There’s a bag of clothes by the front door.
It’s sitting there like an unanswered question and the longer I try to ignore it, the more it bugs me.
It’s an impossible one for me to answer at this stage in my life. I’m just not ready to make such a huge decision.
Do we want another baby?
If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are going back in for a third time, surely I can too? If Kate Middleton is prepared to suffer through the horrendous discomfort of hyperemesis gravidarum to have a third baby then surely I can get through another pregnancy too.
It was an incredibly easy question to answer last year when we decided to start trying for our second.
We always said we didn’t want an only child, we knew we wanted our toddler to have a sibling. Someone to play with and grow up with.
But do we want there to be a third?
Weighing up the pros and cons
Now that my youngest is nine months old, I’ve folded up all the nursing and maternity clothes but I’m struck by indecision about what to do with them.
Do I put them in the loft, where they are likely to gather dust and get eaten by moths if they’re up there too long?
Do I donate them to a charity shop?
Or if, and a big if at that, we end up trying for another next year, will I be glad that I kept them?
It’s scary even writing those words down. Trying for another baby again so soon is a really daunting prospect.
Can I do it all again?
First there’s the pregnancy to get through.
The morning sickness, breaking the news to work, worrying about what the bosses will think, struggling to carry my two kids with a big baby bump, getting more and more tired but having no time to rest, needing to wee all of the time.
Then there’s doing labour all over again.
The breathing, the contractions, the crying, the begging for it to stop, the bursting waters all over my feet, the blood, the tears, the pushing, the tearing, the thank f**k it’s all over.
Then there’s the newborn phase.
The struggle to breastfeed, the sleepless nights, the guilt at neglecting my older children, the crying, the lost evenings, the constant worry if they’re healthy.
Plus I’ll be doing all of that with two toddlers. Three against one. I don’t like those odds.
Then there’s the small, totally insignificant matter, of cash flow. How on earth would we afford another child? Number two is going to stretch us to the limit. The maths just don’t add up.
The winning argument
So why on earth do it all again?
There’s that feeling you get when holding your newborn baby in your arms. The one who you’ve been thinking about for nine months.
That bubbly feeling of being so full of love you might burst.
The moment when your newborn baby meets the rest of the family and everyone is so excited.
All the hilarious, cute and heartwarming moments that happen every day and make everything else totally worth it.
It’s the knowledge of all this that makes me stop and really think, are we done? Could I do it all again?
The answer is, maybe I could. I’m certainly not going to rule it out. Scary as the thought is.
So what to do with those clothes?
I guess I could compromise and squeeze them into the bottom of the wardrobe for now. After all, you should never say never.
Anyone braved having baby number three? Was it a difficult decision? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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