Planning a second baby – already?

Laurence and I joke that I could write a book on minor pregnancy discomforts since I seem to have had such a textbook gestation period so far that almost everything that can be got has been got. So, welcome, all-day-all-night sickness, fiery nipples, jaunty pelvic girdle, anaemia, swollen cankles and a host of other stuff I’m too much of a ‘lady’ to mention. If it’s part of the package, I’ve probably had it at some point – or will!

I’m a walking, talking contraceptive for my brother’s girlfriend at the moment who took one look at me adjusting my bump while waddling and told him: “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want kids.” Of course, we saw a group of very cute little girls a few minutes later and she retracted the statement, so we’ll just have to make sure to give her a picture for her purse of me wincing while trying to turn over in bed.

Lately, I’ve been so wiped out and generally uncomfortable (I know, at 35 weeks? I must be a wimp) that I’ve been thinking I need to write a letter to myself to remember that I don’t want to do this again in a hurry. I mean, what if the weird hormones running through my body suddenly tell me that having two babies at the same time is no great shakes?

There is certain hilarity in this, of course. I’m making assumptions about a number of things – recovery, sex, energy, my mental and reproductive health and the baby’s overall health – but, of course, it does happen. A friend of mine is 11 months older than her brothers. I’m only 14 months older than my brother, which means that my mum went through this whole thing again 5 months after having me! That blows my mind right now but it’s completely normal for so many families and so many cultures.

It begs the question: what is a reasonable age gap? I love that my brother and I are close in age. It meant lots of bickering growing up but it also meant we played together lots, shared our friends and have gotten close as we’ve grown up, even if we do still know how to wind each other up. I’m not sure I would have related to him quite as well if he were, say, 3 or 4 years younger. And I wouldn’t let the dread of another hellish first and a half trimesters deter me from giving the creature the opportunity to have that relationship, if it’s possible.

Of course, I need to plop this one out first and see how it goes but I can’t help but think about this stuff. After all, we’ll be back to sorting out our contraception quite soon. Maybe I’m the one who needs that photo in her purse.

Image by Laurence Jarrett-Kerr