I have to laugh at it all sometimes when I think about it. In early 2013 I had decided that having children was not on the cards anymore, and here I am in late 2016, with two beautiful toddlers and another little one on the way. If you had given me a view into the future back then when I was standing behind the bar indulging in a shot or 10 of Powers and chatting with my regulars I would have probably laughed in your face before pouring you a Guinness.
While I may not have a huge extended family, I come from two lines of families where the women tend to have many children. And I think I say that I don’t have a huge extended family just because we are so dispersed, having lived in different countries for many years – in reality there are quite a few of us around. I remember many a Christmas as a child in England, and then in The Netherlands and France, where we would fly home to be with our extended family. But once you become an adult you tend to start revisiting those childhood traditions in your own home, nostalgic for the past, hopeful for the future. I’ve spent a lot of Christmases alone in NYC, celebrating with close friends, missing my family. And then Christmases with my own growing family, teaching my partner and kids about my childhood traditions. I’ve written about these times on several occasions, here and here, so I won’t rehash them today, but I suppose the main theme of Christmas will always remain family for me. My mother had three kids, and all of us will be together this Christmas for the first time in years. My mother’s mother had five children, all girls, and her mother had 10 (!) children. My father’s mother also had five children, two boys and three girls, and her mother had 4 kids (all girls too!). And if you go through my family tree, (that my mother has been painstakingly researching for the past few years - more on that in the very near future), you will find that it was very common to see a multitude of sisters and brothers in each family. So I suppose I really had to do my part to continue on this family tradition!
It’s funny how things change very rapidly. After a bit of a long pregnancy with Aurora but the exact birth I was hoping for, which helped ease away some of what Luna’s more painful birth and recovery had left, I said that I was done. And then slowly but surely, once the weight started to come off and when raising two children didn’t seem as difficult as I had expected it to be, we started slowly talking about another one. Not so close as the first two, because two under two with a very high needs child is no walk in the park, and not until one had weaned. Let’s not even try until 2017 we said. As with anything in my life real planning always seems to take a backburner because events just seem to happen naturally, as if I’m not allowed to feel too comfortable for too long. I’m still nursing both toddlers very frequently and have no willpower to wean anyone, and, well, it’s still 2016… But a few days before the presidential election I realised that this carsickness feeling that had started a few days before seemed a little too familiar, especially seeing as I actually hadn’t been in a car… That week was a little bittersweet, because we were meant to be bathing in happiness, but at the same time the elections brought on a wave of disbelief, despair and sadness that I have had a hard time brushing away. It took me a while to feel “normal” again, and to be honest I don’t feel “normal” (have I ever?!), but I do feel very happy, and am completely and madly in love with this little munchkin that is growing in my tummy, just like I was with the other two.
This little one is due on July 3rd, so when he or she comes Luna will be three years and a few months old and Aurora will be just under two. Luna is already excited about “the tiny baby in mummy’s tummy”, although how much of that she actually really understands is yet to be known. It will be fun to see her actually be able to express her thoughts about my growing belly this time around, as she was so young when I was pregnant with Aurora. It will be fun to see how Aurora reacts too… Once I get past this insane 24/7 nausea that has been plaguing me since I was 5 weeks pregnant, and will hopefully start easing up now, I will be able to focus more on the future. In the meantime it’s basically been on a day to day basis, make sure the kids eat, get fresh air and are somewhat entertained, get through my work before bedtime, so that I can collapse in bed with the kids and hope that sleep will bring some relief. I definitely had all day nausea with Luna, and had it a lot worse with Aurora, but this has been even worse still. Not that it has stopped me from eating. Just from eating most things apart from bread, Brie, lettuce and pasta. Everything also tastes super salty, which has never happened to me before and has basically put me off most food. Except Brie. Nothing will ever put me off Brie.
And so there we are, 6 more months, give or take a few weeks, and we will have another one in our midst. Girl or boy, it doesn’t really matter (of course a boy would be great, just to mix things up a little, but we do have an absolutely beautiful girl’s name lined up too, and it would be such a pity not to use it…). The adventure continues and I couldn’t be happier to be honest. One day at a time, hoping that the weeks don’t fly by too fast and that we will have another happy, healthy baby.