Oooo. Look at his little feeeet! Oooo. The smell of his hair. Oooo. Tiny, tiny, gorgeous thing. I.....I.....think I WANT one! I never thought I'd hear myself say it again, but a hormonal-haze of first-year-of-baby-blindness has set in and I'm feeling.....BROODY. Shit. Shit and shit.
Have I learnt NOTHING? That master of deception and manipulation, Derren Broody, works his mysterious and highly potent magic and, hey presto, the sleepless nights, the blocked ducts, the loneliness, the feelings of powerlessness, the despair, the panic, the self-loathing, the boredom, the guilt and the imprisonment that a new baby can bring with it, all seem to be entirely obscured by a lovely, fluffy, pink sweet-smelling mist of mustbeamotherness.
So, I'm shitting myself. I'm really not sure what to do. I'm torn between an idealistic image of the nuclear family, a physical craving for another baby and the importance of the sibling relationship....and horrific flashbacks of the first 18 months of my son's life.
I feel a pros and cons moment coming on -
- My friends all say number two is a hell of a lot easier than number one.
- A new BABY! Ahhhh.
- I’ve hopefully learnt from experience - can put defences in place, fewer nasty surprises.
- Have knowledge of PND warning signs.
- Sibling relationship importance for my son - how much I love my own sister.
- Already kitted up with equipment - from breast-pumps to emotional support network of friends.
- Two kids can entertain each other.
- Have burnt all baby advice books.
- Some research suggests decreased probability of PND with second baby (but see cons).
- Every pregnancy is different.
- Eating cake and chocolate constantly without guilt.
- Possibility of elective c-section.
- It would make my husband-to-be extremely happy. He is so ready to breed. If he could get pregnant, he'd have a bun in the oven by lunchtime.
1. The First Time.
Yes, there are other cons..some research suggests an increased probability of PND if you’ve suffered first time around; having to look after two would mean there’d be no chance for me to get catch up on sleep/time; my relationship with my partner is still not fantastico....and I’m finally feeling like ‘me’ again...do I want to give that up? BUT, they’re nothing but tiny specks of concern when compared with the big one - The First Time.
And what I don’t like about all this is that my approach to having a second baby is a bit like going into battle: How can I defend myself against the attack on my body and mind which could result? Shouldn’t I be looking at this possibility of a new life with excitement and awe and all that? Should a baby be born to a person thinking ‘just how much are you going to fuck with me, this time?’. Not the perfect start. Analysing what’s really going on, though, I realise that it’s me I’m viewing as my opponent - my own brain chemistry. I never rejected my baby the first time around. I rejected me. Perhaps I just need to be a bit kinder to myself - easier said than done. Sod it, it feels like a fight, and I know that I won’t be as strong as I am now when and if I have baby number two, so I have to figure out how I’m going to fight this bloody PND thing if it dares to invade my territory again.
I’ve decided that I will NOT go into battle alone. I’ve let my GP know that I’m thinking about having a second one - he’s said he’ll help me find the medical support I need (and he’s quite fit, so y’know, if PND hits and I get to see a lot of him...). I’m going to make bloody sure I’m not alone again - I’m going to ship in my mum and my mother-in-law (if they can be persuaded/captured), plus I’m going to save up for some domestic help if I need it (and if I can’t get the money together, I’ll try to rope in First Start). Which brings me onto the more revealing part of my plan - my house is too little to be able to incarcerate my mum and/or mother-in-law for an extended period of time....I need a loft extension. This could take at least 10 months. Nice excuse.
It’s obvious that I’m putting up physical as well as mental barriers. I’m clearly not ready, yet. I’m still too scared and I’m still enjoying getting ‘me’ back too much. I am pretty sure, though, that I WILL start trying to get pregnant in about 10 months or so (I’m 37, so...). What happens is ultimately all a bit out of my control and all I can do now is use what I’ve learnt from the First Time to try to swing the pendulum away from the ca ca poo poo and back towards the whoop-di-doo.