Not broody

Supporting a breastfeeding group, I get an eyeful of newborn every Wednesday. It is lush. I love everything about a tiny baby: the way the curl up (though mine never did), their often closed eyes, their fragility. I am in constant wonder that this is where life begins. But I do not want one. Not now.

Of course, if I were take a test tomorrow and find it positive, I’m sure my feelings would change without prompt. Just covering myself in case that does happen and child number two is reading this years later. I really did want you. Mummy’s just working through some honest feelings out loud. Don’t you have something better to do than dig up blog posts about babies from the 2010s? Go back to exploring your teen angst on your touchscreen guitar.

It’s strange to think that just six months ago I was disappointed by a negative pregnancy test even though we weren’t trying to conceive. I was so up for getting on with baby number two back then and Talitha was only, what, nine months? In fact I found myself telepathically willing Mum2BabyInsomniac to have another baby because broody likes company. She is now pregnant (not that I’m claiming to have anything to do with that, obviously) and I’m looking at pregnant people and thinking: “Gosh, really? Are we going to do that again?”

One of the things she mentioned back when she was talking about giving her daughter a sibling was that as things get easier with your first, it’s hard to imagine going back for seconds. This is a big one for me. Talitha usually sleeps through the night now. Yes, she’s still in our bed but that’s as much because she and I both enjoy it (and Laurence…tolerates it) than anything else. Breastfeeding is a breeze and is mostly just cuddly and connecting (nipple twisting issue aside).

She’s wrecking havoc on the house as much as one can wreck on a house already slightly in a state of havoc but her exploring is fun. That’s it. She’s so much fun right now. She does something new all the time. She’s still pre-lingual but we’re having conversations. We do stuff together. Everything feels so much more manageable.

I see women with newborns and remember how hard it was. I know that it was especially hard because of our breastfeeding problems. The good news is that we won’t have to suffer through that with no clue what to do next time. I have much more trust in my own instincts, the experience of breastfeeding a child, knowledge accumulated from training, reading and supporting and communities around us that I know will help us. BUT, even so, it could be difficult again – another tongue-tie or something else – and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the prospect of that daunting.

I know I’d cope because people do. You just get on with it. There’s no stopping when you’ve got an older child, etc. I’m quite enjoying the breather, though.

Of course that means I’m putting off the inevitable and maybe it will be harder getting back into nappies and sleepless nights later on. On the other hand, I’m only 26. It’s not like age is against me if exhaustion is the issue.

I always imagined that my children would be closer in age. If I were to conceive tonight, Talitha would be a lot older when her sibling comes along than I was when my mother had my brother. Then again, I really can’t get my head around a fourteen month age gap. That’s like me having Talitha and a one-month-old right now. Just no. On this one, I’m staying in the camp of “you get the age gap you’re able to handle”. Having met lots of families now too, it doesn’t seem that there is any ideal figure anyway.

Another factor could be that aside from parenting I’m busy with work, volunteering, church, home (I am trying) and am now looking at adding some more training to the mix if I get accepted to qualify as a breastfeeding counselor. We’d also like to save some money for big things like, possibly, a house.

It’s not that having another child sooner would be a dealbreaker with any of those things but newborns do force a pause button or at least a “slow down” on our lives. For that matter, forget newborns, that change of pace starts in pregnancy. It did for me, anyway. I was looking at Mother’s Always Right’s post Keeping broodiness in check today and it brought back memories of the pregnancy insomnia, SPD, constant need to pee, gas, swollen ankles, mystery itching, all-day sickness – the whole lot.

Anyway, it could just be hormones putting me off. Fifteen months in, I’m still benefiting from breastfeeding ammenhorea. Maybe my body’s the one saying: “Not yet.”

mother • freelance writer • home educator • #revillagingpodcast • breastfeeding counsellor • no dig farm • Trini in Cornwall [she/her]

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  • I know what you mean – although I can’t admit to not being broody! But I also found that once F started walking and talking – and work became busy and consuming – I sort of passed the initial broody mark. For me, I’d love to be in a situation to think about having another baby in a couple of years maybe, but there is something to be said for enjoying the time with F now and enjoying rediscovering “me” that was put aside for the first year of her life. x
    Molly – Mother’s Always Right recently posted..Keeping broodiness in check

  • Hello! Just discovered your blog – love the way you write – I am in exactly the same quandry as you – I can’t decide whether I want a second one – I didn’t enjoy pregnancy that much and then I had post natal illness which went on and on ,,,, then there’s sleep deprivation – why, oh, why would I want to go through all that AGAIN? But I’m trying to keep an open mind. There are some pluses to being an only child I keep reminding myself …
    older mum in a muddle recently posted..#One Week – Summer ’12 – Mullion

    • Thank you! I’m pretty sure we’ll try for another just not as soon as we’d previously expected. There are a lot of pros to stopping at one: financial, emotional, etc. I love my brother but really don’t think there’s any reason why you CAN’T stop at one.

  • Enjoy it while you can. I love having my two boys but would have liked a little longer it being just Spud. Theyve both missed out on activities which werent suitable for both and going swimming is a military operation which Ive not been brave enough to tackle alone yet. Pregnancywas hard second time round with Spud not yet one when Pooh Bear was concieved. I wouldnt change it for the world now as watching them interact is really lovely 🙂

    P.s. tongue tie is genetic so likely to have another affected child but as you say, you are experts now so will avoid the issues you and Talitha experienced x
    Kate Buckley recently posted..Memories

    • The times when I have been broody have been when I’ve seen siblings interacting but no, I’m blocking out the cuteness of which you speak and standing my ground! Sounds like hard work but the gap you have is probably the right one for you. Just means you’re better at managing it than I would be.

      Yes, we think there are a few other members of our family who’ve had it. Hoping not but at least I’ll catch it early. Either way, I’ll be hitting stuff like cranial osteopathy straight off the bat, so we should have a gentler journey.

  • Ahhhh thank you for mentioning me and helping me get pregnant 😉

    As you know I went through exactly the same phase, I would have happily got pregnant up until Iyla was about one then everything got so much easier and I thought I would wait. But then Dad2BabyInsomniac agreed and I thought I had better take him up on his offer before he changed his mind again! I have to say that the last couple of months have been a real struggle. Morning sickness is so awful and I finding the extreme tiredness to challenging. I know it is all worth it in the end and I am so excited about having a new addition to our family but I am also worried about the difficulty of the newborn phase. Mainly the lack of sleep as it really affected my state of mind last time. It is so hard to function on such little sleep but I guess I am hoping that the next one won’t be quite so much of a baby insomniac! And if they are well I guess it doesn’t last for all that long, although you might to remind me I said that next year!

    I don’t think there is ever a perfect time, I guess you just make it work! X
    Mum2BabyInsomniac recently posted..In The Night Garden Live Review

  • Having had all the children we plan on having I am trying to get my head around the idea of no more pregnancies, no more babies etc. I know in my head that having more children wouldn’t work for us on any level. My heart however will always yearn for the kick inside, the baby sleeping next to me, those amazing first years.
    I need to embrace that stage being over and moving on with my completed family but I’m not 100% there, not yet.
    Purplemum recently posted..Review – Groupon

  • I love the gap I picked for my first two, we timed it so that Dylan was born not long after Oli turned 3. It meant that we had a child who was out of prams and could actually be a second pair of hands. My problem now is when do I have the third that we want!? I am so broody but the thought of that horrid pregnancy is just too fresh in my head at the moment to do it again so soon!
    Emma recently posted..Morrisons – Fuel Saver

  • For me there was no way I could have another quickly. I told myself it was because of my way of parenting intensively in the early stages, but either way, neither my body or my older one was ready before 2 at least. But I hear lots of mums feel ultra broody when their older one is around 1 year – I think maybe because culturally this is when we expect babies not to need us so much any more (now acceptable weaning age etc). But breastfeeding changes that when they feed so much around their birthdays, to me they were saying – I’m still little and I still need you lots! But I know loads of people who have happily (and seemingly pretty stress free!) had babies closer together. Just wasn’t right for me.