Three is the magic number of my womb. Three is what is meant for me, for this family. I can feel it, I know it, I just have to believe that it is possible.
People say, what about the car? What about the hotel rooms, restaurant tables, all those things which are made for even numbers, for families of four not five? It’ll be like going through life with an extra leg, no pair of trousers will ever fit off the shelf. Yes, but I’ll finish first in every race, I think. The car, the holiday, the nights out – is this what I should base my dreams on? I see their little faces, now two, but three in my imagination: they are smiling at each other. A recognition of belonging. A life-long friendship to be made. I want to nurture that, I want them to have each other when my husband and I are long gone. The gift of life, multiplied.
There are enough people in this world, say people who are already born and living. Really, I ask? If children are taught compassion, respect, kindness, will they not make this world better for everyone? To contribute, you must be here in the first place.
To make a brave new world, you need brave new soldiers born for a life of love, not war.
My body longs. It remembers the swell of the stomach, the heady mix of hormones, days which burst with emotion. The excitement and anticipation, like every day is Christmas, like every day is the first day of the best holiday of my life.
The strain of labour, a strain I took so willingly – well, in my innocence, at least. The second time round you know more, but somehow you don’t fear more – you feel more prepared in your knowledge, even if the knowledge is of how hard it will be.
The smell of a newborn baby. Is there another smell like it on Earth? That skin, wrinkled over the long months spent in the watery universe of my uterus, but almost immediately after birth it turns into velvet, into silk, into the most precious materials of this world.
People say, when you cross the road you can only hold the hands of two children. Yes, but I will teach them to be careful, I will teach them to hold each other’s hands as well as my own, I will teach them how to use the love of each other, for safety.
People say, it is hard. You don’t know how hard, until you do it. And I think yes, but I also won’t know how beautiful, until I do it.
People say, lack of space, lack of time, lack of money, lack of sleep, all illnesses multiplied by three, all arguments, all quarrels, all homework assignments and then girlfriend problems and boyfriend problems and then one day, oh all those grandchildren to look after, one day. I say, more kisses, more cuddles, more compromises, more wisdom, more patience, more learning, more faith and one day, oh all those grandchildren to look after, one day.
People say, if you’re sure, only if you’re sure you can cope. But who can ever be sure of life? You go forward with dreams and hope.
There is no certainty, ever, except the certainty that I have more than enough room in my heart.