Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friends Don't Let Friends Not Get Knocked Up

This morning I did not hesitate to get out of the house for a run. Ian was here, and I seized the opportunity to lace up and bolt before the coffee had finished brewing. It's been a while, since I am usually on solo-duty around here with the kids, and I can't just leave them alone for 20 minutes to get my sweaty catharsis on.

It felt good to be moving, alternately listening to the Clash on my iPod and the birds chirp in between songs. All long walks with the dog can't match how good I feel after just 20 minutes pounding the pavement, watching neighbors set up tag sales and, in some cases, return from their own morning jogs. The only thing that makes me feel this good is a Kundalini yoga session -- with Gurmukh. No other teacher can push me the way she can.

Afterward, it was nice to sit on the deck and enjoy some coffee while reading the paper with Ian, while the kids took in some Saturday morning cartoons. I explained to him all the plans I had next week while the kids are with their father: Heide is coming over Monday; drinks with Mary on Tuesday; dinner with Renee (and Jeff and Ian) on Thursday. It went on and on.

"What happened to all this free time that you were worried about not knowing what to do with yourself?" Ian snickered.

"I'm going to be busy. I love it," I said. "Oh, and Heide said she's coming over with a turkey baster full of semen to impregnate me."

Background: Heide insists I want a baby. Now. Despite my (weak) protests to the contrary, my darling friend (mother of toddler and pregnant with her second) is determined to see me knocked up. Her real dream is to see me in full gestational bloom at my wedding, in a maternity gown.

Ian distrusts her.

"Oh, GOD!" Ian said. "I don't trust that girl. Not as far as I can throw her."

He shouldn't. She's my friend, and she's looking out for me.

The third baby. Will there be one? We don't know. Ian and I have discussed it, of course, and we rule out nothing and rule in nothing. We're open to possibility, but we've left it at that. We've got enough going on, between getting married, merging households, his eventual role as a step father to my children, etc.... Baby number 3? I don't know. Not just yet. It means maternity leave; body changes; more changes in the family dynamic; a third c-section; daycare costs....and of course a whole lot of love and joy.

There is a freedom in considering the effects a third baby would have on our lives: Although a third child would change things dramatically (especially for Ian, who has never known what it's like to feel the tectonic shift of becoming a parent), it also wouldn't be the kind of lifestyle change -- and shock -- that I had with the first baby, or even the second. Once you have two, you feel like you can have 10. For me, I was pretty much outnumbered the minute Nolan was born. I was home full-time then, and so it was me and me and me and me with the kids from 7:30 AM until 6PM (and often from 7PM until 10PM, but that's another story). Another one? Sure, why not.

But that's not to say it will happen. Or that I wouldn't have a panic attack as soon as the little pink plus sign appeared on a pregnancy test pee stick. I recalled today with Ian how I felt as soon as finding out I was pregnant with Nolan: I was elated--and terrified. I had grown up an only child, with 20 years between my siblings and I. I didn't understand the dynamics of living with siblings; I was terrified--I mean truly terrified--that I wouldn't be able to give either of my children what they needed, and thereby I would fail them both. From anxiety over giving them adequate nurturing to worrying that Sean would walk into traffic while I was distracted by caring for an infant, I was a mess. All this by the 9th week of my pregnancy, before I was really "telling" anyone my "news".

I remember it clearly, being newly pregnant and standing on the sidewalk in front of my old house, while Sean toddled around with a little Radio Flyer scooter. A neighborhood dad who was also an old friend of mine--and who eventually became the guy who would grab my hand to dive head-first into a sea of marital transgression two years later, helping me undo my marriage and, in some ways, set myself free--walked by with his son, who is just a few weeks younger than Sean.

"What's goin' on?" he asked, in his familiar, amused, drawn-out tone of cool.

"I'm pregnant," I answered. And then I burst into tears.

"Whoa...hey, what's the matter?"

"I don't know how I'm going to do this. How am I going to have two? I have no idea how to do this."

He is one of four, and regardless, he's a pretty non-plussed guy in general.

"You'll be fine. You'll see. It'll all work out."

Ah, the irony in that statement coming from him.

But it did work out.

And I am fine.

So fine I'm considering a third--SOMEDAY. Maybe.

With Ian.


Some morning running music (and a lil' documentary stuff) for ya:

Happy Saturday.


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