And we said we’d never do it again…

There’s a joke that parents of toddlers the world over are in-on. It’s the one where none of them tell their friends that haven’t had kids yet about the 2 years of sleep deprivation, 12 different types of vomit and the disappearance of their spontaneous, hip and up-past-10pm lifestyles. There’s also the first poo, all the other poos, the first time being woken up at 5:30am after drinking until 2am and the realisation that parts of your partner (if you’re on my side of the gender divide) are now primarily for the enjoyment of someone else.

For a many of us, it’s not until your child makes it to about 2 that you understand the joke. It’s at this point you understand what your friends with kids, your parents, grand parents etc went through to. So it is with great surprise (I’m sure that’s not quite the word my wife is thinking of at the moment) that the Illiterate Infant household is about to embark on the journey that is having a new born… again. That’s right, we’re officially 6 months away from another 24 months of upheaval as we do our best to discern hungry from tired cries, fit lives around sleeps (theirs and ours) and try and predict where the next bit of vomit will land on the couch.

The biggest surprise however is that we are both elated. A surprise because even with us now being “in” on the joke and one of us being overcome by nausea 24 hours a day we’re both walking around with the expectant parent glow. So how did we get here? How did we get to the point when we decided “what the hell, let’s do it again”?.

There’s a lot of research about hormones like Oxytocin that are thought to contribute to women “forgetting” the pain of labour but, even if that’s the case, what helps them forget trudging down the hall to a crying baby at 2, 3, 4 and 5am night after night? There’s also a lot of research about parents and their children bonding at a level similar to when a couple first fall in love (more Oxytocin), but does this explain overlooking the 12 month mark when your young child can stand well enough to hang off the open DVD player, throw their pasta and tomato sauce all over the carpet and have their third learned word being NO?

No, there has to be something else and I think, for every parent it’s a little bit different. For me it was one Sunday afternoon when the three of us spent the afternoon at the park. My daughter was giggling away as she ran around, my wife was happy and I couldn’t help but feel that all of a sudden a space had opened up. That the three of us, as good a team as we had become were missing another piece, another face at the dinner table, another giggle when we rumbled, another squeal of delight when we ran around the park.

My wife came to the same perspective in her own way, at a similar time and before long, there it was. Two pink lines, two very surprised faces and now 7 weeks (so far) of one of us feeling rubbish. So, when did you decide? Did you decide? Were you excited or too busy with your others?

Another illiterate infant is on the way. Stay tuned for updates from a Dad’s perspective…

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62 Responses to And we said we’d never do it again…

  1. Jenn says:

    My hubby and I have a seven month old and are starting to think about trying for a second already. I think I’d rather just have a slightly prolonged sleepless haze than get used to being on the other side only to go back again!
    BTW – congratulations!
    Visiting from #IBOT πŸ™‚

  2. Jenn says:

    My hubby and I have a seven month old and are starting to think about trying for a second already. I think I\’d rather just have a slightly prolonged sleepless haze than get used to being on the other side only to go back again!
    BTW – congratulations!
    Visiting from #IBOT

  3. kimbalikes says:

    We decided that we were a complete happy family after Boyo was born. We never had the urge to have another one. We were complete.


  4. Congratulations on your impending new arrival. Nothing but fun times ahead, because when you have more than one they tag team you know and wake on half hourly intervals!

  5. Penny says:

    Yay! Congratulations. That’s such exciting news. We were excited to try for number two until we found out through the scan that we had number three and four in my tum tum. That freaked me out but I’m happy to say it all went way better than expected. They are divine!

  6. Cassandra says:

    Congratulations!!! We’re trying for number 3 right now… number 2 is 17 months old. Are we all insane??? lol

  7. Melanie Brake says:

    Congrats guys! Great post kev. Xxx


  8. How exciting! What a lovely surprise. Rachel x

  9. Beautiful post. I love the part about being in the park. My son is 9 months and I haven’t hit that moment where it feels right to have another, and, my husband hasn’t either – thank goodness because we are getting zero sleep! I think it’s fantastic when you reach that pivotal thought at around the same time as your partner rather than one wanting, and the other not being ready.

    Congratulations! Angela

  10. That is so exciting, congratulations to you all. At present I am holding a miserable, teething 11 month old (who’s been up since 4), my eyes are hanging out of my head and I have to type, wait, do everything with one hand because she screams if I put her down. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I’m really honest it took me ages to want a second baby due to a difficult labour and spending the first 6 months not knowing about the whole “sometimes things just don’t work” business. But second time round, I can honestly say I was ready for round 3 after about 3 months πŸ™‚

  11. God speed. For both of you, your lounge, carpet and DVD player.

    But seriously, congratulations. Nothing better than new baby smell, it’s like crack and is far more powerful than the smell of vomit.

  12. Zanni Arnot says:

    Congratulations! That’s wonderful news. I am expecting another illiterate infant too in about 5 weeks. It does make you wonder why. But then, my first is almost three, and such a treasure. She sleeps 13 hours a night, and makes us laugh all day. I guess that is why.
    Hope it all goes well! πŸ™‚

  13. Kathy says:

    Ooooo, congratulations! My first and second are really close in age (20 months), I dived back in before I had a chance to remember too much πŸ™‚ Third is 4 years younger than no. 2 and wow it was hard but so worth it.

  14. kyl21z says:

    Woohoo! Congratulations, exciting news! With Mia only being 9 months old we’re not quite at the point where we are thinking of having another one. Mostly because I will be a bridesmaid for my best-friend next March and want to fit in the dress that’s already been bought! But I know that despite the hard parts’ I look forward to having another beautiful face in this house, hearing that beautiful laugh, seeing their smiling face come crawling towards me, arms open for a hug. And I know my husband definitely needs to be the awesome father that he is to at least one more child.

  15. Woo! Congratulations!!! We have a 3yr old and a 1yr old.. the 1yr old was produced on first try… whoops! Definitely worth thinking about age gap and different stages of development next time (as 3yr old is refusing to toilet train!)

  16. Congratulations! I knew when I was preggers with my first that I wanted two children close together. I have two girls 19 months apart – its hard work but absolutely worth it for the family I dreamt of. Just to let you in on another little ‘joke’… its so much easier the second time πŸ™‚ xx

  17. I’ve got four so I understand only too well that feeling of knowing someone is missing.

    I’ve got four, so I also understand only too well that feeling of being well and truly done!

    Good luck , congratulations and thanks for linking today.

  18. Congratulations!!! I don’t think there really is any such thing as the “ideal ” gap between kids. I have 19 months between my two and at almost 2 and 3 and are at a fantastic stage – sooooo much fun. More than makes up for the first 6 months of life with 2 babies πŸ™‚

  19. C J says:

    Awesome congrats!! You will love having an extra addition! πŸ™‚

  20. Congratulations! We are pretty happy with our little family just the three of but I always imagined more children. Problem is now Miss O is 3 the thought of starting over again with a baby is horrifying…. not sure where we will go from here but I envy your ability to jump back in. You have also given me hope…. I loved reading you are both so happy and excited to do it all over again!

    • morander says:

      thanks for the honest comments…

      I still remember the conversation we had one evening while washing the dishes. It was when we decided that there was “no good time” for us.

  21. Congrats!!! Wonderful news and yes, a new journey begins. πŸ™‚

  22. Congrats! And yes, a new journey begins πŸ™‚

  23. 24 months of upheaval? Try at least 18 years or so!!

    And it will be worth every moment πŸ™‚

  24. My kids are 12 and 8. If I fell pregnant again I would curl up into a ball and cry. Having said that, my kids are the most beautiful people on the planet and the world wouldn’t be half as nice without them. I just don’t want to do it all again … I am finally sleeping for the first time in 13years ….

  25. Grace says:

    Oh, congratulations!!! That’s exciting news!
    I know what you mean about the feeling about a space opening up…ready to welcome another smiley face (yes, you don’t think about the late night feeds at this stage :))
    Having had double the load with our twins, we go back and forth about having another one. I would love to. But I might as well train for a marathon first πŸ™‚

  26. Great post! It’s crazy how much we love our kids that we would want to do that to ourselves more than once, isn’t it?!
    I have 2 boys and those precious moments when you see how much they love each other make it all worthwhile. πŸ™‚

  27. Tubbah says:

    Ooh congrats!! That’s great news πŸ™‚ I’m a mummy to 4, aged 5.5,4,2.5 and 1 πŸ™‚ My 1 y/o has been sick since 4 months old (allergies) and right now is quite miserable as he is teething as well, and hardly sleeping.. poor little fella… but having said that, I love it πŸ™‚ and yep I’m crazy enough to want another but this time not for a few years! πŸ™‚

    • morander says:

      WOW – another mum athlete…

      I’ve heard that once you’ve cracked three, the rest is easy. Hope you little man get’s better soon. We’ve got dairy and wheat issues over this way – it get’s better as they get a little older

  28. Pip says:

    Oh your way is a beautiful way of deciding whether to have another. Congratulations! I designed a flow chart but I think it may have been bias given I knew what I was hoping the decision tree would lead to.

  29. Themotherexperiment says:

    A huge congratulations to you and your wife. Nice to read the perspective of an expectant dad. Visiting from #ibot but I’ll be hanging around a lot from now on.

  30. Rachel says:

    Congratulations! My two are just over two years apart, and adore each other. (And, erm, no. 3 is due at the end of October….)
    Like another commenter, we thought we’d rather get the early stage over with. I thought if we got through it, and our youngest was turning four or five, there’s no way we’d throw ourselves back into the newborn / pregnancy maelstrom!

    • morander says:

      There’s a definite theme throughout the comments of get it out of the way early. I think there;s a certain “match fitness” you need to maintain to get through the initial 6 months.

      Thanks for popping by the illiterate infant

  31. Helen says:

    How exciting! My youngest is now 9 months, and again (only recently!) I am appreciating the wonderfulness of a new born baby…

  32. Ali says:

    When you two make such beautiful babies why stop at two πŸ™‚

  33. Beautifully written, and congratulations! For us it’s that they bring us so much joy, and we see how much joy they bring each other, so we just keep making more! Yes its hard for a few years, but it’s the best kinda hard you’ll ever know πŸ™‚

  34. Congratulations! That’s very exciting for all of you. The only decisions I made were to go ahead with two unplanned pregnancies, and never to fall pregnant again! πŸ˜‰
    All the best to you and your growing family.

  35. twigletmac says:

    Congratulations πŸ™‚ the nicest thing about baby number 2 (or 3) is that you’ve done it before so you know that most things are just a phase and will eventually get better whereas with baby number 1 people tell you that it’s just a phase etc. and you nod your head but secretly you’re pretty sure you’ll never sleep again…

  36. Caroline says:

    Lovely post, I totally get what you mean about the space in your family – our 5th baby was born in December, and once he was here we realised there’d been a Tobias-shaped hole in our family all along that he came to fill. Congratulations!

  37. love this post.. we had 3, then a 5 yr gap then our last little Miss. A gap that had to be filled, delightful surprise and 4 of the most wonderful, unexpected, exasperating and infuriating little works of art that ever existed.. enjoy the anticipation… it is exquisite

  38. Pingback: Like fingernails down the chalk board | the illiterate infant

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