Saturday, 30 November 2013

When are you having the second one?

OK, I've been putting this off, because there is little as frigging INFURIATING as having to re-write something you already wrote once.  Especially when I don't know whether it was my own technical ineptitude that destroyed a nicely polished-and-published post and rendered it a half-finished draft, or whether it was Blogger being a twatbastard.  If only I knew it was Blogger's fault, I could stomp around, crash-bang-wallop a bit, compose snotty emails in my head about quality of service etc, and otherwise expend my righteous anger until I calmed down.  Instead, I have to admit it was probably something to do with the same bug that sends Skype mental when I try to log into it from both my phone and laptop at the same time, which means I have to settle for a quiet, unenjoyable seethe.  I'll never be able to write it so well again.  The deleted half has now taken on the qualities known in relationship terms as "the one that got away" - because it's no longer around, I've convinced myself that it was actually perfect and that all the funny stuff and good writing was in the half that got deleted.  Of course, the first one WAS much better, but you'll just have to take my word for it.  

Anyway, back to it.  The post about why I'm not having another baby.

I hear the second baby question all the time.  I hear it at least once a day.  I even sometimes hear it from other people, rather than as an annoying chorus in my internal monologue.  Mat occasionally mentions it and, when I refuse, resorts to putting pink headbands on the Littlest Cat and pretending that he was trying to keep his hair dry in the bath.  Daddy REALLY wants a princess, gender not important.

See.  I told you so.
I have many reasons for not wanting another baby, irrelevant as they may seem when I'm snorting cradle-cap from the head of a friend's newborn and wondering whether they'd notice if I breastfed their tiny one, just to remember how it was when the recipient of my milk couldn't and didn't do a headstand mid-nurse.  

*  If we were to have another, we'd have to move, for starters, and we only moved 6 months ago.  I'm not doing that again, not least because I found our apartment by accident and, despite the dragon landlady with the dead eyes, we would not find everything we have (big terrace, massive living room, lemon tree, view of Tibidabo) for the price we pay in the same area.  

This lemon tree is OURS (for the duration of the contract).

Tibidabo by day.
At night it lights up and is stunning.  I couldn't leave it.

*  We moved from a 3 bedroom place with a lovely landlord to a 2 bedroom under the control of a dead-eyed Maggie Thatcher-esque landlady, which might not have been the most sensible of ideas, but I couldn't stop myself.  I think subconsciously I was removing the mere possibility of having another baby... or I just wanted a place that didn't have everything the previous tenants hadn't wanted still hanging around in case it came in useful.  I have hoarder tendencies and the previous landlord was a fusspot who worried that people might ask for things back.  After 3 years living there, we were still finding single shoes that neither of us recognised.  I swear, if I'd ever dared investigate thoroughly in some of the cupboards, I'd have met Mr Tumnus.  I love love loved our old place, but we were outgrowing it fast.  The new one has much more space and storage, but less bedrooms.  It's perfect for a family of 3, no more.

*  Since I had Dom, I've coupled having a brain made of mashed potatoes with a resurgence of ambition.  I want to find a job I LOVE, one I'm good at, one I wouldn't mind still doing in ten years.  My current job, while easy and comfortable and stable, doesn't inspire me the way I want to be inspired.  I get that not everybody can do what they love, but I'd at least like to try an industry that I'm not bamboozled by.  I don't think that's a lot to ask.  All of my boxes are ticked - home, family, relationships, even finances are OK.  The only box I'm not fully comfortable with is the career one.  I'm tired of stagnating in a job I can do in my sleep.  Until I find my niche, I'm not dropping everything to attend to a newborn.  By the time I come round from the shock a second time, I could well be on the road to retirement.

*  I often worry about tempting fate, which means that the next thing I'm going to say strikes cold terror into my heart at the thought of what visitations of hell I could bring onto us just by acknowledging it, but we have a baby who sleeps.  He also eats pretty much everything we put in front of him, walked more or less when he was supposed to and is generally a textbook baby (if textbook babies were soft and squishy and full of personality).  He breastfed from the start like he'd been doing it all his life and I'd have barely known I was pregnant if it weren't for the changing shape of my body, so symptom-free were the first 30-odd weeks.  We've been too lucky with him.  What if we have another one and it's a nightmare?  Visions of vomiting non-stop for 9 months (while looking after a toddler), c-sections and a baby who won't sleep, won't latch and won't stop crying plague me when I consider pushing my luck by having another.  

*  Possible TMI - Selfishly (because the last point was so unselfish), I'm not prepared to give up on my sex life again yet.  While all the planets align only around once a month so that I actually feel like it, in the last few weeks a wonderful thing has happened and I've actually, finally healed.  Properly.  I don't want more stitches.

*  I also don't want to give birth in Spain again.  I'm planning a full post about Dom's birth one of these days, but in the meantime, I'll just say that the midwife was a bitch and the entire outlook of the medical staff needs to piss off back to the 1930s where it belongs.

*  Dom was a surprise, albeit a wonderful one.  This meant that we had very little time to plan for his arrival, and it certainly wasn't enough time that I could save enough money to take time off work when my maternity leave was over.  I refuse to put myself through the heartrending agony of leaving a 6 month old baby with strangers again, so until I can afford to take the first year off, I won't do it at all.  And given that we have debts that need paying off before we can even start to save, it's safe to say we won't be comfortable enough any time soon.

*  I feel like I'd miss out on Dom, and wouldn't be able to enjoy a new baby half as much as I did him.  I feel like the work would outweigh the fun.  I feel like I'm only enough mother for one.  

*  I'm English.  I live in Spain.  Getting on a plane with one little person is doable.  Getting on a plane with two is not going to happen.  Either all my family move here, or Dom remains an adored only child.

SO, I'm well aware that this may raise eyebrows and have people thinking that "the lady doth protest too much," but there you have it.  A comprehensive list of why my womb is not up for rent again.  Maybe ever.