Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: You Win Again: The Battle for the Third Baby

Saturday, 21 July 2018

You Win Again: The Battle for the Third Baby

I appear to be surrounded. I am not exactly sure when it started but I am aware of it now. Everywhere I turn, there they lurk. I cannot seem to escape them. I am talking about pregnant women but not just any pregnant women, I am talking about the ones who are “going again”. 

I see them absent mindedly rubbing their swollen midriffs whilst gazing lovingly at the animated toddler who pulls excitedly at their hand while they wait for the lights to change at the crossing. I hear them chatting to the other mothers about how they don’t know what came over them; about how they just don’t know what they were thinking; about how their families had just not felt complete before laughing about how they are planning to march their other halves straight to the vasectomy clinic after this one comes along.

I don’t believe them. I mean I wouldn’t feel confident enough in their deceit to suggest that any male reader should put his knapsack on the line by playing the double bluff but I believe that they are sticking to “the plan”. "The plan" would have been formulated in their childhood, likely long before they ever met their significant others and probably influenced by their own number of siblings, whether positively or negatively and potentially by the number of siblings whom they actually like.* Sometimes another one is just one too far.

I myself was one of 3.
"Best till last" sort of situation.

It's no secret that, were the circumstances different, I would go again in a heartbeat. Husband, on the other hand, believes that I recall the entire pregnancy business through rose tinted glasses and am merely a slave the basic human instinct to want what I cannot have but then he is always fun like that. We see the prospect of another child entirely differently and on further probing (of the questioning variety) here is where I think we differ:

Me: If I were to be pregnant again I would know that this would be the last time so I would cherish every single moment. I would delight in the warm fuzzy glow that I would undoubtedly feel on seeing the glimmer of a blue line on the first positive pregnancy test, incredulous that it has actually happened to me. I would be reassured by the waves of nausea overwhelming me in the first trimester, safe in the knowledge that this is just a sign that the pregnancy was progressing as it should. I would wonder at my body's transformation as my tummy swells and my flat chest blooms in answer to its call to action; one final time into the fray dear friends. I would lovingly caress the bump; charting its movements and marvelling at how it manages to express its personality from within the confines of my womb.

I would not miss the things that I could not have or could not do. The soft cheeses, rare meat, wine and exercise would merely be things to look forward to in nine months’ time. They would wait. After all, it’s not forever. Just this one last time.

"That" feeling comes second only to meeting the baby.

Him: If you were to be pregnant again it would be a bloody nightmare. Sure, we would be delighted at the prospect of another child to add to the brood and that feeling would last approximately 24 seconds before you started reeling off the number of things that could possibly go wrong. Your face would go that green way whenever I suggested anything beyond toast for dinner and you would have to instigate “lying down games” with the other two who would politely ignore your requests not to be used as a climbing frame. When the activity and nausea took their combined effect the current offspring would then follow you to the toilet, refusing to allow you to hurl your guts up in the privacy of a locked bathroom, viewing it to be something of a spectators sport.

Then the “thickening” would start. You remember don’t you? Just before you actually look pregnant but you just lose the definition around the waist and you feel bloated and spotty. You'll tell me how "fat" you feel and remind me about the lecturer who described a human foetus as "the most efficient parasite known to man". You will shoot daggers at me when I mention exercise in which I may have partaken and want to discuss, at length, the statistical chance of actually infecting the unborn with Listeria from ingesting any of the foods on the NHS naughty list before deciding that you would never forgive yourself if you did and would therefore go without. You will then get annoyed with me for eating or imbibing anything on the pregnancy blacklist before muttering something about “solidarity” under your breath.

You will blossom, that is for sure and you will look great but you will not believe me when I tell you. You will, however, believe every non-medically trained stranger who tells you that your bump is “big” or “small” setting off a cascade of worry about how there is something wrong with the baby and demand that I check the size of your bump with a measuring tape from our non-existent sewing kit. But yes, "magical" is how I would describe it too.

So he may have a point(s) but they are still really cute.

Who wouldn't be tempted?!

*I do realise that not everyone bases their number of children on their own family and some base their decisions on far more practical things like cars, holidays, risk of multiples, houses, ability to cope with vTech for another 3years etc.

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