Friday, June 17, 2005

He's An Only-Child

One after another, the moms of Shef’s friends have been giddily announcing their second pregnancies.

Their babies are due in December and January, and they’re already glowing.

“I’ll be a lot of work, but we’re thrilled,” they say, gazing lovingly at their adorable one-year-olds.

I can’t understand it, really. It’s as if they’ve completely forgotten the abject misery of the third trimester and the harrowing darkness that is labor.

I manage to close my gaping mouth and choke back the nausea (it inevitably accompanies the thought of conceiving again) long enough to deliver the appropriate congratulations, the inquiries about how they’re feeling, the warm, knowing smiles exchanged between mothers who have already welcomed babies into their homes.

This morning at 3:00, when Shef had woken for the fourth time since nine, I told Dan that one child was most certainly enough.

“I’m not doing this again,” I said.

Dan sighed, probably thinking that there was surely a better forum in which to discuss this than in the dark at three AM. “It could be different next time,” he said hopefully.

I suppose he’s right. Maybe I won’t dry-heave for twelve weeks straight or have ankles the size of Ohio. Maybe my second trimester won’t be punctuated by daily, deadening headaches. Perhaps I won’t swell to 200 pounds or need an emergency C-section with general anesthesia. It’s possible that the new baby will sleep for longer than two hours at a time with some regularity, or not want to nurse every thirty minutes around the clock for the first six months of his life.

It’s just the chance that it won’t be markedly different that triggers the hyperventilation.

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