Yesterday I gave away my pram. My friend is expecting a beautiful baby boy, and so I dropped my pram and some boy-ish clothes off to her Mummies house. Over the last year, I have donated, sold and given away most of my baby stuff, but there are a couple of things that I had been hanging onto, and it wasn't until I had a clean out that I realised why I was preciously hanging onto them.
It's kind of obvious, really. I was keeping them for the next baby.
After I had Ava, things went downhill in my marriage, and I was sure that I wouldn't have anymore children, so I began giving things away. With the end of my romantic relationship with my ex-husband, even though he is still an important part of my life, it became obvious that it would be a long while before I was financially and emotionally ready to have another baby. A year and a half later, that is still true. It will be a long while before I have another baby, if ever.
Of course this is not the answer people want to hear, when well meaning people ask if we will have "children of our own" with expectant smiles on their faces. I suppose it seems that we have been together forever, but in reality it has only been just over a year and a half. And life is more complicated and more expensive than that, and good intentions need to be followed up with sound planning and logic.
It's also not the answer my heart wants, either. Against all logic and reasoning, I would love another baby, and giving away my precious baby things, my breast pump and my cloth nappies, has stirred in me a strange kind of sadness. I want to feel my unborn baby move inside me again, I want to have my baby nuzzle in at my breast and I want to smell that fresh baby smell. All my friends are having and trying for second (and even third and fourth!) babies, and I am jealous to my core.
However, the reality is far starker than my fuzzy hormone driven dreams. Although I am emotionally much stronger than I was this time last year, with His Majesty at uni this year, financially it doesn't add up. Also, His Majesty and I are still giddily in love with each other, and still have to find a loving and stable equilibrium when the puppy love wears off. (Personally, I don't think it will. At least not for a very long time. He is pretty special.) And even until I wait until His Majesty has graduated and we again have two incomes, I will be 31, and older than I ever intended to be with a newborn.
Logically, I cannot see how a baby can fit into my life now. Emotionally, to know that I may never again carry a child?
I don't think sad quite describes it.