Contemplating Number 2
Somebody invented the word bleary just to describe how I feel this morning. I’m sitting here, drinking lukewarm coffee I was too weary to microwave, looking at the clock and thinking that 7:57 a.m. is way too early to feel this tired.
To put it simply, my daughter had a very busy night. I lost count after my fifth trip to her room, but the last one was sometime before 5 a.m. And she’s not even an infant. She’ll be 3-years-old next month.
Dr. Spock and other reliable sources have reassured me that “renewed sleep problems are not uncommon at this age.” But I’m learning that these problems are their own sort of challenge because she isn’t a baby with an easy checklist of possible concerns I can deal with for her. (She’s still sleeping this morning, by the way.) She’s growing up, and like an adult, she now has wakeful nights because she has a brain, and it’s busy.
So this whiny beginning has a point, and I’m getting there. I’ve been thinking - a lot - about having another baby. Sitting here, attempting to type, I’m wondering, selfishly, if I want to go through this again.
Because next January, I’ll be 40. Despite that popular, slightly desperate declaration that 40 is the new 30, and the multitude of articles that friends like to forward to me about healthy babies and easy pregnancies After Forty, I have to say I’m just not sure. And despite the eye rolls I get from my husband when we talk about this, I don’t really care that much about my age. For me, personally, it’s not so much a milestone as it is a warning sign that says “Caution: road narrows.”
When I was younger and dumber, I truly believed I would have three. Of course, that was before I even had a husband, and I didn’t take on one of those until I was 30. It took another six years for me to decide I was ready to have a baby, and to be candid, I wasn’t completely sure about it until they put my daughter in my arms.
Have you seen the video of Kellie Coffey’s “I Would Die for That”? You can see it on YouTube, if you haven’t. Watching it, I feel even more selfish because my child is so perfectly perfect. Oh, you know what I mean. She’s healthy and strong and beautiful in the way all children are; that kind of perfect. And I have one of them. I feel almost greedy to want that again, but I do.
I’m a big believer in the power of lists. Having trouble deciding whether to buy that house or break up with that boyfriend? Make your little list of pros and cons and weigh the balance. Then, tear up the list and go with your gut.
On my list, the cons are all practical and the pros are all emotional, much like motherhood itself. About a month ago, I started keeping a list of celebrity mothers who are over 40 and pregnant, or recently had babies, including Brooke Shields, Halle Berry, Princess Sophie, Salma Hayek, Marcia Cross, Nancy O’Dell and Helena Bonham Carter. This is not stalking. It’s more like my personal pregnancy Who’s Who. After all, who’s to say that, if we did decide to try for another one, I would even be able to get pregnant? Watching these women is like a touchstone for me, telling me it’s not too late. Yet.
Because, after all this worry and indecision, what if I can’t?
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