When my sister-in-law got pregnant about 5 months ago, I was shocked. "Another baby?!!?" I thought, "who does that?!" Then the woman we share a nanny with did it. Then a woman in playgroup, then every other lady in mom and tot yoga… Bellies are popping up everywhere I look and what I want to know is how these people find the time to make second babies. And where will they find the time to deliver them, breastfeed them, diaper them, rock them, feed them and raise them to adulthood?
Apparently, this is how it’s done. I’m noticing that siblings are often just a year or two apart (hey, I’m an only child and math isn’t my strong suit so give me a break here)—it may be that I should be thinking about making another baby. If not now, at least at some point in the next year or so. It would be great, in theory, to raise children close enough in age to be playmates. Leo loves being around other kids, I want to encourage him to be a nurturing, caring, social person, and I suspect that he won’t learn all that sitting at home giving Dewie (the doll my mom gave him) his bottle. Plus, I like kids. Usually.
Yes, but, no. I am finally myself again, meaning I’ve left the "oh help I just had a baby!" mode and I’m back to worrying about my career, those eight pounds, and how we’ll ever afford to live the kind of life we hope to. I can’t see disappearing for another nearly-two years into a black hole of nausea, heartburn, ravenous hunger, sleep deprivation, sleep fixation, first fevers, first molars, etc. I’m very happy in my current snack-packing, sunscreen-slathering, part-time career-angsting state of mind. If I keep it up for another year, I might even get to the gym. It would be foolish to give up this marvelous life of mine just to produce another child, right?
Here’s the thing that gets me though: I miss being pregnant. I never in a million years thought I could look back on being enormous and then giving birth with nostalgia, but I do. When I look around me at all the rotund women waddling toward the unknown, I wish I could be one of them. I haven’t gotten my period yet (now there’s a plus to being a baby maker and dairy source if ever there was one), and sometimes I imagine I might be pregnant. That would explain why I feel plump and groggy, wouldn’t it? The other morning, as we were discussing the menu for our Memorial Day barbecue, I was devastated to realize that we had no bread-and-butter pickles for the burgers. I positively craved them, and made my own in desperation (see recipe). See, I may as well be pregnant (notwithstanding that whole time for baby-making issue)!
What I really miss about being pregnant is complicated, since some of it belongs squarely in the first-time pregnancy category. Having a second baby wouldn’t give me quiet time to focus on myself, go to yoga, read books, swim, eat lovely little organic meals, and sit around contemplating my over-stretched navel. But it would no doubt bring that wonderful sense of anticipation, and the feeling that just by going about your business you are doing a Great Work of mystical, magical creation. I miss that. For now, I can live vicariously through pregnancy blogs like the excellent Daddy-to-Be, which is just coming up on the most exciting chapter! And I can console myself with pickling, which is much quicker, if somewhat less rewarding.