Considering Our Options by Heather Bowles
My husband said something to me last week that is weighing on me heavily tonight. He said: “If we’re having another, we need to get on it.” I didn’t have much of a reaction to begin with, because frankly, I’m too tired to carry on long and thoughtful conversations after 8 PM these days. That’s a real issue when your spouse often doesn’t come home until after 11 PM.
Regardless of all my complaining, I’m still expressing breast milk via pump every4 to 6 hours. In addition, I cloth diaper her which creates additional laundry (for which I mix a special homemade detergent that is gentle, hypoallergenic and completely organic), volunteer in a local food pantry, and continue to seek at home employment so I may stay in control of my child’s development as long as possible. Home cooked, balanced meals are the rule instead of the exception in my house, and I still find time to research current child rearing and education trends. I am fully occupied by the daily goings on in my life. I rarely consider my future past the following weekend unless it is specifically in tandem with my child’s needs and desires.
Now that I’m able to reflect on our options quietly tonight, I cannot imagine having another so soon. It’s not that I don’t desire more children. Truthfully, I was a little disappointed when we found we were having a girl, and wouldn’t be adverse to trying again for a boy. That said, my whole world revolves around her, and I can’t envision splitting my attention between her and another pregnancy safely and effectively. I spent the first four months of Tabitha’s prenatal development in bed with crippling nausea. On my worst days, I couldn’t keep soda crackers and ginger ale down. Then there’s the natural balance problems that come with an ever changing center of gravity as the child grows inside. My physical limitations make me accident prone enough to begin with, but starting at about the sixth month of pregnancy, I’d have to stop carrying Cuddlebug up and down the stairs, and someone is going to have to set up her nursery on the ground floor, complete with a bed for me. How can I possibly expect my little girl to deal with me being that far off my game for that long?
At our age, we are expected to be completely self-sufficient, with the exception of the few short days it takes to get ourselves out of bed semi-comfortably after delivery. Just taking into consideration the unique demands I would make of myself during a pregnancy while parenting her makes it feel unsafe and somewhat neglectful of my firstborn child. I haven’t even begun to piece together what life would feel like with a newborn and a toddler in the house. I’m pretty sure I’d have to hire some help though. How long did you wait to have your second child? Did you ever feel as if you were ready?