A Womb of One’s Own: It Takes Two

I wish I could explain the urge in me to have another baby. In the past 24 hours, I’ve gotten less than three hours’ sleep, been bitten and scratched by my darling progeny, and spent hours sitting on the floor and pushing a wooden car over things for his amusement while my adult responsibilities went untouched. But I jump at even the half-joking chance to try for a second child.

I love my son. He is the biggest asshole in my world, but he’s also the biggest joy I’ve ever had the luck to encounter. I went to bed at midnight and was up for the day at 3 a.m. with him today, but there is never a moment when I’ve thought “maybe he’s the only one.” My husband and I joke that if we had another baby who was like him, it’d kill us. But I’ll still hope and try for a second child.

Two weeks ago, I spent a day floored by nausea, achy boobs, and fatigue. The symptoms were distressingly familiar to how I felt when first pregnant, but I could also point to other possible causes. While outwardly I worried over what would happen if I was up the stick again (I’ve been drinking, I’ve been eating poorly, I’m about to graduate), part of me was filled with glee. Sure, it would blow to be six months pregnant and looking for a job, but another kid! When I tested negative, I was relieved, but that small voice in me sighed sadly, even as I opened a celebratory beer.

This morning, Josh mentioned that three of his co-workers are expecting baby girls, in addition to some close friends who just found out they’re expecting a girl yesterday. “Maybe we should go for it and ride the girl wave,” he joked.

“OKAY!” fell out of my mouth before I could think. He laughed at me and pointed out that I’d just called Gabe an asshole for waking me up. “But I want ANOTHER asshole!” was my only response. I can’t fully explain my desire for going for another round with an asshole baby.

For all the kid’s jerk times, there are more good times. I love the fan of his lashes on his cheeks when he falls asleep in my arms. I love that he’s learning to wave, but he’d rather wave to the dog than a person. I love that shaking my hair at him makes him laugh until he hiccups. I love the tiny baby noises he’d make as a newborn, the sigh after a trio of sneezes. I love the weight of a sleeping baby on my chest. I don’t love the lack of sleep, I don’t love the unexplained crying, and I hate recovering from ejecting a baby from my body, but I love having a baby.

We’re not ready. I’m still in school, I’m unemployed, we’re in a small apartment and barely scraping by. Sometimes, when I think about another baby, I feel like I’m betraying Gabe, though I know that’s not true. Sometimes I feel like it’s the cockiest thing I could think, that I could raise two children at once, that I’m that smart, that strong, that determined. But that drive for another is so strong, it’s become pointless to dwell on the what-ifs and the maybes. I know that number two isn’t a possibility, he or she is a certainty. And hopefully, a certainty who enjoys sleeping more than their brother does.

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Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to jessica.werner@gmail.com

7 thoughts on “A Womb of One’s Own: It Takes Two”

  1. Speaking as a second child whose older sibling is less than 2 years older, I approve this message. My mother says the advantage is you “get it all done at once”. I think she was referring to the whole nappies/toilet-training thing.

  2. I am so in awe that you never had a moment where you thought “maybe this will be the only one.”  I always wanted two, or more, up until and including the first few hours of labor.  After things went south during labor, it took me something like 8 months to decide that having another kid might be possible.  Now I’m back to wanting more than one.  But probably not more than 2 (or maybe 3), and definitely not the cheaper-by-the-dozen family that I had envisioned.

  3. As the mother of two, I HIGHLY recommend going for the second.  I’ll be honest – in the beginning, it sucks ass.  Like a lot.  BUT hang in there because there will come a time when they will completely entertain each other and only ask you for stuff to eat.  Yes, they will fight.  But they will also hug each other and make you cry with how sweet they are.

  4. Yeah- two is kind of awesome. It’s freakishly expensive & exhausting, but it’s true about love multiplying. This is purely observation, but most siblings I know had opposite infant sleeping habits. Which might work in your favor! (I, on the other hand, was completely spoiled by my 1st, who at 6 still sleeps for 12+ hrs at a time. My 2nd just started sleeping through the night. He’ll be four in the near future!)

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