makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Something happened to me in the few weeks between my 35th birthday and my youngest son turning three; something I doubted would ever happen again. I started seeing pregnant women and feeling  envious of their beautiful bumps. Tears welled up in my eyes when I happened upon images of newborns and their mothers, enjoying those sensuous, emotionally intense early days. Then in the space of a week, two people asked me if I was pregnant (I love that Dangerfield dress, but it clearly does not love me...) and a friend pointed out that she was my age when she had her first child. I had thought my baby-growing days were well and truly over, and suddenly there was this tiny spark of an idea that maybe I could actually have another...

The urge to have a baby is consuming; it is a seriously powerful force. Why else would women endure years and years of fertility treatment? Why do people risk so much to have a baby? And in my case, why would a woman with three children and no time to do the thing she loves, even consider another? But, as my husband, sagely pointed out, baby-making isn't rational. There are far greater forces at work.

I've talked my way through it, forcing myself to recall all the different stages of those first couple of years - the aspects I love and the difficulties of juggling the needs of multiple children and their varying, age-dependent needs. It's tough and I have felt woefully inadequate at times. Lately, it has become a little easier, although there are still plenty of moments of total craziness. As much as I would love one more chance to experience it, and relish meeting another fascinating little character, it would put huge pressure on everyone, it would be an extremely hard slog, and it would be many more years before I could devote any substantial time to writing or working or whatever it is I intend to do next. Mostly, I have realised that, right now, I'm standing on the precipice. My youngest is about to start 3-year Kindy and embark on his school journey. By his age, both his sister and brother had a younger sibling. As a family, we are moving into fresh territory. Having another baby would be moving back into familiar terrain. It would be safe because it is known, but what lies ahead, is uncharted and therefore both exciting and a little terrifying! I don't know how things will pan out for me - what my life will become when my children are all at school - but I think it's time I moved forward.

So please, please don't ruin my day by asking me if I'm pregnant. If I change my mind, I'll let you know...

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