I had my first baby when I was 20. Physically, this was a very good age. Emotionally, I was too young. I’d thought I was not, but it certainly tested my patience, which failed the test and I spent quite a lot of Weeza’s first few months in tears, as did she. Fortunately, the Sage could also be called the Rock. He looked after us both and I gradually improved.
Nothing daunted, Al was born exactly two years later, their birthdays are two days apart. This was a different story. I had got into the swing of things by then, Weeza was an adorable toddler – she was such a dear little girl – and, although we’d just bought a fairly huge house (anyone who has visited here might think this house is not small. It’s so much smaller than our last house, I call this a cottage), I did have a cleaner a couple of mornings a week by then and everything went swimmingly.
Physically, I bounced right back in no time. Apart from being rather thin – within the acceptable BMI range, but only just – I was extremely healthy and had loads of energy. In fact, I probably had more energy at that time than I ever had before or since. I wonder what I was doing right. My only small problem, because of being so slim, was a tendency to low blood pressure or blood sugar or some such, and if I stood up quickly I sometimes had to sit down again before I fell down, and sometimes I lay flat on the floor to save myself from fainting.
Just as an aside, I don’t know how these ‘size zero’ women live. I weighed more than 7 1/2 stone and had a tendency to faint, and I was a size 10, which would be an American 6. Much smaller and I’d have been ill. I had an extremely healthy diet.
Anyway, after a year or two I put on a few pounds and continued to be fit, healthy and have plenty of energy. Ro was born when I was 30. I sailed through pregnancy and birth, but was very surprised to find that having a small baby was far more tiring than last time round. We’d intended, as there was quite a large gap, to have a fourth child, but changed our minds within weeks. Like Rog’s holiday of a lifetime, never again. We were too old.
Both Weeza and Dilly were in their thirties when their babies were born. I don’t think they bounced back with as much energy as I did physically, although I’m sure they were a lot more prepared emotionally than I was at the age of twenty. All three of us were in stable married relationships with supportive partners and families, which must have helped vastly.
Obviously, I’m not going to come to a conclusion here, it depends on so many things. Being mother to a small child really does take it out of you though, I wonder if one can really prepare for it as we simply don’t know what it’s like until it happens. I can tell you, though, being a grandparent is pure pleasure. Worth having children for, I promise you.