Thursday, February 4, 2016

Two Out of Three

David has this ancient CD we like to put in on road trips. It includes the classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart," a little bit of Guns and Roses, and and a couple of random rap songs from the '90s. There's also this Meatloaf song about a guy who says he wants and needs his significant other, but he's never going to love her. The chorus goes, "But don't be sad / 'Cause two out of three ain't bad."

It's ironic, right?

The kind of ironic where the stated meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning. Like sarcasm, but without the tone.

Because being in a relationship where you're wanted and needed but not loved is obviously bad.

Sometimes two out of three is pretty damn good.

Other times, it's heartbreaking.

* * *

We visited friends over the weekend and the girls met their baby for the first time. It was ADORABLE to see how smitten Zuzu and Coco were with the baby. They haven't really been around a baby before and this little miss is about four months old.

I remember being in the hospital with Coco after she was born, and as much as I missed Zuzu, I felt a tiny bit of dread about going home because I just didn't know how I would keep up with both of them and balance both of their needs. Zuzu at age 2 year and 5 weeks had a LOT of needs.

Now, at 3 years and 7 months (OMG!) she's remarkably self-sufficient in many ways. Still challenging, no doubt, but also in a place where she can be a great helper to her little sister.

As I watched them peer into the car seat and coo at the baby and elicit dimpled grins from her, I couldn't help but think about what it would be like to have just one more baby.

* * *

You remember Plan A? It was two kids with an option for three.

Kid number one at age 30. Kid number two at age 33. With the option to slide in Kid number three just before 35.

I thought it was the perfect plan. (hashtag broken record)

Now here I am. At 35. Three pregnancies under my belt (or should I say, still muffin-topping out slightly out over my yoga pants). Two babies at home.

I have three kids.

I have two kids at home.

The math doesn't work. You guys know that.

* * *

Maybe I want three kids at home?

Do I want to have another baby?

I know I'm jealous of people who have three living kids. I'm not jealous of their mini-vans (haha), but I am definitely jealous.

I looked at that adorable baby girl, I looked at my girls fawning all over her. They were SO CUTE. I thought about how amazing it would be to have a trio of little girls. (In my mind, all my babies are and forever would be girls.)

But even as I sat there, smiling wistfully at the three of them, I wasn't longing for another baby. I wasn't feeling nostalgic for newborn diapers and middle-of-the-night breastfeeding and endless snuggles (uh, possibly because Coco is still serving that role in my life). I wasn't thinking back sentimentally to pregnancy, that's for damn sure.

I was looking at these three little girls and my heart was all twisted up.

I was happy. And I was absolutely aching for another baby: my five-year-old baby.

The thing is, I do want three kids. But I want the three I already had. And I just don't think that having a fourth would fix that.

* * *

Now, don't be sad. 'Cause two out of three ain't bad.

Dammit, Meatloaf. That song is ruined for me now.


  1. Last night, Gwen told me "I want another child to live at our house".

    Cue a small piece of heartbreak.

    Whatever number of kids you have living with you at home, there'll always be the one that isn't. As you say, having a fourth won't fix that.

  2. I feel the same way. I am around several women who have just had their third baby and my 3.5 yr old daughter has been asking for a little sister (despite not really enjoying her 1.5 yr old brother so much!). I see these new little, third babies and think maybe I want another one. But, then I realize, no I just want my 1.5 yr old to have been that third baby AT HOME. I just want all of my babies.

  3. I'm there with you a ten year old girl, an almost 4 year old girl angel and a 14 month old girl.

    3 girls only 2 here. Some days I really want that 3 here. But can we emotional handle another pregnancy? No. I'm still going to be a mess regardless of the number on earth. So we have decided to focus my constant aching helping other children.

  4. Right there with you as well. We are leaving the door open for another baby at the moment, and part of me desperately wants that and the other part thinks I am trying to make a complete family out of a family that will always be incomplete.

    Also--- I so don't want to go through another terrifying pregnancy. I really don't.

  5. I don't know. I always knew I wanted at least 3 living kids but even I am surprised how much I LOVE having 3 boys. I think there is something about bringing home that 3rd (4th for us) baby that is magical, no new parent worries, not as many "how are we going to take care of them BOTH" nerves, you have been there, done that, it has been the easiest transition by far and seeing all 3 kids interacting is the best thing ever. Plus you guys make pretty adorable kids. Just saying. :)

    But I get it, if you feel done, obviously that's OK too.

    The math will never add up no matter how many you have, unfortunately :(

  6. I always wanted 4, but my husband wanted 3. Our second was stillborn at 38 weeks, and we went on to have 2 planned rainbow babies. And I found myself with that same sad rationalization--I have the 4 I dreamed of, but not all here with me. And unexpected 5th pregnancy! Yikes. I was so scared and angry, to be completely honest. I felt like I did not have the emotional and physical resources to do this again. My last baby is almost 2 now, and I have to say, he has brought the most healing. This unlooked-for blessing, this baby that had no place in my preconceived family picture. It has been such a delight to experience his babyness as a bonus, not coloured by the resentment of what I missed with my first daughter. It's a joy that I felt like I didn't deserve after my daughter's death and I feel so privileged to have this gift.
    (I'm not saying you should have a 4th baby, but just wanted to share what my experience has been like!)

    1. I love this story! And I appreciate the caveat at the end--thank you.;) I know what you mean about emotional resources, too.

  7. Yes, that's true. Me too. I don't but I do but I don't but... it's complicated. Just the thought of washing three kid cups sends me over the edge, so I'm certain another pregnancy and living birth won't make me happy, but hell if I wouldn't wash sippy cups everyday of my life for the rest of my life if it meant my 5yo (who would be out of those sippy cups, I digress) was alive and living in that spare bedroom right now, all tucked in tight.

    Also, not jealous of their minivans either. Never gonna happen here. It's a vow I made to myself and so far my Honda Accord is working out just fine.