I’ve been feeling a little bit nervous about sharing this.
And yet, I couldn’t not share it either.
I’ve been sharing about life + spirit + biz since the beginning.
I’m pretty much an open book.
So I couldn’t not tell you all this either.
Plus, it’s pretty dang hilarious when ya think about it really.
Not so long ago, I shared with you my decision to only have one child.
Writing that post and sharing it with you was immensely healing for me.
It was really a call for all of us to make + celebrate + love our own decisions, our own choices.
I’d felt so much external pressure to want another child that it was a great relief to say:
No. This is my truth. This is how I feel about that right now. This is my choice.
After writing it, I just felt a deep sense of peace with my decision.
Like I didn’t have to fight anymore as to why my choice was okay. That it was okay for me to make a decision that was right for me.
It was like liberating myself from some ancient family patterns about not being able to choose.
When I wrote it, I didn’t believe for a single moment that I would want any more.
But I know enough about life now to never say never. (Even when I really did believe it would be never!)
So I wrote:
I’m immensely grateful that I have a choice. And that I’ve found peace with what I am wanting right now.
I also understand that one day I might completely change my mind. I don’t believe I will at all, but I know enough to know that the universe is wild and expansive and that unseen vistas appear at every corner.
So I wrote it. And felt damn great about it.
Hurrah! I claimed my truth! I claimed what I wanted!
And then just a few weeks after I wrote it…
(ha! I’m sure it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for!)
A little baby started knocking on the door of my spirit.
(Oh Universe. YOU. YOU ARE SO FUNNY!
I love how much you teach me. I love how much you show me the way.)
So this lil soul started talking to me.
Like, hippy style. Soul to soul talkin’.
One night, I was trying to go to sleep when a vision of a baby appeared.
And I was all (oh so graceful)
Oh fuck THAT. That is SO NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
I figured after three years of saying NONONONONONONO that the universe would have gotten the picture by now.
And I tried to ignore the vision and go to sleep.
Hours later, I still wasn’t asleep.
(I’m usually asleep within minutes of closing my eyes… so not being able to pop off to sleep was completely bewildering to me!)
The next night, more of the same.
Again, I was very graceful about the whole thing:
Look. NO NO NO NO NO. I’m NOT HAVING ANOTHER BABY! Sorry mate, but you’re not coming through me! You’ll need to find someone else!
But there it was. This very beautiful little baby.
And there was so much of me that didn’t want to have another one. So much a part of me that wrapped having a baby up in the experience of too much pain + heartbreak.
And there was also a little part of myself that was already in love.
And this sweet little soul said to me:
What if it was different this time around? Could you possibly imagine what it would be like if you did it differently?
And this little yearning on my heart said it was time to imagine.
So I took a leap of faith, and I imagined.
I imagined what it would be like having another baby knowing what I know now.
I imagined what it would be like if I gave myself the support I needed.
I imagined what it would be like if I didn’t have to go through the extraordinarily painful time of moving back to my hometown with babe in arms, only to witness my parents divorce and my family of origin implode.
I imagined what it would be like if I didn’t have to go through the painful (but needed) soul lessons that I did the first time.
And at the end of the imagining, there it was, the simple profound truth:
it could be different this time.
And that it WOULD be different this time around:
I’m not the person who I was three years ago.
I’ve done an immense amount of healing work thanks to time, counselling, Hiro, kinesiology, acupuncture + therapy.
I’m just not who I was before. I don’t have to go back and do all those hard lessons again.
I know how to find and give myself the support I need. I know I don’t need to suffer to be a parent any more. I know what I need now to be healthy and happy and filled with a love of life. I know how to set boundaries in my own life. I know I don’t have to give myself away to my child or my parents or anyone else. I know that I belong to me.
As soon as I knew that…
the world shifted.
And I saw this beautiful soul and I knew I dearly wanted to be the mother of it.
And I saw that it could be an immensely healing experience for me to experience pregnancy, birth + mothering a newborn with this new person that I am.
And that yes, oh yes, I very much wanted this baby.
(I’ve got tears running down my face as I write this.)
I hadn’t really believed that there was another soul out there that was destined to be mine. It hadn’t talked to me yet, it hadn’t shown itself. I mistakenly thought that was because it wasn’t there. But that wasn’t true:
It just wasn’t the right time yet.
My world did change that night.
I know those words can be bandied about.
But it is true for me.
The constellation of my cells rearranged from mama of one child into the mama of two.
Where there wasn’t before, there was a space in my life for this little soul to emerge into.
There was a space in my heart that sung for joy to see it.
After hours of staring into the darkness, quivering with excitement, I woke up Chris late at night to tell him, tears running down my face.
The poor dear was tired, so I promised him we’d speak in the morning.
And I slept that night with this feeling inside me that just as I’d managed to prophecy:
the universe is wild and expansive and that unseen vistas appear at every corner.
My vista had appeared.
When Chris was awake enough the next morning, I told him simply:
Sweetheart, I think I might be ready to have another baby.
And he laughed. The dear man has listened to me talk for three years about me feeling like I only wanted one child. He’d been kind, and understanding, and deeply compassionate. We’d talked for hours upon hours about this.
So he was a little bit unsure about just how serious I was.
Hon, I’m actually really serious. There’s a little soul who has been talking to me. And before I commit to my decision… I wanted to check in with you. I need to know that you’d be fully on board with having another baby as well. Can you think about it for the next few days and let me know your decision?
So he did. Bless his heart. I knew he was open to having another child, but I also wanted him to feel really clear about his decision.
I really wanted it to be a whole-hearted decision from both of us.
And he sat with it.
And I sat with it.
And on day three, he told me:
I do. I do want another baby.
And I said
And it’s just as beautiful an I do as the two times we got married (the first at a courthouse, the second days later by the sea). Just as much of a commitment to our love, our future, our family.
Days later, we were talking in the car.
And I asked him:
“Did you always want to have two kids.”
“I did. I always felt in my heart that we were destined to have more than one.”
“But in all those years of me telling you I only wanted one, you didn’t tell me that.”
“I know. I knew I just needed to respect your decision, and support you. I know it was a hard time for you the first time around. You are the one who would need to be pregnant and give birth, so I knew you needed to be able to make the decision you needed to make.”
I was speechless for a long while after that.
I was really touched by his grace, and love. I feel all the times he told me that it was okay for me to want what I wanted. That he understood my pain of Post Natal Depression and truly shitty family stuff, and how interwoven it was for me in the experience of having a child. He had my back. He was on my team. He honoured me as a woman, and as a mother, and as a female who really needed to have power over her own reproductive choices.
I actually am teary about that right now (bit of a wet post this one is… lucky it’s not a letter because it’d be all tear stained!)
Now I want to say this, lest you think my husband is a perfect being: we have a very human love relationship. We’ve fought and yelled and nearly broken up and deeply misunderstood each other. For a long time in the early years I didn’t know if we actually did have what it took to be a lifelong love relationship – we seemed to bump up against each other’s pains so often, we spoke different heart languages and argued every single week. I was very young and silly, he was not as young but still silly. We had so much emotional maturing to do.
And we did it together. We grew + got better at communicating. We healed our own shit. We learned how to get on each other’s team. We did counselling separately and together.
For some reason, we just stayed together. I so believed that I could see his highest self and that he could see mine, it was just our human bullshit getting in the way.
And I was right.
I wasn’t right about a lot of things – I was wrong about believing that he was supposed to save me, I was wrong about what love was supposed to look like, I was wrong that if he didn’t understand me he was “being an asshole.”
I didn’t see him for who he was because I had so much of my own stuff in between me and him, and he had so much of his own stuff too.
I see him more clearly now.
I don’t see him perfectly of course.
And I think it’s pretty exciting to think of how much more clearly I’ll see him in ten years, and twenty years, and fifty years.
I see him as himself. I see the immense grace and love he gives me. I see the deep blessings and lessons he has taught me (even when I railed on them to begin with).
I see his power and light and I see how he can take care of himself and his feelings (I used to think that was my job many years ago! How funny is that!)
I see him as being human and flawed and marvelous and magnificent all at once.
He continues to surprise me with his grace, wisdom + support.
And his support of my mothering-choices has been a very dear and deep blessing for me.
So, I got a little sidetracked there. Talking about love.
But it’s all important. It’s all inter-related.
So we decided.
We decided we were ready for another baby.
And I wrote a really, really long list of all the things that caused me pain the first time around.
All the things that made me think
“Fuck me! I can’t do this again!”
And I wrote a plan.
A plan of support. Of how I could do it differently. Of how I could be softer + kinder to myself.
It feels really effing good to have all my fears + pain written out, and how it could be different this time around.
I’m not going to do pregnancy, parenting or birth “perfectly” this time.
I’m not going to follow any theology except my own.
I will not prescribe to any parenting beliefs that do not serve me.
I’m doing this thing judgment-free.
I’m doing it with a huge amount of support and with self-care boundaries in place.
I’m not going to sacrifice myself on a sword to be a mama. I just don’t think that shit is good or happy for anyone.
I don’t know if I’m going to talk about exactly what parenting choices I make this time around (whilst we did it with Ostara, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, attachment parenting + natural birthing are all up in the air for a range of well-thought, well-discussed reasons that are very specific to physical conditions I have and what is right for my family this time around.)
I am absolutely not okay with any judgments/advice about this. I will delete and block any judgmental remarks about what I will or will not do this time around. I am not okay with any kind of “this one way of parenting will save the world and everything other way will fuck up your kids” kind of evangelism. I am not down with that kind of militant negativity at all. I reckon it’ll kill ya way quicker than anything else will. In fact, I know it will because I lived with that kind of judging “perfect mother” Nazi in my head and it broke my heart + my nervous system.
What I AM down with is:
Peeps letting peeps making whatever choices they need. Peeps respecting every family makes their own choices that are best for them. (I like this particular post on MODG about it actually.)
Women letting other women be who they are and do what they wish to do. Trusting in each other to make our own decisions.
I think this is all a really wonderful journey of learning complete acceptance for every possibility. Of knowing not too hold too firm to anything… except for love.
I never ever ever would have considered not breastfeeding… until I was struck with a very odd condition that makes my bones dislocate out of their sockets because I was breastfeeding. (FUN, RIGHT?)
And then I realised: hey, everyone has really, really specific needs. And blanket ideas of how things SHOULD work aren’t helpful to anyone. In fact, they often bring a great deal of pain.
Bodies are really, really different for everyone and need different things.
I talked to my new doctor yesterday. Gave her my long + complicated history of all the cray cray body things that happened last time (hyperaemesis, hypermobility = recurring dislocations of pelvis + jaw during pregnancy + breastfeeding, cystic breasts which resulted in constant blocked ducts and chronic recurring mastitis (8 times in a year including 3 late night emergency visits), pre and post natal depression and anxiety thanks to a sensitive nervous system that produces too much adrenaline when taxed). (We didn’t even get to touch on all the bullshit life stuff that went down!)
And she said:
You know Leonie, I completely understand why it took you a long time to be ready for number two. That’s a whole lot of really difficult things to cope with on top of having a baby. I’m going to be here to support you and any choices you make for this to be better this time around.
It was a real relief. Deep relief. To feel that much support.
It took me a long time to be ready to have another baby.
Because it took me a long, long time to understand…
that I don’t have to do it perfectly.
That I can be kind to myself during this process.
That I can give myself what I need during it.
I feel that now. I get that now. At last, at long last.
Every mama is making the best decision she can for her own family, and I reckon we need to love and support the shit out of her for it.
Maybe that’s something my husband can teach the wonderful lesson of:
That he let me decide what was okay for me. He loved me enough to let me be who I was and feel what I felt and need what I needed.
And that it’s also really, really okay for us to make a choice. And then make another choice.
Phwoar, this got a bit heavy laydeez. But so much is interwoven in it all.
I was sitting at mama craft morning the other day.
And I told the womenfolk there:
Ya, I think I’m ready for number 2.
And they were all:
WTF! I thought you were totally set on having just 1!
And I was all apologetic and:
I know! I know! And then… I changed my mind. I usually never backflip on decisions!
And one of them said, so sagely:
Ya know, that’s okay too you know. It’s okay to choose and choose again.
And another said:
It’s okay for you to do this differently you know. Every mama must.
This is one of the longest-winded-winding posts ever.
But I needed to get that out.
Needed to share what’s in my heart.
I’m really excited.
Really excited about what’s to come. Excited about when this little soul will decide to manifest in the physical world.
Excited about how I can do this differently… listening only to the book of my own intuition.
I know now that I can be so deeply supported during this whole thing. That I can take care of myself and tend to myself and give my body and soul what it needs.
That I can heal what needs healing on every level as it happens… not depriving myself of that kind of essential self and soul and body care.
And that feels so very exciting.
And what feels even more exciting is meeting this special little soul who was patient enough to wait for the right time…
and who I love already so very much.
Thank you, dear sisters, for being with me as I sit and share and process,
Thank you for allowing me to be who I am.
Thank you for sharing this winding, beautiful, astonishing, magical journey with me.
All my love,