This week, a fellow mummy whose baby was born on the same day as Little Foot gave birth again to her second child.
I felt happy for her. Yet it triggered many thoughts in my head including the impending questions that will keep popping up in my head in the days ahead as more and more in my fellow mummy group will start having their next child.
When will I have a second child? Should I change my mind and have another baby?
To put things into perspective, I was one of those women who refused to entertain the idea of children in my life.
When we entered into marriage, I was adamant that ours would be a 2-person only family. No kids.
My list of defence goes on and on:
I don’t want to complicate my life…
It’s a losing investment…
It’s going to affect my career/work…
When the kids grow up, they will break my heart (thinking of how I would give my own mother grief over stupid things in my teenage and adult years)…
I’m not healthy, my child might inherit my bad genes…
I feel complete without a child…
In essence, deep down was a fear, that I would no longer be in control of my life, our lives. Yet, by God’s grace, a death in the family changed my mind. If Pico our old dog didn’t pass away, I wouldn’t have pondered what it meant to leave. Forever.
When he left, we shared photos and videos, and spoke fondly about his antics and silly ways. Yet, it was just not enough. We were grasping at sand in the wind… helpless.
I remembered I looked at Long and thought, if I leave, what would he have to hold onto of me? This empty house? A memory card full of photos and videos? How would I deal with it if he left me first? It was such a sad and despairing thought that it broke my heart.
Long always knew what marriage should lead to, but never articulated it well. He wanted a child, but couldn’t justify why except tell me my religion said I should. When I voiced my thoughts, I guess it finally provided him the words that failed him.
And so we started trying for our little one. Two months later, testing positive felt like striking 4D.
Fast forward 13 months later to present time, I look back at all the times spent with Little Foot… from the pregnancy to the newborn days to colic times to now. She grew and we grew with her.
There are days I remind Papa Long that he wanted a child… (and by that logic he should be more hands on and “siao on” as a father. There are days I throw my hands up and ask myself why the F*** I agreed to put myself in this parenting situation. However, the good times and all the fulfilling moments greatly outweighed those.
Little Foot has a priceless smile that would melt all doubts away. She has those eyes that spoke a thousand words. Even the frowns she used to present so often in her early days make me sit there and just get lost in the moment. The bond we share, especially because of breastfeeding and how we battled gestational diabetes and colic together, it replaced all the superficial things I thought was all I needed.
– Forget dates and movies.
– Forget cafe hopping.
– Forget beers on Friday nights.
– Forget one-luggage, hardly planned last-minute trips.
– Forget hobbies and couch potato time.
I’ve forgotten my old lifestyle where these were things I do without planning and without much thought.
Yes, we still yearn for these and we will still attempt to keep a semblance of the old lifestyle, so Little Foot goes out with us for “Flower legs” sessions every weekend, finding a cafe with coffee that had latte art for Papa Long. (He’s obsessed with it), and I occasionally drag my scrapbook materials out to try to use them.
For now, I’m at the #onechildpolicy mentality. The next hurdle is overcoming my fear of going through it all over again.
The fear of going through all the unknowns in pregnancy (including not doing an Oscar test, because I will keep the baby whatever happened), the lethargy, the crazy newborn days, the milk woes, and then the thought of putting Little Foot on the sidelines if there is another child… how is that possible?
A few of the second-time mummies in my group shared how it was for them… “you may think by having a second child, the love would be halved… no, actually your heart will be able to become double big so you love both as much as you love her now.”
Have I thought about it?
Yes. Because I go back to the “all alone in the world” fear that sparked my journey into motherhood. Eventually, time will take Papa Long and I away from Little Foot. The thought of leaving her all alone in this world without a support system like what I enjoy (having 4 siblings) also breaks my heart.
But I fear.
I fear that I won’t make it the next time round… irrational fears but there is a real-life example in my sis’ friend who is now in a vegetative state, a result of complications during the delivery of her third child. I can’t overcome the fear that I may leave Long and Little Foot behind.
Until I overcome the fears and learn to trust God to lead the way, I will continue to be overly anxious about this.
No second child for now… let me enjoy Little Foot’s company for now. Our family of three seems complete to me.
Who knows, God will open that door for me when the time is appropriate. And if he doesn’t, I think we will just have to prepare Little Foot for the journey ahead on her own.
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