Two kids isn't enough for the 47-year-old presenter. And I know exactly how she feels. Pretty much every hour of every day I debate with myself about having another child
Kate Garraway recently spoke of her rage at not being able to have a third baby.
While she already has two kids with husband Derek Draper – Darcey, seven, and four-year-old William, the presenter rues her diminishing fertility and says: ‘I came to motherhood quite late and you love it so much you just want to carry on and have more and more, but life is quite full looking after those two.’
I couldn’t agree more. While I’m not quite too old to have a third baby, there’s zero wiggle room in my schedule, and anyway, I’m pretty conflicted about whether it’s right to take that leap from sensible family of two, to raucous riot of three.
When I say I’m conflicted, here’s how a typical conversation with myself goes:
Pro#1: It’s how I planned it.
I’m one of three. Three is a gang. There’s more kids than parents. You’re a big noisy gaggle if there’s three of you. Sure, sometimes one gets left out (my sister Jo) and one of you gets middle child syndrome (me), but when you’re all pulling in the same direction it’s blissful boisterous chaos even now we’re all in our thirties. Two kids is safe. You fit in a car. There’s a parent for each child. Two just isn’t the number of kids I imagined myself having, but then nothing about my life has turned out the way I planned.
Con#1: Hello? Who says it’ll happen the way you want it to.
You’ve had two horrific miscarriages. You lost twins before your first daughter Matilda, and a baby girl before having Bibi. Your mum turns pale if you even mention having another baby. She fretted terribly when you were pregnant with Bibi – you had to inject yourself with heparin every day and had a black and blue stomach for 10 months. And even if you were lucky enough to fall pregnant a third time, at 38 and with a history of complications, there’s no guarantees everything will come out fine. Kate Garraway’s right. Praying for a third is plain greedy.
Pro#2: It’ll banish my broodiness?
Buuuut, what if it puts an end to my longing to be pregnant again? I still need a buggy for Bibi, but like Kate, I can imagine myself holding on to it. Unlike my friends who when they feel their family is complete happily recycle all their baby and maternity clothes, I’ve only given away a tiny handful of the baby grows and maternity frocks.
Mainly because I find it incredibly painful. It’s like giving part of myself away. Maybe it’s that baby carrying, fertile, young-ish part of myself. Now the only thing looming for my womb is the menopause and maybe a hysterectomy. Sob-sob-whinge-whinge.
Con#2: Don’t be ridiculous. You’d only want a fourth.
And there are already too many mouths to feed in the world. Suck it up and clear it out.
Pro#3: THIS time we’ll do it right.
We’ll know what to do. It’ll be easier. We’re ready. We’re old pros.
Con#3: You are NEVER ready for a baby.
Each and every one brings a new challenge. And each and every sleepless night or bout of colic takes you to breaking point – and that’s before you’ve factored in two other needy little people who need clean uniforms and freshly cooked suppers. You never stop whining about how exhausted and strung out you are. If it gets a bit easier as your kids grow older, why are you so intent on going back to the beginning? Remember that dad of three who told you: ‘If you thought you had no time with two, you just WAIT until you have three. It’s game over.’ Is there something wrong with your ears?
And while I’m at it, let’s not forget that kids are expensive. Ridiculously expensive. You’d need a new car. And a new house. And loads of money even to get them through school. They say each child costs £85,000 just to raise to 11. And THAT’s when they start getting really spenny. Wouldn’t you like a few foreign holidays. A new handbag that doesn’t have a nappy pocket? A mani now and again?
Pro#4: We might have a boy.
I know there’s no guarantees, but Reuben (you know your husband, the one you pass in the hall now and again?) loved all that macho footie practise milarke with his dad. Wouldn’t it be incredible for him if we had a little boy? And awww, all those dinosaurs and diggers and Spider-Man costumes…
Con#4: Have you lost your mind? You clearly only make girls.
And then you’re just adding another two years of sleepless nights, potty training, sobbing into your pinot, for what? What is it that another child brings except more chaos? Don’t be such a greedy lunatic and focus on the kids you DO have. Plenty of women dream of just one child let alone two beautiful, healthy girls. I can’t listen to this rubbish anymore. You’re an eejit. I’m calling Family Planning…
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