It starts to gnaw at my insides. Slowly making my stomach muscles contact until they ache.
We had ‘the talk’ last night. The ‘when should we start thinking of the next child’ talk.
I’ve always known I wanted children.
In the plural. Children, not child.
I’ve always known that I wanted those children close together. I feel that two years apart is a great age difference.
But C is 9 months old and M is starting to sound ready for C2. Not ready ready, but ready none-the-less.
And it’s scaring me senseless.
I was the one who pushed and pushed to get to C. Every month I brought it up, analyzing the why of the wait, the when of being ready. Finally M agreed and we chose a time, a family cruise as the moment we would ‘start trying’. This was in the far future and he hoped to stem the barrage of baby talk. This event coincided with a time that would actually make sense in the family planning scheme of things.
I bit my tongue for those few months (knowing well that with M it’s better to let him warm up to an idea). When the cruise in question at long last rolled around it was the wrong time of the month. We had to wait a little longer, and I teased M that he was off the hook for another few weeks. As it turned out though he was quite ready to move on to that part of our lives and no longer felt coerced.
We truly believed that it would take a while and we were stunned when it didn’t. (It went even faster than we could have thought possible. Who knew that I ovulate on day 7 and not 14 like most!)
I think it was this lack of wait time that made the whole thing feel so sureal. It was too easy. I spent the next 40 weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept waiting for reality to catch up.
But reality never did. It was a pregnancy without note, labor was long and ended in a c-section, but no one was ever in any danger, and the drugs made even that feel like a dream. Every step of the way I waited for something bad to happen. Something that would balance everything out.
But it never did.
We came home with the ideal child. Those first few weeks she slept all night, just waking to eat. She rarely cried. She smiled at a week, and laughed at a month. She didn’t get her first bad cold until she was 6 months old. She cut her first tooth with barely a wimper. Today everything is still perfect. Yet, I still wait for the horrible event that will set things right. That will restore balance.
It still hasn’t come. C is 9 months old. She is a delight. She hasn’t made our lives any more difficult.
Every so often we ask each other “whose baby is this? How did she end up with us?” We joke about this. We feel like we are playing house. Everything is so easy.
I can’t help but wonder: why should we be so lucky when so many aren’t? What makes us special?
Now that we are starting to think of #2 I worry again that this is when the other shoe will drop. And even though we’ve decided to wait until the fall, the anxiety builds a little more each time I think about it or discuss it with someone.
What if this is the time the dream ends and reality catches up?