Monday, October 22, 2012

Not Anytime Soon

"So when ya havin' another one?"

On November 9th, Zoe will be fourteen months old.  She's long been out of the "infant" bathtub one of my friends got us for a baby shower gift.  We have an inflatable one for her from One Step Ahead.  Late in the summer, we installed a Britax convertible carseat in the Jeep and decommissioned the infant carrier/carseat that's part of her travel system.  She's been off the bottle since June, and she's been drinking out of straw sippy cups since.  She rides in shopping carts like a Big Girl, even if she's always trying to turn around in the seat to see where we're going instead of where she's already been.  She's an old pro at feeding herself finger foods.  She says a few words and understands a lot more words.  Last weekend at my sister's, she started Walking.

Zoe's not a baby-baby anymore, in other words.  I really enjoyed her when she was a baby-baby, when she'd sleep a lot and fall asleep in my arms while we sat together on the couch.  I didn't really mind getting up for her one nightly feeding she required, because I'd miss her when she went to bed and I loved the snuggle time, just us, in her dark room, although now, I really like not having to get up out of bed in the middle of the night.  Since before Christmas, it's been a rare occasion that I've had to, and I've grown spoiled of being able to sleep through the night.

She's always been a lot of fun, and always displayed a lot of personality, even before she was born, believe it or not.  Now, though, her personality is really coming out, loud and clear, and she's showing independence, and a delight at the things she can do for herself.  I love watching her eyes light up when she can do something that she couldn't do yesterday, or when she notices something that's been there all along, but she's just now discovering it.

And now, thanks to me signing up for "What to Expect" emails the day the stick turned blue, I've been getting daily emails from WtE that helped me know what to expect through pregnancy, and labor and delivery, and every step of the way with Zoe.  We're on the "Toddler" emails now, but something else is also coming through the WtE emails that I just don't know about.  Since Zoe was about 3 months old, every so often, they've put in "How do you know when to start trying for another baby?" articles in their emails.  Way back then, it was a lot easier to ignore those articles, because it was Just Too Darn Early, as far as I was concerned.  Now, though, Zoe's over a year old, so I figured I ought to give them a look.

Two years ago at this time, I'd just about bawl every time I saw a baby, thinking I'd never get to have one of my own.  I think they call it Baby Fever.  And since Zoe's an easy little kid to have around and I have time to read articles, I've read other people's signs of Baby Fever, on the WtE message boards.  Some people get Baby Fever almost as soon as their newborn outgrows their first batch of clothes.  For others, it hits them when they pack away the baby tub.  I've stopped reading those boards, just because, but I'm sure that packing away the infant carrier and the first steps trigger the Baby Fever for others.

Maybe I'm just dead inside, but I don't get all googly over newborns.  I loved my baby as a newborn, and I appear to be fairly good with newborns.  And while there have been times I've wished I could just reach up to the clock and stop time for a little bit, every day with Zoe is a new adventure, and I'm loving the ride.  More importantly, I feel like with just Zoe, I can Do This.  I rarely feel like I'm juggling things.  Nothing that's come up so far has put me over any edges, because I can handle it.  Traveling with Just Zoe means hauling along a lot of gear, but it's doable.  It's really doable.  Fun, even.  She's the best kid in restaurants, because our attention isn't divided between her and another kid.  We can tell when she's about to get fussy, and we can usually deflect it.  It's not because we're superheroes.  It's because we can focus all our attention on her.  It's easy to stay calm when she gets herself worked up, because there's only one of her and two of us.

Originally, Shane wanted three kids and I thought I wanted two kids, exactly two years apart.  Doing out the math, it would mean we'd need to get crackalackin' on that pretty darn soon, but you know what?  I'm just not ready.  Shane's even hinted that he's pretty okay with just Zoe.

So what does that mean?  I don't know.  Shane doesn't know.  People ask us when we're going to have another one, and we never have an answer.  It isn't for any other reason than we're comfortable with the way things are right now, and it feels as though the dust is just settling from Zoe's arrival (although she's been extremely easy).  I feel like I'm just starting to get back in shape.  I don't avoid water before a long car ride anymore, if you catch my drift.  And I can afford to give Zoe unwavering patience, even in the face of overtiredness or a budding Sense of Independence.  It still feels too early to me to be thinking about Another One. 

We're holding onto all Zoe's baby stuff, just in case.  The Snugabunny bouncy seat and swing are packed away in the attic with care, along with the baby tub and infant carrier carseat.  Her outgrown clothes are clean and folded and boxed.  My maternity clothes are organized in boxes.  Just in case.  But the only time I think of them is when I'm carrying something else up to the attic and see them.  I don't obsess about pulling the baby-baby stuff out of the attic.  I don't feel the gnawing emptiness I used to, Before Zoe.  For once, I'm really content with the way things are.

I love my daughter.  I loved her as a baby-baby.  I loved when she'd fall asleep on me.  I loved her when she started rolling over, and smiling and giggling.  I loved her when she started crawling, and when she started eating cereal and sweet potatoes.  I've loved watching her take her first steps and hearing her first words.  And I'm going to love going on whatever adventures she takes us on in the future.  And if it's just the three of us, me, Shane, and Zoe, that'll be okay. It'll be okay.

1 comment:

  1. Freya's only three and a half months old, but I feel like I think about this all the time. The midwife got me started on it at my six-week postnatal appointment, because she thought we should consider long- and short-term birth control options, so F and I talked about it and I discovered that, if we're going to have Another One, he'd like it sooner rather than later, since he's 35 now. But with both of us working full time, I feel like I have my hands completely full right now, and I can't imagine doing this again only with a two year old too. But I was really shocked at how much I loved the baby thing, and how every development she makes is mostly awesome but a little tinged with sadness, because she's getting so big. But the cost of diapers and daycare for two is a lot more than it is for one, plus we'd absolutely have to get a new car (we can barely fit one carseat in my VW Rabbit). And I see how exhausted my friends with two kids are, and I know how exhausted I am now. I guess for me right now the issue is that my heart wants Another One, but I don't know if we can do it financially or if we can give up so much time and energy. Anyway, I want to keep breastfeeding Freya for as long as she'll take it, so no Another One until breastfeeding's over, so at least I have that space. You're right, it'll be okay either way.