pregnancy

"I'm secretly judging my good friend's reason for having a fifth baby."

Everyone in our friendship circle was a little taken aback when we found out Laura was pregnant.

Not because she didn’t seem the motherly type or had told us she’d sworn off having babies. It’s just because we all thought she was, well, done.

It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption, I didn’t think. Laura and her husband Tony already have four children. Two sets of identical twins, in fact: two girls and two boys. Most people would be happy with that kind of luck, to have a double pigeon pair, if that’s what you’d call it.

Still, everyone congratulated her and Tony, most writing warm messages on the Facebook photo of their baby’s ultrasound they’d posted to announce the pregnancy.

Laura being one of my closest friends, I called her as soon as I saw the post. One, because I wanted to congratulate her in a more personal way, and two, because I wanted to know what the hell was going on.

She’d never mentioned to me that she wanted a fifth child. I mean, I hadn’t asked, I guess. Like I said, we all just assumed she and Tony were happy with their four kids and wouldn’t want to keep going, especially since they hadn’t planned on either pregnancies being twins.

So when I called Laura, who is 36, I half expected her to say they’d been a bit too relaxed with their contraception and this baby was a ‘happy accident’. Turns out, it was the complete opposite, in fact. This pregnancy had been very carefully planned.

After I congratulated her, Laura thanked me and told me she was really excited because everything had gone to plan.

“What plan?” I asked. And that’s when she told me the reason why she and Tony are having a fifth child. A reason that, quite frankly, I’m trying not to judge her for.

Laura has always been obsessed with Celine Dion. She has all her CDs, Titanic is her favourite film because of that song, and she’s flown to Las Vegas twice to see the singer in concert.

But until now, I really don’t think I realised just how obsessed with Celine Dion Laura truly is. Because over the phone she told me that the only reason she and Tony were having another baby was so that she could call her Celine.

Listen: Monique Bowley and Rebecca Judd discuss the ethics of shotgunning names. (Post continues.)

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I was surprised to say the least. Especially when she mentioned that she’d felt no real burning desire to have another baby after her youngest twins, Andrea and Alana, were born, except for the fact that she just had to have a baby named Celine.

Naturally, I asked why, if she loved the name Celine so much, she didn’t just call one of her two-year-old twin girls that? Laura explained that she couldn’t call one of the girls Celine, because their names had to “go together”.  She also really liked the name Alana, but it didn’t sound well when said it with Celine, whereas Alana and Andrea (a name she also likes) sounded perfect. She said she didn’t like any names that sounded well next to Celine. (“Besides Dion”, I almost said.)

I also wanted to know how exactly she knew she wasn’t going to end up with another boy to join his five-year-old brothers, Brody and Tyler, and then have to have a sixth child.

She didn’t know of course, but she told me they’d done everything they could to make sure their baby was a girl this time. It didn’t quite make sense to me, but Laura said she had followed some sort of Chinese calendar, which by having sex on the right days, is meant to make sure that you end up with a girl. It sounds like rubbish to me, but I held my tongue, and well, obviously it worked for her.

What I can’t seem to get over though, is that the only reason – literally the only reason – she is having a fifth child is so that she can name it after her favourite singer. Couldn’t she have just got a pet cat and called her Celine?

I mean, I know that if anyone can afford to enter the territory of needing to buy a van to cart their kids around, it’s Laura and Tony. He’s got a high-paying job, they have a huge house in a nice suburb and they live really comfortably. But just because you can afford to do something, doesn’t mean you should, right?

I don’t know. I feel really bad for judging her, but I just can’t help it. I’m really happy that everything she’s wanted is happening and it’s all working out perfectly. And of course I’m not going to say any of this to her face, but I think it might have changed something in the way I think about her.

Am I being a bad friend?

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