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?

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  1. 2 Responses to “Considering Our Options by Heather Bowles”

  2. I only have one. That’s all that needs to be said because since birth, my “one” has continually felt like “three.” What I didn’t know then, I know now; my son has ADHD. Thus, my “one and only.” Other than that, all I can contribute is that a friend who had frozen her eggs was told that the eggs would “expire” by the end of the year if she didn’t try to use them to conceive. She already had an active 7 month old and was so worn down and tired, she had to be hospitalized for a week. Still, this was her last and only chance. Her husband “pushed” her to have the eggs implanted a month after she got out of the hospital and she became pregnant with her son. She hates her life, her husband, her job, and has no patience for her young children. She is absolutely miserable. She has often said that as much as she loves her son, she thinks she made the wrong decision. It is heartbreaking to hear her say that. I think almost every one of us who blogs weekly, except for 2, have one child each. I believe we all feel blessed with our single children. But having another is an extremely personal decision. Even with my friend who hates her life right now, she still knows that there will come a day when the “torture” of having young children close together in age will be simply a memory and eventually a blessing. You and your husband will make the right decision.

    By Cara Meyers on Sep 30, 2012

  3. So we only have one and I have been thinking a lot lately about having a second one. I am having so much fun with her right now and I don’t want to rush it so I’m thinking I would like to wait until she is two and a half or three before we start trying again. My brother is expecting their second child any day now and they have a three and a half year old. So we will see how that goes.

    By allison on Sep 30, 2012