There are some women who, shortly after the birth of their child, they are ready to do it all again. I was not one of them. As much as I thought I understood what being a mom entailed, I quickly found out that I was clueless once my son was born, and those first few (read: 18) months threw me for a loop. I would talk to friends and read status updates from women with children around my son’s age, exclaiming that they had “baby fever.” Clearly they are mistaken, I would think. Surely no one could have an infant and simultaneously be ready for another child, right? Being pregnant, sure, I missed it. But the thought of two beings depending on me 24/7? My sleep-deprived brain couldn’t comprehend it.
The funny thing about having one child is that it makes everyone ask when you’ll have another. I can pretty much guarantee that by the time your child is six months old SOMEONE will ask when you’ll be popping out a sibling. And because anything other than “I’m pregnant again!” seems to be an unsatisfactory response to strangers when they inquire about your plans for future children (as clearly being content with only one, even if just for the time being, means you are broken), I became pretty good at faking the whole baby fever conversation. People would ask and I’d be all “Oh yeah, we can’t wait to have more.. We’re not really planning anything, just letting things happen as they happen.” When in reality, the idea wasn’t even on our radar.
And then it happened. Sometime around my son’s third birthday, baby fever struck. I became consumed with thoughts of newborns and nurseries and breastfeeding and all things baby. I started browsing baby boards on Pinterest and ogling newborns I saw out in public. The timing still wasn’t right, which I knew, but I couldn’t keep myself from dreaming of a second little bundle of joy.
Then, as quick as the baby fever came, it faded away. As much as I knew I wanted more children, somewhere along this crazy path called parenthood, things became – dare I say – easy? And I mean “easy” in the most relative way, as life with any number of children will never be as easy as it was before them (though it most definitely is more fun and full of love). Yes, I complain about threenager tantrums, potty training, and picky eating, but our child is also to an age where his growing independence has granted us all more freedom – to travel more as a family, focus on our marriage, and do any number of things that once seemed difficult or overwhelming with a young child. The situation is definitely a catch 22 – It seems that as soon as your child is old enough to communicate and begin doing things for themselves, it makes you long for another while simultaneously revel the fact that 90% of your time is no longer spent dealing with spit up and diapers.
In the months since then, baby fever has come and gone. In the quieter days at home, I miss the constant snuggles, the nursing, the coos, and even the little cries. But the other times, when we can pack up the car on a whim and hit the road, or spend all day out and about exploring the world, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have this uninterrupted time my son and husband. So while I know I’ll be ready to bust out the nursing bras and tiny onesies when that time comes, right now I’m happy riding the waves of baby fever and enjoying my little family of three.