I started writing a post on this topic quite some time ago, but never got around to finishing it.
Now that AJ is a bit older, I think I’m thinking a little more clearly about the topic.
We’ve had a number of family get togethers over the past few months and the common question posed to my hubs and I has been when (not whether) we are going to give AJ a little brother or sister.
I’ve laughed it off every time.
I kind of did the same thing whenever anyone would ask us when we were going to start a family or when my hubby and I would talk about having kids.
He was lukewarm to the idea initially because he already has a daughter. There was a lot of baby-mama-drama, which he ties to the experience of having kids. However, the option was still there.
So, to protect myself from being disappointed, perhaps foolishly, I pretended that I was also lukewarm about having kids.
Truth was, I always envisioned myself being a mum.
When I was a kid, I thought I was going to have a basketball team of kids. Then I grew up and became aware of what that would take financially and changed it to two or three.
At the time I was also oblivious to the fact that some people have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term.
After our trip to the DR for my cousin’s wedding two years ago my husband declared to me that he was ready to start a family. We spent a lot of time with her husband’s family, which is very large and was only represented by a few (14 or so from what I can readily recall) on the trip.
They convinced us (my husband) that there’s never a perfect time to start a family and that we have a great support system (on my side).
We know how the first chapter of that story went.
But here we are, almost seven months after the birth of our baby girl, and I find myself holding back again.
Am I crazy to want try for another baby when day care is crazy expensive, my husband’s business is super slow (almost dead) and we have some debt to clear up?
More important, my husband feels kind of left out right now because AJ won’t take the bottle and is still on the boob, she’s going through her “I want my mummy” phase and my hubs isn’t getting a whole lot of action.
I recall having a conversation with one of my BFFs that had her son almost a year ago (where did the time go?). Her and her hubby have decided that they are not going to have any more kids. Although things can change, she seemed pretty adament about it.
She has a health issue that’s complicated by pregnancy. Towards the end of her pregnancy, she was very swollen, pre-pre-eclamptic and was ordered to leave work about a month and a half before her due date. She was in labour for a day with her son, and it wasn’t until they realized that he was in distress that they wheeled her in for a c-section.
I know being pregnant and delivering is not a beautiful and wonderful experience for everyone. But I think hers really turned her off from wanting more kids.
Aside from that, he wasn’t a great sleeper in the beginning and that frustrated her. In many ways my husband and her are very similar (they share the same birth sign).
During our conversation, I totally downplayed the growing desire I had to give my daughter a sibling…something I never had growing up and envied when I would see my mum with her sisters.
“I think it’s too early to make that decision.”
“Let’s see how the first year goes with this one.”
Even during the times when she’s crying because she’s over tired or won’t let me put her down, I still look at her and think about having another kid.
It doesn’t help when I go see my OB/GYN and he tells me not to wait too long if we’re going to try have another one because my fertility will plummet at 36.
Gee, thanks doc!
Then I started to think about what comes with TTC again: the disappointment of a BFN month after month; anxiety about not being able to get pregnant; and anxiety about the pregnancy if I do get pregnant.
Hopefully it would’t be as emotional as the first time. I was grieving the loss of the twins and everyone in my immediate circle of friends (even colleagues on my team at work) were pregnant except for me.
If it was solely up to me, we would plan to start trying for another baby when I go back to work.
However, there’s something else to consider: spacing.
Ideally, I would like to have another baby sooner rather than later. I don’t want to get too used to getting more sleep as AJ gets older before going through the newborn stage again. Let’s get the sleep deprivation years out of the way all at once.
I have a friend who has a four month old and an almost two year old. She’s finding it difficult to juggle two little ones so young. This small gap between the two would be our reality if we decided we wanted to try for another baby and were successful right away.
On the other hand, one of the moms from my church was telling me that she found things much easier the second time around. Her second child (a boy) was much more easy going than her little girl. There’s about a two year gap between the two as well.
Everyone’s experience is different and I guess it depends how you choose to handle things.
As much as I want to have another kid, and aside from the huge fear of having another miscarriage, another fear of mine is that lightening will strike twice.
I recall reading a story about a British couple who had their own sets of twins from previous marriages and went on to have another set of twins with each other. Plus a Singleton after that. CRAZY!
I always felt that we were robbed of a special opportunity/experience when we lost the twins. I still think about them once in a while, but I try to live in the moment with my current blessings.
Hubs is far less patient than I am and everytime we have a difficult night trying to put AJ to bed, I think the situation is going to turn him off of the idea of another kid.
He’s even commented before about why people would “put themselves through this more than once?”
For now I will be content with a maybe and open up the discussion again when I go back to work.
In the mean time we will enjoy every minute of our baby girl because time is passing much too quickly.