Paula’s comment on my Miscarriage EDD post mentions the desire to go for one more baby… When is it enough?

I remember Gary and I saying we were going to have two kids in our twenties and two kids in our thirties. We managed to have two in our twenties, and one in our thirties. Now Gary’s in his forties. I am still ‘only’ 38.

Something hit me at 37, soon after I turned 37, in late November 2011. A gentle nudge that it is time to try for one more baby… That promised second baby in my thirties. Meeting with Paula in London for the celebration of Rozsika Parker’s life and the talk of ageing, death and approaching of the end of my fertility, mixed in with Paula’s adorable little Roma, only confirmed the inevitable: it is time for one more baby. There’s never enough love…

We were at Fuerteventura for New Year 2012. We met up with an old friend who had known Gary and I from our student days. He never met our kids. He wasn’t surprised at Neal already being a big boy in 2011. He said he remembered me saying I always wanted to be a young Mum. I forgot about that. Neal was born when I was twenty-five. I wasn’t exactly that young, but still the first one in my generation of friends to have a baby. We started early… Neal at twenty-five, Gabriel at twenty-seven, Sid at thirty-two.

I remember being pregnant with Sid and engaging in an all-women performance workshop where we were re-enacting mother-daughter relationship. It was intimate and uncomfortable. I found myself lying down, being held by a woman in her late forties or early fifties. She said I was so lucky, to be pregnant with my third at only thirty-two. She said I could go on and have six kids. She said she regretted starting late and managing to have only two. At the time I thought she was silly: six kids? I was convinced I would stop at three. Now, as the time is running out, I completely understand what she means. A question: is there time to squeeze in one more…?

At El Cotillo beach at Fuerteventura in the winter sunshine Gary and I were lying on the beach. The children were playing with big rocks further away just by the sea. Utter bliss. We imagined one more baby… A toddler playing in the white sand. On holidays all looks idyllic. We decided to go for baby number four at Fuerteventura at El Cotillo.

el cotillo beach

Once we got back to Liverpool, reality kicked in and it did take us another six months to actually try for it… and another six to get pregnant… and a miscarriage… and the new baby is now due two years after our promise at El Cotillo, from January 2012 to January 2014. I will be 39. Still in time for the idea to have two in twenties and two in thirties.

About Lena Simic

Lena Simic, performance practitioner and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool, UK. Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her family home. Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed b…Read more

Website: http://www.lenasimic.org

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2 Responses to “One more baby…”

  1. Rebecca Lupton

    Congratulations Lena. I love that in your video the joy and excitement shared between your family is so evident. It’s rare that these kind of discussions are seen rather than kept private.

    Personally, I’ve have changed my mind about how many children I want to have so many times, with so many factors influencing that decision – e.g. as I reflect on how hard the early years are, and as I watch my friends suffer terrible losses, but also at the other side of the debate, I see larger families share beautiful moments together (eg. your family in your video) and think that is the way it is supposed to be. I also can’t help imagining what women did (or did not do) historically to plan/control the size of their family. I feel so fortunate to be able to have control over that decision, although at the same time I’m not sure I’ll ever be wholly satisfied with what I choose to do.

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  2. Eti

    I have three boys, one born every decade of my life (starting in my twenties). Aged 45 and my youngest already 4 years old, I know there will be no more but when seeing small babies I feel the pinch. Pregnancy, birth and early motherhood were an nightmare with my eldest, a transformative experience with my second and pure bliss with my youngest. It does get better and better with age and experience. What an amazing and joyous journey tube embarking on again, Lena. I’m sure you will love every millisecond of it.

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