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Maybe baby.

Fat Mum Slim /

Each year, around my birthday, I make my way to the RTA {Roads & Traffic Authority} to renew my licence. Every year. I never opt for the five year option, which would be far too sensible and economical, financially and time-wise. I do it for a few reasons, one of them is not because I love the RTA so much that I want to spend time there, no siree. I like having the photo record of each year of my life and looking back on them. I always think ‘I’ll be skinnier next year’. This year I was.

I sat down next to a lady with a little baby and oohed and aahed over him while I waited for my number to be called. A bus driver stood at the counter in front of us renewing his licence, dressed in his bright yellow bus-driving vest. He chatted away, had his photo taken and then came and joined us while his licence was printing.

We talked about babies and lack of sleep. The bus driver shared that he has two kids, both under 2 years of age. I asked them details about their kids {names, ages, sleep routines}. The bus driver shared that his first child was an IVF baby and the second was a surprise. “Once the tubes were working…” he shared with a wink and a confident smile.

“What about you?” he asked, “Do you have kids?”

I told him about Lacey and how old she was. “Just the one then?” he asked. The lady with the baby beside me eagerly awaited my response, bopping her little baby on her knee.

I get this question a lot. A lot. The age gap between Lacey and another potential baby is big now, bigger than average. If I go to a party and decline the wine, people give me a look. You know the look. People look for a growing baby bump. There isn’t one. If I mention that I’m not feeling well, people immediately assume morning sickness. Some people just cut to the chase, “So are you trying for a baby?”

I told the bus driver and the lady with the baby my story. I have a ‘thing’ where if I start talking I over share. Perhaps it’s the blogger in me. If only I could stop at “Oh no, we’d love another one day.” Instead I rambled on, “Oh no, we’d love another. It’s just that I can’t right now. I have a ‘thing’. I have to have a procedure and then in a few months, maybe a year, we can start trying for a baby…”

I wasn’t always ready for another baby. After giving birth to Lacey I’d switched careers and work took up a lot of my time. On top of that, adding a newborn to our family already taken up with a child who is seemingly allergic to sleep felt impossible. It was only in January this year that I decided I was ready, or more so we were ready. I went to my doctor to get all the pre-pregnancy stuff done and came back with an abnormal pap smear result and being told that pregnancy was a no-go. At least for a while.

Once that baby-making switch is switched on, it’s on. For me anyway. Feelings of cluckiness have often overwhelmed me. Hearing that friends, acquaintances and even celebrities are up the duff have ached me, in a way that I can’t really describe. It’s just an aching. I have beautiful friends who have had trouble conceiving, and I won’t say I know how it feels – because I don’t. But this year my heart has ached for them and how hard it must really be to want something and not be able to have it. I got just a teeny glimpse of what that might be like. Just a glimpse.

Six months on from that day I decided I was ready to think about another baby, I’ve had biopsies, and two procedures and now I’m hopefully done. I wish I’d stuck to the pap smear schedule and not skipped two years. I know another baby is in our future. It might be months, or it might even be years.

Back in that RTA, the bus driver and the lady with the baby gave me a sympathetic look and moved the conversation on. Our names were called, we grabbed our shiny new licences and parted ways, and back to our lives.

Do you have siblings? If so, what’s the age gap? Is it good or not-so-good?

@Fatmumslim