Tuesday, September 12, 2006

catching up

It's really interesting to read about how you are feeling Alison - so much of what you write about is happening for me too. The crazy jumble of mixed and conflicting emotions is ever present. I slide from excitement to terror in the blink of an eye, and all the way back again just as fast. I know what I'm in for this time and that's got some really good points but also some pretty significant downsides. There is a real battle between my rational fears and my emotional optimism.

And I remind myself, and others do too, that each baby is different. There's no reason to believe that I'll experience the difficulties I had the first time around. Maybe this baby will sleep. Maybe this baby will be fighting fit and never see the inside of the Children's Hospital. Maybe this baby won't be a projectile vomiter and I won't need to change its clothes and mine several times a day.

But maybe this baby won't be born, as Amy was, with a fist out ready to grab a nipple, effortlessly latching on and staying that way for a year. Maybe this baby won't be outgoing like Amy was and will cling to me and scream when we are separated in a way that will break my heart. Maybe this baby won't be eternally happy and strive for independence and embrace the adventure of the world in all its manifestations.

But there are things where I am at a really different stage to you. I'm not at all focused on the birth yet, I'm still worried about where I'll get my maternity clothes. Because maternity clothing companies seem to think that fat people don't have babies, or if they do maternity clothing shops seem to believe that no one wants to buy larger sizes. In the same breath that a sales assistant can tell me we don't get much call for larger sizes she can also tell me that the one larger size they get in for each range always sells out straight away. Yup, clearly there's no call for them.

So I guess my point is that I am not yet occupied with thinking about the Big Questions, I'm still in the banality of the pregnancy onslaught. How long will my clothes still fit? What foods am I craving? Is that new pain something that's just passing through or is it is settling in for the duration? What other modifications to my lifestyle am I going to have to make in the coming months? Your post reminds me that as this phase settles down, the next one will begin.

And I think too that quite a few of the things you are thinking about, about families and relationships and the ripple effects for everyone from this new life, are the things that have occupied me for a good few years while I contemplated whether to have another child at all. The wear and tear for everyone is not inconsiderable and I do worry about how we'll get throught he really difficult bits. For a long time I felt I couldn't do it again because of these worries. Of the fear of losing my Self, like I did last time.

And then one day, as I was getting dinner ready in the kitchen and Amy and D came home from work and kinder and the house was suddenly filled with noise and movement I looked up to the doorway they had just rushed through, I realised a part of me was waiting for someone more. For just a split second, before my rational mind kicked in I felt with all my being that my family was bigger than just the three of us, where's the other one? I thought. And the very next thought was that it was OK because they just weren't here yet.

And as I realised what I was thinking, I began to see the question of a second child in a really different light. As you say, the difference between being a couple with a child and being a family. The difference between what I wanted to go through and where I wanted to be. Between what I understood about the risks and my desire to experience again the bliss of welcoming my child. I haven't resolved that divide, but here I am on the runway with no turning back.


Anonymous Janet said...

Don't get me started on the subject of larger sized maternity clothes. I looked everywhere (logical to me) and all I could buy was t-shirts. If I hadn't been able to sew I think I would have had to resort to the internet or maybe wrapping myself in a sheet. Yet looking around the hospital maternity waiting room, I certainly wasn't the only big woman there. Not at all. So you'd think that there'd be a market driven supply out there.

Anyhow, I ended up sewing stretch lace topped panels in pants I already owned and were on their last year's wear. And made a few nice things. Funny thing after all the agonising, I got lots of compliments on my homemade maternity wear.

Congrats on the new blog too. Great idea.

10:42 pm  
Anonymous Linda said...

"For just a split second, before my rational mind kicked in I felt with all my being that my family was bigger than just the three of us, where's the other one?"

This happened to me too, and was so comforting because it was like an affirmation that even beyond mine and my husband's desire for a baby, this baby was meant to be.

12:23 pm  
Anonymous Linda said...

p.s. on the subject of larger-sized maternity clothing... I'm 5'6" and 200 lbs. when not pregnant, so I know very well what you're talking about. I just gave up and wore skirts with very stretchy waist bands and loose shirts.

12:26 pm  

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