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.