Monday, 11 August 2014

Now what?

I keep thinking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I mean, who doesn't? But there's one scene in particular I think of. At the very end of the last series, when Sunnydale has collapsed into the hell mouth (oops SPOILER ALERT!) and Buffy and the Scoobies stand at the edge of the precipice. And Dawn and Willow ask Buffy 'so what are we going to do now?'

'Yeah Buffy, what are we going to do now?'

And Buffy just smiles.

I don't want to directly compare having two children in the space of 20 months to a fictional town collapsing into a hellmouth, so I'll leave it to you to make that association. Violet turns one in a few weeks time. Here I am, a mother of two children.

I have a family. We have a family. We are a family. Our family is complete.

Now what?

This is a strangely bittersweet time. My baby isn't a baby any more. My other baby definitely isn't a baby any more!

There are no more newborns in my house, there isn't a little crib set up at the side of my bed (admittedly there's an eleven and a half month old usually IN my bed or in the travel cot at the end of my bed but still), there aren't muslins all over the house.

There are no more tiny sleepsuits - just HUGE sleepsuits and pyjamas. There is no more helpless infant mewing at my breast, nuzzling into my heart, blinking into my gaze, wrapping tiny, soft fingers around mine.

There's a gigantic squirming nearly one-year-old wriggling and chattering and turning herself upside-down gymnastic nursing, and a two-year-old who laces her fingers through mine as she falls asleep - but there's no more baby.

Now what?

There is much to look forward to, this I know. But there is deep sadness. A couple of weeks ago I took a pregnancy test and I was as desperate for it to be positive as Noel was for it to be negative. It was negative.

I will probably never again experience the glory of a positive pregnancy test. I will never pee on a stick in ecstatic anticipation, if I do it will always be tinged with 'oh god, REALLY?'

My breasts will probably never again explode with life-giving sustenance on the third day. My perineum can rest assured it will not once again have to separate itself giving birth to yet another gigantic tiny one.

I will never know the awe-inspiring, primal beauty of childbirth again, the irritating, frustrating, exhausting joy of pregnancy, the blissful bubble of those first few days and weeks, falling in love with the tiny person you have created.

I will never know what other combinations of Noel and I could meld together to form another entire person, distinct and different from him and me and their two sisters, but curiously also the same, and very much of us, all of us.

Noel absolutely adamantly doesn't want another baby. I absolutely adamantly do, but I think it's quite telling that I wanted two children, and now I have them I want another baby.

When I think about it it's not even a third baby I want. I want my children as babies again.

I want Cherry so helpless and tiny and huge all at the same time, so noisy and sensitive, so vibrant and emotional, so frustrating and forgiving.

I want Violet so loving and gentle, her tiny beautiful blue eyes peeping out at us, entirely peaceful and tranquil, sure all was well with the world if I was near.

I want myself as a new mother again but with the confidence and knowledge I have now. I want to go back and do it all again with the experience I can only have gained by having done it before.

When I was pregnant with Violet a part of me was already looking ahead to now. Violet at a year old, Cherry to turn three in December, the baby days gone, the toddler and pre-school days full of fun and energy and exasperation and chaos just around the corner.

My body my own again, my breasts are Violet's for as long as she wants them but the rest of me is all for me. My brain capable of taking in snippets here and there that don't involve my children.

Now I'm here I'm not emotionally ready at all.

I feel I have changed fundamentally, and that I cannot go back to the life, career and world I lived in before.

But I don't really know what my new world is yet, because it's been full of pregnancies and babies since March 2011.

Now there's no more pregnancy and there's no more babies. Now there's toddlers and fun and splashing and running and shouting and jumping and cuddling - but there's no more babies.

Now there's possibly, even, at some point not too many million miles away, a bit of time for me.

Now what?

No comments:

Post a Comment