It’s spring! The flowers in bloom, the trees are crowned in the golden hues of nature’s first green, and suddenly everyone around me is popping up pregnant.

Which kind of begs the question my four-year-old posed to me this morning, “When are you going to be pregnant again, Mama?”

I expect the answer to that question is, “Never.” And that’s an…interesting, if not exactly hard, pill to swallow at 30.

Most of my friends are still footloose and fancy free at 30. I had my first baby early, which is what I wanted. But it also meant missing out on the fun of being pregnant at the same time as my best buds, swapping baby clothes, having joint showers, whatever women do when they are part of a baby pack.

My sister had a baby last summer, and I thought I’d have a dose of baby envy when I met my nephew. Instead, her entire pregnancy and infancy was met by me with a resounding wave of, “Better you than me!” Likewise for my dear friend in California and my bestest friend in the whole wide world since sixth grade, who have both been pregnant since I had my almost-two-year-old baby.

But then Terry (of Mothermirth fame) got pregnant with her third child, and suddenly I was all, “Oh. Hey. Um…that would be kind of nice. I could do that.”

I feel the urge to have another kid because, I humbly assert, I give good baby. My kids are cute, creative, practically perfect in all things and an asset to the universe. Clearly, they get all this from their dad, but I do like having them around. I feel like having a lot of kids is a very “me” thing to do.

I think, however, that enjoying the company of children and being skilled at raising them does not mean I should have more. Those reasons are essentially selfish. They’re about me, not about my kids or my family.

The reality is that my family is full. My house is full – we have four bedrooms and five people, which is quite enough. My husband, thirteen years older than me, is exhausted. My breasts are hovering dangerously close to my waistband as it is, and probably do not need three more years of a new baby tugging on them.

I’m overjoyed at the space that’s opening up my life as Serena moves away from babyhood. I get to sleep at night, and even more valuable to me, I get these evening hours to write in. The baby furniture has given way to extra bookcases and wall art. The washing machine sits quiet at night, no longer tumbling load after load of poopy diapers. Life is just *easier*. The more the kids leave space in my life, the more full of personal richness it is. I read, I write, I knit, I get to have friends and a social life again.

I worry a little that my occasional longing for another baby is partly a fear of these good things coming into my life. My world is changing again. I finally got my sea legs for the baby voyage and now we’ve made land on some strange new continent called Childhood, which is quite different. I’m not sure what to do next, and starting over at “newborn” is in some ways a safe choice.

But then I have these moments like today. Today was long, gentle perfect. The girls were calm and happy, and Rio asked me for another sibling. It was a day where I can open up a bit and imagine another little human joining our merry band. What would his eyes be like? What would he like to do? Would he sing like his sisters? Would I know how to raise him? (in my fantasy, this third child is always a boy)

I don’t know if I’ll be curious enough about the answers to those questions to go through the door to New Baby Land. I think I’ll sit with that over the next six months, and consider the matter closed at Samhain one way or another.

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