It was then that I knew she was knocked up again. And as I lay there on the couch, totally emotionally and physically exhausted from being tag teamed by my two kids all night, one who was teething and the other who was having nightmares, I didn't know how to respond.
Along with this, two women I know have in the last week announced that they are pregnant with their fourth child. Four. Four children. I'd be full of shit if I didn't say that the thought of four children makes my uterus quiver with fear. And my husband as well.
All of this has lead me to write this.
Once upon a time, I had one child. Even though she was a great sleeper, I still wouldn't consider being a mother of one an easy task. It pushes you farther emotionally and physically than you ever imagined. I never knew unconditional love or pure rage until I gave birth. There were days when the thought of getting her ready, getting her in the car, getting groceries, and getting her back home again just wasn't worth it to me.
My friend Ashley had two kids, and there were days where she just wouldn't leave her house at all because f*ck that. That was the only reason she had. Just, "No. No way." That was all she needed. I never doubted her that two kids was a lot to handle, but I never knew until now.
All those times when Avery was an only child and I thought I couldn't be any more exhausted, couldn't be hungrier, couldn't be more frustrated, and couldn't be happier, seem like a pleasure cruise compared to what is going on in my life at this point. There is only just over two years between my two kids, and I had totally forgotten what it was like to have a new baby. To be up every hour. To be changing a diaper after every feed. To have a little person who needs you for absolutely everything. And then another kid along with it.
I'm exhausted. My hair is a mess. I went to the gym last night and still haven't showered. There are days I don't brush my teeth. There are nights that I don't sleep. Sometimes my breakfast is a reheated cup of coffee and a left over toast crust with a side of screaming child on my hip. My legs are hairier than I'd like to admit. My bed isn't made. And there are about three loads of unfolded but clean laundry in my laundry room that may never see a drawer before needing to be washed again. My bank account is also sobbing.
At this point, as a mother, I'm in survival mode. You all know it. That stage where you're just trying to make it till bedtime. Come on, 7:30! Woohoo! Party time!
Just kidding, I have an infant. There is no bedtime anymore.
The curious thing about it all is, though, that I would not give up one of these days for anything in the world. I wouldn't give up the spit up on my back that I didn't know about until after I got home from running into my ex at the grocery store, I wouldn't give up the booger that my two year old passed me a few minutes ago, I wouldn't give up all the times that I could smell poop but couldn't find it. I will hold on to all of these things because I already feel them slipping through my fingers too quickly. Before too long these days will be gone and Avery will be sneaking her low cut tops into her school bag and I'll be finding condoms in Liam's laundry and I'll be praying for the days when I was so tired I could weep.
There is a saying, "The days are long, but the years are short." Every day feels like an episode of Survivor: Parenting, but then when the day is over, and things are quiet, you realize that your babies are one day older. You think you know what it's like to be this tired, this angry, this in love, but you have no idea until you are there.
I know that I'm done with two children. This is my family and I feel like I'm whole. I also feel like I've been run over by a truck at times. To the moms who keep going, I give you a gigantic high five. You are amazing women. Seriously. I feel like I need ten of me to have these two most times and you superheroes keep popping out kids like there's nothing to it! I am in awe of you ladies!
And to my friend, I have this advice; you are going to understand what it's like to have your heart double. You think you can't love a second child like you love your first, but it's like you have these Go-Go Gadget Emotions and they are just there. It's unreal! You are also absolutely going to want to hide away in a dark closet with a big bottle of booze and probably a pack of cigarettes at least once or twice a week. Even though you don't smoke. The bottom line, is that having two kids is like pizza (which apparently is like sex). Even when it's really bad... it's still pretty good.
You'll be fine.
Register at the liquor store for your shower.
No I'm not...
One of the rare, "We might make it" moments