I'll start at the end of the story just so no one gets overly excited: I got my period today.
OK, back to the beginning...
After nearly eight months of no (how do I put this politely?) urge to get between the sheets for anything other than sleep, it hit me like a big, sexy ton of bricks last week. I finally wanted it again, but at the same time, didn't want it AT ALL.
Because last time that happened, Lyla was made.
But last time that happened, I was ready. I had been waiting for her, wishing for her.
This time, I just kept thinking, THAT sounds like so much fun! Except not. I am not ready for what could come of THAT kind of fun right now. It's not like we haven't been having that kind of fun since she's been here. We have. It's just that having it when I was feeling like that could only mean one thing, we thought.
But even with that hesitation, we did it. We both recognized what was happening was eerily similar to last time. And we did it anyway.
A few minutes after we did, I burst into tears.
"Lyla's just so young!" I wailed. "She's just a little baby! She's not ready for this!"
Chill out was beaming from McMister's eyes, but he still did his best to understand and comfort me.
Fast forward one week to this morning. As we drove home from the library, Gracie was quietly looking out the window. She spoke so softly and said, "Gracie's thinking about Mommy and Daddy and Gracie and Lyla and the brother."
"You are?" I said just as softly, my heart screaming and wondering if somehow, somewhere deep inside, she knew. "That's sweet, Honey."
When we got home, I made her lunch and went straight into the bathroom, and that's when I noticed. My body is ready for another baby.
McMister and I were casually talking about expanding our family a couple weeks ago. Casually because I hadn't had a period since Lyla was born. Casually because we both know we want to have at least one more eventually.
Or not eventually. More like soon(ish). We both want them all close in age. But if I got pregnant now, Lyla and the third would be even closer than Lyla and Gracie (20 months), and that's too close for me.
Or is it?
As much as I'd prefer to wait a little longer, I would be beyond happy to be pregnant again. To tell the truth, I was a teeny bit disappointed to see that I had started today. Mostly disappointed it meant breastfeeding was no longer acting as birth control. But a little disappointed it meant I wasn't, in fact, already pregnant.
When McMister I were talking about it a couple weeks back, I told him I wasn't ready for another baby yet.
"You're not?" he asked quite surprised.
"No," I said. "Neither are you."
"I say, let's just get it over with!" he replied.
To anyone else, that would sound pretty awful. Let's just get it over with??!?!!?? But I know what he meant. He (like many men) is not the hugest newborn fan. Not even the biggest baby fan. As the girls get older and older, he enjoys them more and more. He loves them from the moment he meets them, but he truly enjoys them more as they grow and show their personalities.
He was also talking about me. He wants me to be able to sleep again sometime in the next five years. Wants me to feel comfortable leaving the kids overnight sometime in the next decade. Wants me to let a little more wife back into my life and a little less 24-hours-a-day-this-will-never-end-I-can't-think-about-anything-else mother.
And sure, I think about those things, too. I fantasize about sleeping through the night. I dream about the day when we go on a weekend getaway, and McMister takes the kids out to tromp through the woods while I stay at the cabin and just breathe by myself.
But what I think about more is the fact that I am not ready to stop having babies. I'm not ready to be done finding out I'm pregnant. Not ready to never again feeling them kick inside me. Not ready to no longer hold a seconds-old newborn, my seconds-old newborn. Not ready to leave the baby milestones in the memory books.
And neither is he.
I've been thinking (and saying) a lot lately that I think we'll stop at three. That I can't imagine being pregnant the next time and it not being The Last Time. But whenever I do, he stops me. "I think we'll have four," he always says. "Maybe more."
So I guess I got my period today is not really the end of the story. More like the middle. Or just one more beginning.