(Photos of these two goobs having a blast together on their scooter the other day. Their BFF-ness kills me)
It was about this time, three years ago, that we started trying to get pregnant with Isla. Everett was around two years old and I, as a surprise to myself, was baby hungry like crazy. I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Day, and the following August, she arrived. I felt like their age spacing was SO PERFECT. I solidly stand by 2 years and 10 months as a perfectly ideal length of time to space one's children out and I would recommend it to anyone. Since we all know planning pregnancy down to the month is so controllable ...
Yet here we are again. My youngest is at that two year mark and because I've always known that we would have more than two, the timing of our third child has weighed heavily on my mind. We should. We should start trying. My problem has been that when I contemplate the newborn phase, I think, I JUST DID THAT. I just had a baby, I'm pretty sure yesterday. And the memory of my pants not fitting, is somehow more vivid than the first time around? And I'm also just not baby hungry. And maybe that's the whole thing right there. Isla's baby-hood still feels so completely present. Much more so than Everett's was. He was sleeping through the night, in his own bed at nine-months-old, whereas Isla co-sleeps with us and still adores nursing. I love that this part of her hasn't grown up yet. That I can watch her expand in personality and ability and intelligence, and somehow still keep her infant-like sense of newness around for myself. The lack of hair helps.
A few weeks ago, after giving myself a solid pep talk and a lecture on timing, I decided that I would get off birth control. I plopped myself on the bathroom counter while Tyson was in the shower and said, so what do you think? Should we? Now? Maybe? Yes?
If all of this was up to him, the man would've had another baby months ago, so my tentative suggestion was met with enthusiasm, and I thought, ok! Let's do it.
Then I called my mom on her birthday and told her that we were thinking about trying for another, because that's what mom's do on their birthdays: listen to you talk about yourself. I heard myself say baby and then add a million "buts" onto the end of my sentence.
But I'm not ready to share my body. But Isla's still nursing, and we're not totally done yet. But this means I'll have to get Isla out of our bed. But then I'll have to go back to not sleeping. But OMG three kids. Everyone says three is the hardest number to hurdle. But life is so nice now that Isla's starting to really embrace some independence.
And in the same train of thought say,
But Everett will be 6 by then so it won't be that crazy. And Isla is obsessed with babies, is generous with sharing me, and would handle the change like a champ. And I should just get the child bearing days over with so they can all grow up close. And this age gap! This age gap was perfect! They're best friends, and don't I want to give that gift to the next child? And also, what if it takes longer than we think it will to get pregnant.
(Yes, it does take me an hour to fall asleep at night)
And then my mom, having listened to my buts, and being the wise sage that she is, gave me the best piece of advice that I never would've given myself. She said, "Don't should on yourself."
Don't should on yourself!
And also it's ok to give it a year. Because what's a year, really, in the scheme of things. It's nothing. A year is nothing. To get rid of the shoulds and replace them with the I wants and the I'm readys.
It may sound so terribly obvious but it was like a blazing light bulb went off in my head. Taking away my self-imposed timeline, gave me instant grace to allow a baby to come to us, but through my heart first. If that meant a month from now, six months from now, a whole dang year from now, it wouldn't matter. I could start trying to get pregnant whenever I felt ready and it all would be completely
Until then, it's just me and my two little buddies up there, both of whom I am so thoroughly enjoying at the moment. Two and almost five - most stinking delightful ages in the world.