It hit me recently that I missed out on a good four months of my daughters life. This makes me sad, and supposedly I need to grieve that loss in order to move forward. Which makes sense, I suppose.
Since hating pregnancy for 9 months, I've been conflicted between joking that there will never be a #2, ever, and knowing in the back of my head that more than one kid wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. But I know that *if* there's going to be a #2, it's not going to happen at least till Natalie is potty trained. That being said, I've started thinking about our fictional child #2. I think more and more that I do really want one, partly because I know I'll be about 72 kinds of more prepared for her. The other reason I want one is that I want to be there for her the whole time - the times where she's just cuddly and sleeps a lot and is easily amused but just watching the world around her, unlike what Natalie is like currently.
Natalie is a blessing and a curse. I love how her personality is starting to come through, how she's so curious and wants to figure things out and talk and smile and giggle and take it all in. But it can drive me up a wall when she's so needy - it's a different needy than 8 months ago, when she was so teeny and had to eat all the time and be changed and held and constantly nursed. It's "needy" in the sense that, for example, she wants to stand up all the time, which is something she can't do on her own. So I get stuck with either a whining baby or sitting on the floor while she uses me for support to stand, laughing with glee the whole time. Hard to get anything done (laundry, lunch, we're not even talking about the work I get paid for) when you are being a baby scratching post. I think back to when she wasn't like this, and those were the times when I was at work. I'd be up at the ass crack of dawn, then come home by 3:30-4, only to whisk her away from Jim so he could go job search. I didn't get to enjoy her. I was so tired, and I was so desperate to be with her and hold her and make up for having to be away, as well as try to cook dinner, or laundry, and attempt to get a little downtime in for myself before bedtime rolled around once again.
It was a frantic time, the only way it could have been. I don't regret the decision to go back to work, as it was the only way to keep us from losing the house. I do regret that it had to be that way, and that is why I find myself dreaming of #2. So I can be there, and be the mom I want to be, and not feel like I missed out as much as I've missed out already. She was only 2.5 months old when I went back to work - It's hard not to think of what a sweet little bundle she was then while trying to baby wrangle a wiggly 8.5 month old on her changing table.