I do not want another baby right now. I don't.
But also, I do.
I want to pee on a stick first thing in the morning. I want to experience that palpable mix of anticipation and joy and fear. I want to say out loud that I dread those two pink lines, but know in my heart that their creeping appearance is my deepest desire.
I long for those first few months where the knowledge of this budding life belongs to my family alone. When a discreet smile remains the only outward sign of an inward miracle.
I want my husband to run out for saltines and soda when the pallor of sickness replaces the glow of pregnancy.
I want to wonder for weeks whether the tiny spasms in my stomach are the jerky dance of a forming baby or just post-burrito gas (and yes, we eat burritos enough to actually wonder that).
I want to spend weeks composing carefully crafted lists of baby names, then throwing them all out around eight months in favor of the one that just feels right.
I want teeny tiny newborn clothes and checklists of baby essentials.
I want to partake in some serious nesting. Clean out every closet, reveal the elusive bottom of the laundry basket, wipe down every inch of the mini blinds, bleach all surfaces into sparkling white conformity.
I want to pack my bags with tennis balls and magazines and quarters that will never leave their duffelly home as I scream for help from the hospital bed.
I want that moment as we drive to the hospital when the anticipation, joy and fear that nine months earlier marked the beginning of this journey return like a flood.
I want the incomparable relief of gazing upon a healthy baby, who is yours, and knowing that the pain really was worth it (even though you may have let a few profanities fly just minutes earlier when your husband said the same thing).
I want to feel that aching sadness for a tiny, little life experiencing cold and hunger and pain for the very first time.
I want to cuddle and nourish that life, knowing that in the vast, bright world these arms are the only home he needs.
But as we all know newborns become infants, and infants toddlers.
And while I am sure the toddler years will remain my fondest memories down the road (way down the road), I just don't know how I would coerce one more living being into my car or provide enough acceptable lunch options for three preschoolers (without going crazy).
So I will demand that nagging baby-addicted voice stop immediately. Because The Tine needs a sandwich. The baby some attention.
And mom needs a break.