Thursday, 19 September 2013

just the four of us


The past month or so have been full of reflection for me,
reflections on my family
and on where we have been and where we are going.
These thoughts have floated around in my brain for nearly a year now
and the thoughts change almost daily.
So I think, I wonder, I reflect.
My husband and I talk,
we go around in circles and we get nowhere.

I think reflections are pretty natural when you approach big milestones,
you think about what you were doing and how you were feeling
when you went through certain emotions before.
And with the beautiful girl's birthday coming
I've been doing a lot of thinking back to when I was pregnant with her
and back to when my beautiful boy had his own first birthday.


When my little man turned one back in February 2012,
we were keeping a little secret,
or rather, I was carrying a little secret.
A secret that would become our beautiful girl seven months later.
Many people I'm sure, thought we were crazy to be pregnant so soon,
some people even said as much out loud to us.
But it was absolutely the right choice for us.
I absolutely adore the age gap between my babies.
I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect age gap,
but 19 months is perfect for us,
and for these two beautiful kiddos.

But as my beautiful girl turned ten months
and I thought to myself;
"When her brother was this age we were trying to get pregnant again"
the idea seemed crazy.
My little man seemed so big and growing up fast at ten months,
but she still seemed like such a baby.
He had seemed like he would be ready for a baby brother or sister,
while she was still firmly in that baby stage herself.
Maybe it's a second child thing,
or her personality,
or just our attitude to her;
but one fact remained,
that the idea of getting pregnant with a third baby when she was that age,
seemed like the most ridiculous thing ever.

I have always said I wanted three babies
(actually I always used to say four,
but the hubby only wants two,
so three became the happy compromise.)
And when people would tell me wouldn't it be nice if Splodge turned out to be a girl
so we would have one of each,
I would always say it didn't really matter because I wanted a third regardless.
I was adamant on that fact.
Three was the magic number for us.

Then the beautiful girl came along.
And as I laboured with her in hospital
I remember it going through my head that I was categorically never doing this again.
The pain scared and overwhelmed me
and I just didn't want to put myself through it again.
Then she was born,
and the pain gets forgotten
and fades away to a distant memory.

In that first moment when I held my newborn son
some of the first words out of my mouth were;
"Oh my goodness, I could do this a hundred times."
Honestly...!
I actually said that to my husband.
The euphoric feeling of holding my wriggly newborn and staring into his eyes
had me well and truly hooked.

But I didn't get that same feeling when I had the little lady,
I held her and I loved her
and something far less dramatic came over me;
a contented feeling.
It wasn't the same emotional high where I felt like a superwoman who wanted a hundred babies,
but more of a settled feeling,
like everything just felt 'right'.


In the weeks that followed her birth
when life with a newborn is exhausting at times,
and life with a newborn and young toddler even more so,
I thought again and again about whether we were done at two.
Could I do all this again?
Did I want to?

With one of each
we now have what many perceive to be the perfect family set up.
A little boy and a little girl,
the best of both worlds.
From almost straight after she was born
my husband felt pretty strongly that we were done
and I wondered if we might be...
we just felt... feel amazingly complete.

Our family is so balanced.
Two boys and two girls,
two parents and two children,
I have two hands to hold them both,
two arms to hug them both.
When times are tricky
my husband and I can divide and conquer,
and no one ever gets left out,
because there is always someone to talk to.
I have my best boy
and my best girl,
both so wonderfully unique and perfect.

But at the same time I'm not sure that we are done at two,
as the months have passed
and we've settled into life as a four,
I still wonder whether I want that third baby.
And a big part of me thinks that I still do.

A baby for no other reason than because we simply want it.
Not because we want a boy, or we want a girl,
but just because we want a baby.
Because we want another person in our gang.
A chance to see my beautiful girl play the mother hen to a baby.
A chance to watch my beautiful boy teach his sister how to be an older sibling.

As much as a big part of me isn't sure that two is it for us,
I also worry a lot about pushing our luck.
I worry about the two easy conceptions, pregnancies, births and babies that we've had,
and whether I am prepared for the possibility that number three may not be so easy,
if it were even to come at all.
I'm so grateful for the lucky hand we've been dealt with our beautiful family
and rocking the boat
or even tempting fate
just seems like a bigger risk to take when things feel so perfect.

Can you see why these ideas have buzzed around for more than year?
And why we're still no closer to knowing whether we'll have more children?
For every reason to, we find a reason not to.
Every argument in one direction seems to have a counter argument.


So we find ourselves in a space, in limbo,
and in a very unlike me fashion,
we're are just waiting and seeing.
When people ask us if we'll have any more babies
and we say we don't know,
it's because we honestly don't know.

We don't need anyone else to make our family feel complete,
it all feels like a pretty perfect fit.
But if we did hear the pitter patter of tiny feet again
then we know without question
that that third little person would fill a gap we didn't know we had,
and that we would be thrilled.

...How's that for a big open ending?

One thing is for sure;
if we are finished with our family right here and now
then I wouldn't mind one bit.


All photos courtesy of Erin May Photography.

16 comments:

  1. Ahh it's a lovely open ended post. Our magic number was always 3. But now I think it might be 2. Although if a third came along one day I think we'd still love it. Just don't know....in a nice way :)

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    1. I'm not normally very good with "not knowing" but you're right, it is a nice kind of not knowing. It's just a nice open way of being, and we'll just kind of wait and see and know we're happy whatever. x

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  2. I hadn't realised your age gap is the same as ours will be. Beautiful boy seems so grown up! I cant imagine that in a years time S will be like that!
    We too held a secret at his first birthday back in Febuary and as we approach the due date of our second son, I couldnt be more excited!
    I think its lovely just to wait and see, to go with the flow.

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    1. Ahhh, yes very similar age gap then. It's been perfect for us and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's amazing watching them together now and it's great that they will get to enjoy so many of the same things together.
      And your biggest one gets immediately more grown up when that teeny bubba is born, but I look back at photo from her birth now and think how small he looked to be becoming a big brother. x

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  3. For me, those feelings you have now never went away. I'm now at the stage where I've had six children, three boys and three girls. All my pregnancies and labours went along smoothly. My children are all perfect and I love my beautiful family but they all want another sibling, I would love to see what another child of ours would be like. So maybe, as crazy as it sounds, we may, in the future, have a seventh!

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  4. I am in this place right now. I don't have that feeling of being done. I love my family. I love having two boys, I don't feel like I *need* a girl, and as always I get people asking if we will try for a girl. *yawn*.
    BUT I do have this need for another baby. Boy or girl, I don't care. I just want a baby. The newborn stage is my favourite. The feeling of a wrinkly, soft, little person in your arms needing you for everything is one of the best feelings ever.
    But I don't like odd numbers. I wouldn't want to have 5, someone would be left over if we went on a rollercoaster, or at a table there would be a space free.
    I'm running on.
    We talked about this other day and we've left it open. If it happens it happens, if it doesn't, then it doesn't.
    xx

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  5. I am so broody right now, it's an ache. I'd love a new baby to cuddle, to love and to join our little family but I think we're done. Like you, we have one of each and, like you, I always saw us with three children. I don't why, I just did. However, we're perfect as we are. It may sound really unromantic and practical but I like that we can fit in a car without having to have a big people carrier and that we have enough space in our house for us all. What is meant for you though, will never go by you and if you are meant to bring another beautiful baby into the world, then you will.

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  6. I feel exactly the same except I never wanted three children. Until LL was born and now I can't imagine having another baby. Yet I do feel extremely blessed for the ease I got pregnant, for my relatively straightforward pregnancies and for not experiencing god forbid a misscarriage. I don't know if I want to rock the boat and rock my content little family. Yet I have this longing for experiencing another pregnancy. And like Lauren I also feel like we just fit and we are even. Adding another one just throws everything out a little bit. x

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  7. After J was born I was so broody and wanted to have more children immediately, I think it's the hormones as it happened to me with Cherry too - despite saying both times whilst in labour that I was NEVER doing it again! Now J is six months I am starting to feel like actually I am happy as a family of four and I know Matt is as he has stated a million times that he doesn't want any more. I love that like you said our family is balanced. If both kids want a cuddle at the same time then they have one parent each, with three there is always one left out. Plus we have been through some hard phases lately with teething, lack of sleep and it does remind me of all the reasons why babies are really hard work. I guess the test will be in two years when they are both older because I am fairly certain I will be DESPERATE to have another baby then! x

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  8. This post really resonates with me as we are in the same situation. We have two wonderful boys and are not sure whether to stop there or have one more. Both me and my husband are one of three siblings so three seems like a complete family to us if you see what i mean.

    However i wonder how i would cope with three given that i find it hard enough with two. My current thinking is that we will wait until they are both school age and a bit more self sufficient and then reassess! However by then i might find it hard to go back and do the whole baby bit again so argh don't know!!

    I am keeping all the baby bits though.... ;)

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  9. I often find myself thinking back at certain times of the year, where I was, what I was doing... It is completely natural and something I think I will always do.

    Your family is beautiful and what will be will be. Sometimes the not knowing what the future will bring is what makes life so exciting.

    xx

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  10. I got pregnant with Archie when dylan was 9 months and he felt so big, so grown up and so ready for it, but like you with the BG, I think of Archie as still being so little, so much of a baby and the idea of having another now seems crazy. I am fairly certain that I am not done though but as for when number 3 will come, who knows?!

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  11. I really enjoyed reading this post. Mostly because I can understand how you feel to a certain degree, when I had Ethan I said the same to my Husband 'I could do that all over again in a heartbeat'. I know I want another baby definitely and we would both like them to be close in age. I can't even imagine how magical it will be to see Ethan with his brother or sister :) xx

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  12. I said none, then I had one..then I said no more..now we're trying for baby number 2! What a gorgeous post! So perfectly written x

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  13. Lucy I could have written this and it is so lovely to know someone feels the same. I have 17 months between my two and love the age gap as well, with Lissy I knew I wanted another straight away, but with Caitlyn now approaching the age I would have been pregnant I just do not feel ready this time. Exactly like you said - she seems such a baby still.

    We also wanted 3 (4 originally but we agreed on probably 3 because I've had hard pregnancies with terrible sickness & for practicality with bedrooms / cars etc!). We are so happy as a four, but I just can't imagine not having another pregnancy or a squidgy beautiful newborn again. People think we'd have another just to try for a boy but I'd be really happy either way.

    I worry about the risks too though after having healthy pregnancies and easy births.

    We want a fairly close age gap again as I want them all to grow up in similar stages (particularly as we plan to home school). I just find it really difficult because I like to know and plan and organise and have an idea of what the next few years will hold. But I am just in limbo too, not ready to try again and not knowing when I will be.

    L x

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  14. I understand this post so much, what I don't talk about much is how I so didn't want children, when I met Ashley one of the 1st things I said to him was I don't want kids, it didn't make sense to me to have them as I wanted a different type of life. Ash and I decided we couldn't be together for that reason and a few others, but within a week I knew he was my soulmate and so did he, we agreed life would just take us the right path and it did, I decided I did want children if they were to be with him but wanted to wait and we did. Then we received the news that it was unlikely I would ever have children, when you are told that news you are in a different place.
    Sorry I have gone off on a tangent, my point, life will let you know the right decision, I honestly believe that, I don't believe like many that life will give the most deserving, you probably now why. But I do know that having 3 is difficult but every child gives you something different from the other and you find time for them all equally xx

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I absolutely love reading all your comments, so thanks for taking the time to leave them.

xx