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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.


I have a couple of pregnant friends, and one of them asked me for a list of good books about pregnancy and birth today. I made one over on Amazon, ’cause that seemed easier than writing them all down. Here it is.

I posted this poll a few months back, about what people re-use and what they throw away. I didn’t have a big green agenda about it, I was just curious, but the results made me realize I’m not as green as I think.

I was already planning this follow-up post for today, after an awesome day of grocery shopping with 15 cloth tote bags and doing three loads of laundry, but I am also sort of responding to who asked in her LJ what her readers are doing to limit their planetary impact.

washing more, tossing less

I do a LOT of laundry. I’ve been going out among the mommies of the world more lately, and getting a lot of oohs and ahs over my cloth diaper habit, which made me notice more of the things I wash rather than throw away. I wonder, just generally, what other people do, and how we make those choices? I use disposables for some stuff when there’s a perfectly good resuable option, while other things I wash and wash and wash.

So for each of these, please tell me what you *most* often do, what your habit is. Like for diapers, I would answer cloth because that’s my norm, even though I have used disposables in the past (like the other day when I was out at a friend’s house and realized I had forgotten my diaper bag).

I made them radio buttons on purpose because I am evil. Feel free to comment about how wrong unjust and unscientific my poll is, and how it prevents you from expressing your true self or your true napkin usage patterns or whatever. But satisfy my curiosity first and fill it out please. 🙂

[EDIT: the obvious ones I missed, not being a coffee drinker, are coffee cups and water bottles. I use a sigg bottle for my water.]

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Serena Rose Hunter Black was born at 10 pm EST on July 9 at The Birth Cottage, as planned. She was born in the birth tub and caught by her dad. Her sister cut the cord like she’d been wanting to. Serena Rose weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces, is 23 inches long and has very soft golden hair and dark blue eyes.

The birth was attended by my wonderful and beloved cazador, both our kids, sandhawke, queen_of_wands and my mother and stepfather, as well as an apprentice midwife, Natanya, and Adrian Feldhusen, one of the midwives who runs the center. It was the perfect combination of loving support, and I’m deeply grateful to all of them.

Serena is the Spanish word for Serenity, and is pronounced so that it almost rhymes with henna but is also sort of like seh-RAIN-ah and has a sweet rolling ‘r’ in the middle. If you speak Spanish you can probably say it more clearly than I can; if not just have Martin or I pronounce it for you.

Rose is a beautiful flower and also a verb. Hunter Black is our family names, Martin’s and mine.

The story you've all been waiting for

Baby girl, name TBA, born 10 pm July 9, 10lbs, 7 ounces, 23 inches long.

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A little bird told me…

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