I sent an email to my parents earlier this week telling them that the schedule has been set for Rex to graduate from the infant room to the Toddler Room at day care. Huge news, probably as big as when he started to walk, and worthy of much celebration. In that email, I confided to them that I was sad by this development – my baby is growing up and moving on, the first of many transitions from babyhood to adult. And, I shared with them what Mr. X and I had been saying to each other for a few months now: it almost makes me want to have another one. Almost.
Mr. X has been pretty consistent about his desire to have another child. It’s understandable – he has a brother who was born when he was 2 1/2 so he has no memory of life without a sibling. But, he recognizes very well that I will be the one who bears the brunt of a second child. There’s the whole pregnancy thing, the whole post-partum thing and the loss of my income, not to mention the whole infant and toddler at the same time juggling act. This alone has given me great pause.
That being said, I know why I have been having these twinges of desire for another baby. It’s because I feel like I missed out on so much the first time around with Rex. I did not enjoy pregnancy in the conventional sense – I refused to have a baby shower because I was convinced that I would have it and I would lose the baby. The same reasoning applied to the nursery. I grudgingly allowed to have it painted and agreed to pick out a crib telling myself the entire time that we could always get rid of it if something terrible happened. I didn’t shop for baby clothes or let myself get too invested in the emotional side of things. I was on edge for the entire nine months. Looking back now, I see that I was probably depressed even then. I chalked it up at the time to wonky pregnancy hormones.
When Rex arrived, of course, it was a whole other level of depression that took me a while to get out of. During that time, I was adamant that I would not be having another baby. That stance has softened somewhat. I don’t recoil from infants anymore, although I do still look at their sleep deprived parents and silently thank the heavens that I am not there anymore.
I haven’t let myself begin to think about whether another baby would be a different experience. Mr. X and I already know that we would not use heroic measures a second time around. We’re even still on track to donate our remaining embryo. So, a lot of the pressure that was there with Rex’s pregnancy wouldn’t be there this time. Still, will the old fears of miscarriage and terrible things happening come back? Would I be able to get excited and enjoy the pregnancy? Hard to say.
We’ve put the cabosh on any discussions of a second child until Rex is at least 2. So, as long as the birth control pills hold out, that leaves me eight months of further casual contemplation and enjoyment of the deliciousness that is Rex in all of his only glory.
Yesterday I started out thinking, “hey another one of these wouldn’t be so bad” (I’m the one who typically wants two in our family, probably because I was an only and idealize having a sibling?), and by mid-day dealing with just one cranky kiddo was definitely making me rethink my earlier optimism.
That said, if we do agree that two might be a good idea we’re not going to do more than try the old-fashioned way. So, we may have an only by default (or the fault of our issues). But turning 35 this year is sure making the clock tick louder, at least on my part.
I hate that one of the parts of IF is that you end up knowing too much about what could go wrong, which in turn, makes it hard to enjoy what you have without worries.
Always good to leave the door cracked… you never know what might come in.
Whether you go for a second or not, do just as you say and enjoy the deliciousness that is Rex now. The cliche is true … They grow so fast. So. Damn. Fast.
I completely understand what you mean! I feel so blessed and lucky to have one (from IVF), and I really am content with that. BUT, my little guy is SO sweet and cute that it makes me want to consider another one. Then I think about the saddress of IF and trying for so long, and it makes me not want to go down that road again. I’m sure whatever you and Mr X decide will be the right decision for your family. Just enjoy ever moment you have now! I always enjoy your posts.
Oh, man. Don’t get me started. When my little dude got to about 18 months, I also had that feeling that it would be really cool to have another baby. I knew I didn’t want IF treatment (we couldn’t afford it anyway), I wasn’t excited about another pregnancy, but another little guy… oh my.
I think there’s some hormonal shift at toddlerhood that resets the mad urge to reproduce. Even if you know it could bring lots of bad with the good.
I know we would have been happy with just 1; but I really liked the idea of giving The Bee a sibling, after seeing her so happy and close with Miss N who she shares the nanny with. I’m also petrified at the thought of coping with a baby and a toddler, and I didn’t have to worry about PPD the first time around so can understand your reluctance. But it’s encouraging to hear that you could be up for another, even if it’s just a sense that you could cope with it all again despite what you’ve gone through.