Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I Want Another...

The urge, it came again the other day. Thick and full. The pull of galloping horses, wild, through canyon red and deep. The urge dragged me, over rock, through dust - ankle caught in leathery rein - wholly in control...

I want another baby.

But I don't think so, not really. The body speaks in foreign language; strange notes humming from cell and limb, rational thought sung aside. The instinct overrides the mind. Intuition, blind, has turned fantasy. The urge is a ticking bomb, an overwhelming explosion of now or never, do or die. Except I won't die, I'll simply have one child, one beautiful little girl.

There are others, my age, expecting another. How beautiful. No envy on my part, only feelings of failure; because I know what's in store. How could my brain be so cruel?

My heart feels something else; that it would be different next time. An elective cesarean; the surest deflection of trauma. I would breast feed again, I would co-sleep again; but not for as long. I would be more relaxed about nap times and bed times, and watching television. I would baby wear and baby-led wean (again). I would look after myself, take the medication, remember my needs. I would not sacrifice myself on the alter of babyhood, dissolving into a thousand undefined atoms.

But my head remembers. The difficult pregnancy; the ante natal depression. Exhausted and alone. The first two years buried under thick quilt of trauma; stratospheric anxiety, nightmares in the sun. The sleep deprivation. Teething. Nappies. Isolated; inside a bubble. The pressure to socialise; the judgement for not. Anger. Tears. Self absorption. The whispers behind my back... she's not well, she's acting strange, she's not coping, she's so demanding. The intolerance of emotional ill health. The fall out. The pain. The exclusion. How could I dare to repeat that again? Certainly not for Little A.  

I can't decide whether I am weak in body, or fiercely strong in honesty.

I look in the mirror and I do see resilience, that I am made new in motherhood; just sometimes I feel too light, a flimsy cotton night shirt.

I want to hold a baby again. My baby. To stroke, caress, to breath in her fragrance; to not have post natal illness blight those first years. That's the reason behind my desire. To do it right next time. Not to fail. To feel like a normal mum...



58 comments:

  1. I would love to have had more children but at the same time I'm so grateful for my one beautiful little girl. If money were no object (to buy all the support I needed and to provide for us all without my having to go out to work) I would have tried for another. In the end we can only deal with our own reality and live within the boundaries of it.

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    1. Lovely comment. Yes, I too am very grateful for just having Little A, I might not have been able to have any at all.... I'm always saying 'If I'd won the lottery,'- blah, blah, blah; but you are so very right, we can only ever live within the boundaries of our own reality.

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  2. Oh darling Sarah. It would be wonderful if you could heal those wounds with another. All births and children are unique so it would - inevitably - be different next time. It's common to have that last burst of fertility around 43 - 45 so you are normal and you are a lovely mum. What would you say to yourself as your own best friend? XX

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    1. Well you have hit the nail on the head, that the main reason for wanting another is to right the wrongs of the past, to heal what happened last time, which, at the end of the day isn't the right reason for having another. As my own best friend I would tell myself, 'do what needs to be done to take care of my self and be happy.' X

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  3. I recognise theses feelings... Once you've had one, it's hard to stop.

    Don't think about it in terms of failure or success, though. Being a mother is just life. The way you live your life is fine for your baby, because you are its mother.

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    1. Thank you very much, and very wise comment. I wish I didn't have those feelings of failure, but at the moment, they are difficult to budge, even though I know what is right for me and my family.

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  4. Oh hun I feel for you. We've taken the decision not to have any more for many of the reasons that you've written about here. Even re-living my first birth story recently to finally document it after 5 years doesn't take away the ache that catches me unaware, especially now that my Little Man is starting to show the sparks of independence. I LOVE Iota's comment above - being a mother is just life. THAT. In spades. And hugs x

    P.S. Just wanted to say how much I adore you're new blog polish - looks fabulous!

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    1. And I know how difficult that first birth was for you, and totally understand how even after all these years it brings back unpleasant memories. I guess sometimes you have to know your own limits, for the good of you and everyone else around you. Yes, Iota's comment was fab, and very glad your liking the new look. X

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  5. Ah - it is difficult and I can only imagine how you feel...I do not think you have failed - you are a fab mum (sure Little A would agree), a very talented writer and you have many more followers on Twitter than I ever will ha ha ha :-) Big hugs! xx

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    1. You always make me laugh!!! And thank you. At the end of the day, Little A doesn't know any better, not having another sibling, and she will only ever know me as her mum; think I am doing a good enough job! X

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  6. Oh I do so feel for you and can empathise with many elements of this post. You have to remember you can't heal these things by another. Don't let yourself get eaten up with this feelings...enjoy the now. Much love. Xx

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    1. And I absolutely agree with you; you can't heal things with another, so the wrong reason for having another baby. So I won't be going down that route :o). I am very grateful I have just the one. Thank you. X

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  7. Oh this post is so honest and something I could have written myself for different reasons. We're not sure we'll have another. I would love one more, more than anything and maybe it might happen...but we know the odds are against us. It's amazing to see brand new babies coming into the world and I'm so happy for them. That never goes away and neither does the broodiness I think. Sending you lots of hug xx

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    1. Thank you. I think the only thing I can do is to let the urges and grief pass in waves. I am very grateful for only having the one, and need to come to terms with my limitations; that is actually the strong and wiser thing to do. And the bestest of luck and a hug for you.... I really hope it does happen for you. X

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  8. Oh, but you so didn't fail! One only has to read your blog to see how fabulous a mum you are and how little A adores her mum! (And dad too, of course)

    It may very well be different next time or it may not. It really is a toughie because now there's Little A in the mix too. Whatever happens you'll make the decision that's right for you and your family :-)

    ((xx)) Jazzy

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    1. I know deep down I haven't, not at all; but it doesn't stop the feelings from surfacing. There's this part of me that wants to prove I can do it again, but which overrides common sense. The wisest and strongest thing to do would be to accept my limitations, and realise that this has nothing to do strength or weakness, but life, and how I was made. X

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  9. The isolation, the pressure, the loneliness...and now, once it is all water under bridge, once the mental scar is healed, we can rejoice on having somewhat coped and enjoy the relationship with that baby that is not a baby anymore. Good luck to you whichever route life might take you x

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    1. What a lovely comment. Thank you. And you make a wonderful point about enjoying the relationship now. It was lovely then, but honestly, I prefer this phase to the all encompassing baby stage. X

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  10. ah hun...i remember reading a post you wrote probably a year ago about never having another baby and i wanted to say to you, but couldn't find the right words, be kind to yourself..chances are you will have another and it will be different and it will be okay. xx My sister-in-law had a very similar experience to you with her first, she swore she would never have another baby..ever...when their daughter was about 8 years old she started to soften, noticed my own kids with each other, saw some of the older generation siblings in her family drawing together when they lost someone, getting that baby broodiness again. Her second baby was a completely different experience, she was relaxed, it went as planned and she had none of the emotional turmoil of the first time. You are a fabulous mum. I know it. If you have a new baby you will have that confidence..sometimes you dont even know you have it till you realise that those situations you used to stress about are passing you by. Thinking of you xx

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    1. Thank you for your very thoughtful comment, it's lovely. The thing is, I don't have time on my side. Had I been six years younger or so, then a second baby would have probably been doable, especially with Little A starting school this year... but time is running out for me; I am already 43, and I don't want to feel pressured into making a fast decision, what will be is what will be. But it's very heartening to know that your SIL had a completely different experience second time around, and perhaps it would be for me too... I know that I would do things differently to last time. X

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  11. It must be very hard - and if I were you, I think I would probably wish the same as you, but please don't say you failed, you did not. We each get a hand of cards - you dealt with them as best you could.

    I know this post isn't necessarily about age, but, I think that for many women, approaching the tail end of our child bearing years is difficult. Especially in today's world, where 40(ish) is the new 30 - or is it 20? (Apart from when it comes to one's ovaries.) I know that I feel reflective and sad that possibly my child bearing days are past.

    It's taken me ages to write this comment, because I wish I could say something to help or make it better. *Welling up now*. So instead, I'll just say big hugs to you. xx

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    1. It is challenging negotiating the heart's urges and the head's reasoning at the moment.... they are both equally right. Had I been younger, I probably would have gone for it, had the second. Maybe things would be very different second time around (apart from the sleep deprivation) but I am 44 end of this year (gulps) and I don't want advancing age to pressure me into it, nor do I want the reason for having another one to be a way of healing what went wrong in the past, which isn't a good idea. But maybe also, as you say, what I am also feeling is my child bearing days coming to an end. Big hugs received - thank you lovely lady. X

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  12. "The urge, it came again the other day. Thick and full." Thats exactly how it happened to me. We were going to be a one child family, our decision was made - till a day at the beach in Wales and I couldn't stop crying. Maybe it would be different this time around - and you would recognise the warning signs and be equipped with experience to help you cope. You have, you are coming through it - you would do so again. You'll find your path - and whatever road you chose you have a healthy, lovely little girl - you have a happy, full future for your family based on that alone xx

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    1. It's like riding a very high tide... and I have moments like you had, where I burst into tears, wanting another. And maybe it would be very different a second time around, especially now I know the lay of the landscape :o).... and I would do things quite differently. I do know deep down that I would cope (but would Younger Dad?), but I feel so very nervous about going through it all again.... and whatever happens, I already have one very beautiful little girl. X

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  13. I have that feeling often, in the knowledge that it's too late, for lots of reasons. And you would find it easier a second time, because you know what you're doing now and it wouldn't terrify you in the same way. I do think we are so hard on ourselves though, trying to be perfect, and feeling bad for being flawed - but it's your flaws that make you the perfect mother for your own child xx

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    1. I agree with you, it would be easier second time around, apart from the lack of sleep, and we are so very hard on ourselves - well I certainly am. You are right - it is the flaws that maketh the mother. X

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  14. I recognise all those feelings you describe from my days of trying to conceive my second (after having my first through IUI). You become so quietly desperate, unable to talk about it, largely because you're expected to be insanely grateful to have a child in the first place, and you are grateful, insanely so, but at the same time, the body plays tricks on you in an attempt to get you to do it again. Love that line about the body speaking in a "foreign language". So true. As it turned out, my second pregnancy was totally different from the first. (I suffered ante-natal depression during my first pregnancy, but with the second pregnancy, it vanished.)

    I also agree with Mummy Plum that the tail-end of our childbearing years are incredibly difficult to negotiate, however many children you have. I still get broody, very much so. It's probably more to do with my refusal to adapt to a new reality, a new identity, a new chapter. I think it passes though. I know a couple of women in their late forties who tried and failed to have any children, but who now seem totally reconciled to their situation, and pretty happy with their lives. PS You are a normal mum, and woman xx

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    1. Couldn't have put it better myself. The broodiness hits like a ton of bricks, and it overrides all common sense, so yeah, it is like the body is talking something else; I am guessing it is going to be like this until the menopause, and possibly beyond that. After you've had one, it's like the body has flicked on a switch that won't turn itself off, and you're stuck with the setting. Still, good to know that you didn't experience antenatal depression a second time around; have you any inkling why that was? I know for me it was a terrible reaction to hormones, and because of this, I am very concerned it would happen again.

      And something I had missed which certainly isn't exclusive to me, is that the ending of our childbearing years is difficult for most women, children or no children, and this will become more challenging as I approach the ceiling.... This is what I am going through at the moment; reconciling myself to having the one child, and accepting my reality.

      Thank you for such a thoughtful response - that's very kind of you. X

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  15. All I can do is send a big hug and say trust yourself. And go easy on yourself - you have nothing to prove to anyone. You are a wonderful mum, woman and writer x

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    1. Thank you very much.... This is definitely one for my gut instinct, and this does say 'stop where you are'. Maybe I should pay attention to that small voice; it knows what's best. And you are very right, I have nothing to prove to any one else and especially myself. I am so very glad I have Little A! X

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  16. Powerful post and if it's any consolation I don't think I get better at being at mum with subsequent babies - more knackered, more stressed, more financial pressure to work, more stretched etc. Enjoy your little A and I hope you find your inner peace. x

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    1. Thank you very much... that's very kind. And of course there is that flip side, more stress and financial pressures, all of which we have had to take into account on deciding whether we want another; the stress being the most concerning. X

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  17. The urge to have another baby has never left me, in fact, if truth be told it has only gotten stronger over the years. At 52 and with health problems though, it won't happen, which actually makes me feel quite sad some days. Hopefully grandchildren will arrive and fill the void.

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    1. It's funny because before I had Little A, I barely had an urge; but a few years after her arrival, I've gone bonkers over babies, and it's such a strong pull... like a switch went on inside. I hope you get those grand children. :o)

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  18. oh, my lovely, it's such a hard one. If you did, the experience wouldn't be the same, because no two are - and you would be more relaxed, but you'd have Little A to look after too which makes it different again.
    I think most of us have baby thoughts ticking away until the inevitable sadness when that chapter closes. Quite envious sometimes of women who absolutely know they don't want another. Like my sister. And you really mustn't be so hard on yourself, though know that's easier said than done xx

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    1. It is indeed. If I did have another one the experience would be very different, and I can picture myself getting on with it and feeling more confident a second time around, and I would have Little A's companionship too. I guess that is what is happening, that I am ticking away until that phase of my life is over. I wish I had your sister's resolve, it gets tiring flip flopping between head and heart. X

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  19. This is a tough one Sarah - I'm sure you could have another one but I guess its a case of weighing everything up and doing what's right for you. I feel tremendous guilt for POD that she doesn't have a sibling but I also know that my poor broken bod wouldn't be able to carry a baby yet, the health risks are super high and I'll be 44 later this year! I hope one day that feeling of wanting another goes away (perhaps it never will!) but until then we count ourselves lucky we have POD xxx

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    1. Tell me about it :o)... I probably could, but as you say, there are so many other variables to consider, including whether we can afford it, and how it might impact on our unit of three. I feel the guilt you feel too; in my case, about Little A not having a sibling, but then I guess that's my projection as she's a very happy little girl the way things are. I will also be 44 at the end of the year! X

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  20. Just sending you a huge hug Sarah... xx

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  21. The natural instinct to have babies is so strong it can be overwhelming. As others have said above, a second experience would not be the same, and you are a different person now; as you say, "made new" by motherhood. But I can totally sympathise your concerns. Be kind to yourself and I wish you all the best in making out your way forward.xx

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    1. Well I have certainly felt very overwhelmed of late... the broodiness just smacks you in the face when you least expect it. I forget how much I have changed since having the first one, of course it would be very different from this perspective if I had another. Thank you. X

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  22. I feel for you! For what it is worth I was crippled with PND with the pickle but had no problems with DB. It is so unpredictable, but so are the strength of emotions! If you know what a normal mum is please let me know, I am not sure that I have ever met one, every one I have met are amazing and flawed in our own special ways. Hugs! X

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    1. That's very interesting to know... I presumed if you had PND with the first, that would follow again with the second, third etc... I don't trust what my hormones might do at all. Unpredictable indeed! Thank you. X

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  23. Oh Sarah, I have been following your blog for quite a while now and I think you are a fabulous Mum!
    All pregnancies and births are different... Sending you massive hugs. xx

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    1. Thank you very much Katia, that's very kind of you. You are right, they are very different, maybe it would be slightly easier a second time around. Thank you. X

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  24. Such a tricky one - I too feel the overwhelming urge to have another baby but I know it's not to be. I understand your urge, and the sentiment to 'do it right' - but what is right and indeed to hope for something to be right when it's something as uncertain as pregnancy - it could set up high expectations which in turn bring pressure.
    Oh my that sounds far more negative than I mean. I feel such guilt at times for how I felt about Ozzy when he was a baby xx

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    1. Tell me about it! That urge will never go away I don't think... I am going to have to ride it out :o) But I think you make a very important point, about setting up expectations - 'doing it right' - which would bring ridiculous amounts of pressure, and no, that isn't negative to say, it's spot on. As mums, we have to process so many feelings... guilt being one of the worst. X

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  25. I want a fourth even though it would probably kill me and realistically would be a huge burden financially and my sanity. I think it is purely an instinct that we have. xxx

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    1. There is that detail to consider - the finance and the sanity :o)... and a lot of it is instinct. X

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  26. Oh love, I have been going through this on and off for a couple of years. Should we, shouldn't we? Will we, won't we? Can we afford it? No. Should we let money be the reason not to? No? Could our relationship survive another... Oh, and of course I am far too old!

    I don't let myself think too hard about it, or say out loud how much I would love to have another, because I am afraid that I might find it too crushingly sad to admit that it probably won't happen. But then that is how I felt before I got pregnant with Bibsey. I would hardly let myself dream about having a child, because I wanted her so much. Does that make sense? And ever since having a miscarriage I can't help but think that I am greedy and pushing my luck for wanting another. Stupid. Stupid.

    As ever you have put your feelings into words so beautifully. And the response here, from women with all their experience, in the comments is also amazing. I hope that you get what you wish for.

    Love and hugs to you from Bibs and Soph x

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    1. Me too... it comes in waves, and I find it very upsetting as I already know what the answer is, and like you say there are so many things to consider like money, relationship and age; all really important factors *sighs*. It would be lovely if Little A had a sibling BUT I feel like we are out of the woods now, life is returning to normal, would I want to do all that again? And I totally get what you mean by not thinking about it too hard, and no, you are absolutely not greedy for wanting another, and not stupid at all (I keep my fingers crossed for you X). And thank you very much for your lovely comment, you and Bibs are stars! X

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  27. I am aged 41 and am desperate for another baby. I relate to each and every beautiful word you have written. But if you ever find a "normal mum" do let me know ;-)
    Liska xxx

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    1. You still have time Liska. Do you think you will? Thank you very much lovely... I don't think there are any 'normal mums' out there :o) - we are all too frazzled. X

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  28. I understand exactly how you are feeling. I have those urges daily. During the day I busy my mind so those thoughts are pushed aside, but in the quiet of the night the thoughts and the gnawing at my heart return twice as strong (maybe because I have denied them their time during the day). Hurtling towards 43 I don't think it will happen again, but it doesn't stop me wanting.
    I am so very grateful for being given a child, for becoming a mother but I also feel so terribly guilty that I have been unable to provide the one thing that he wants more than anything else in the world, a sibling. I feel I have failed him by failing to provide a sibling. On my dark days it makes the want and the guilt feel a thousand times worse.

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment.... I am so grateful for my little girl too; I might not have had her at all; but I still continue to feel the same conflicts and guilt over wanting another - a sibling for her - knowing this probably won't happen for XYZ reasons. And like you, I feel a failure, know that I shouldn't be feeling this way, but I can't stop these feelings... and those urges are so strong aren't they?

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