I’ve got babies on the brain again – with three friends due next month, it’s inevitable… I have been contemplating having a third child since my second was born. I had given myself a deadline to decide and was really stressed out when it approached. My husband talked me out of my insanity by pointing out that we aren’t all that old and we don’t have to make any decisions yet!

Helen & Voula

I have occasionally wondered why people feel compelled to reproduce. I always knew that I wanted a family with 2 or 3 kids, but I could never say exactly why, other than that’s just what you are supposed to do.

We have two kids; one of each. We have a nice life, and the kids are at an age where they are getting easier. My youngest will be out of diapers soon and generally sleeps through the night now and my oldest can dress herself and doesn’t make a giant mess anymore when she eats. Our vehicles comfortably fit our car seats and we have a 3 bedroom house that suits us (most of the time…). Why would I screw that up with another baby? Because having a baby is like the first stages of falling in love and people love falling in love! We love to experience that rush.

When you first meet someone special, cool things happen. You feel all jittery and hormones rage. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can’t wait to see them, all you want to do is touch them and you feel somehow empty when you are apart. Obviously this first stage of a relationship is unsustainable; we’d never get anything accomplished if it lasted more than a few months! When you are in a long term, committed relationship (marriage) you are never (hopefully!) going to feel those “first month” feelings again. Those are pretty heady feelings, so in a way, it’s a little sad. Well, enter child #1! And welcome back giddy!

When our daughter was born, we loved to hold her, and be with her and touch her and smell her little head. She could make us feel really good just by smiling at us or making those happy cooing noises. We were smitten. Then when our son was born, we got to feel all those feelings again. He was a particularly cuddly baby too, so that really gave us a rush.

Now I had two very good pregnancies and as a result I enjoyed being pregnant, generally. I also was able to easily nurse both children for a year and also enjoyed that experience. So I can look back at the whole experience with rose tinted glasses and think how wonderful it all was. I can want it again and trick myself into forgetting the bad because the good is so addictive.

However, even women who have had terrible experiences: a friend who was sick as a dog for 4 months only to lose the baby at 5 months; my SIL with her horrible first trimester and a nasty delivery; my mother who was sick for the whole 9 months then spent 3 days in labour; or another friend who had a 30 hour labour, an epidural that didn’t work and eventually a cesarean … They all either tried again, or want to try again. Why? A large part may be those “crazy in love” feelings!

So I guess if I want to experience the rush again, and I would like to keep my marriage intact, I should probably just pregnant again. Shall I bust out the Tequila?



October 10, 2009