For someone who banged on relentlessly about my right to leave Jacob as an only child if I so wished, and not be harangued by pushy relatives and – as usual, strangers – into having more and more and more….. I should really have been a bit more careful about taking my pill so that I wouldn’t find myself in yet another ‘situation’ ;o)
My reluctance to have a second baby was this: we had a hard time the first time around and I wasn’t ready to go again. Simple as that. In the last two-and-a-bit years of Jacob’s life, Ass Monkey and I have moved house twice, have been building up a surprisingly busy business from scratch (mostly from home) AND we were adjusting to our new roles as parents. To a kid who is a terrible sleeper. On top of that, I was trying to hold on to my identity as an artist, squeezing in auditions and plays and gigs, interrupting the flow of our family business, costing us extra money in childcare and causing endless rows. It all happened together and there was never enough time to process any of it.
Since Jacob started acting like a dog…. oh, haven’t I mentioned this? Yes, he errrrr, clearly spends too much time with Pearl and during the summer last year at the park, when Pearl would lie on her back in the grass for a scratch, Jacob would fling himself down and do the same. He also crawls on all fours around the kitchen floor and under the table with her. Not to mention the time that I heard him in the sitting room; ‘7…8….9….10… Ready or not, here I come, Pearl!’ Yup, he was playing Hide & Seek with our dog. He clearly needs a sibling.
In September last year, Jacob turned two and for the first time, Ass Monkey and I really talked about our upset regarding Jacob’s birth and the subsequent struggles we encountered. It was nothing to do with our lovely child, it was to do with our own circumstances at the time, the stresses we had put upon ourselves. We were disappointed that it wasn’t as romantic and calm and loving as we might have imagined… but thankfully, we had made it through to something resembling the other side. I will never forget sitting at the harbor in Rush, overlooking the sea as he moon came up and I had a little cry. It closed the door on it.
Little did I know how perfect the timing of that chat was – as I was already pregnant again! I didn’t find out for a few weeks, when I was so tired that I thought I was coming down with some sort of snot-and-sneeze-free pneumonia and couldn’t get off the couch. On October 26th, the day of my dad’s birthday, we were in my parents’ house where I took a pregnancy test in the toilet like a scared teenager. Positive. I looked again: POSITIVE.
Ass Monkey was summonsed and when I showed him the evidence, his response was ‘Who’s Is That?!’
‘Let me see…’ I helped. ‘In this house right now we have you, my dad, Uncle Gerry, mam – who is definitely past child bearing age at this point – Jacob, and me. Who out of that list of people could this possibly belong to?!’
We couldn’t believe it, especially since our plan was to wait until some time this year to start trying again, but after the initial shock subsided (took a few weeks) we’re totally delighted. This is our chance to have a happier pregnancy and a less stressful time. A lot can change in two-and-a-bit years; the business has come on, we now have a premises outside our home and help, we’re about to buy our first family home and we’re all much happier together as a family. It’s the right time and thank GOD we stuck it out!
We’re planning to do a lot differently this time, starting with not finding out the sex of the baby and wait for the ‘surprise’. Although if you ask Jacob ‘What’s in Mammy’s tummy?’, he’ll say ‘Baby Brother’.
Watch this space ;o)