Thursday, October 20, 2005

When is it Right for Number Two?

Before Pumpkin was born Mr. P and I discussed how many children we wanted to have and how close together.  We decided the magic number was 3 and the closer together in age the better.  Six months had sounded like a reasonable post-pregnancy recoup time.  That would mean that in one month from now we should put aside the condoms and start trying for baby number two.   However that was all decided prior to the 52 hour labor, the ensuing hospital stay, the weeks of sleep deprivation and the true realization of how much work a newborn really was.  

In the final hours of my excruciatingly long labor, when I ended up at hospital with a Picotin drip to try and progress my dilation, I swore to Mr. P that this would be the LAST TIME I would ever do this and he better enjoy this baby because it would be the only one he would have with me.  I am sure I am not the only mother to make this declaration in the heat of labor, and I am sure I am not the only one to think she really meant it.  However the moment Pumpkin was born and handed to me I knew I did not mean it at all.  I looked at Mr. P, both of us glowing, despite two nights lost sleep, with the happiness only such a miracle can bring, and I told him we would most definitely be doing this again.  

Then I had to stay two nights in the maternity ward with four screaming babies and three other snoring moms, where I did not get any more sleep than the two nights I had been in labor.  After that we brought Pumpkin home, where she woke us up every 2 hours to be fed, and needed to have her diaper changed even more often.  Where the laundry and dishes and grime plied up and the lack of sleep and lack of experience started to weigh heavily on our shoulders.  I asked myself how ever would we do this again with a toddler in tow?  How did my mom do this with my brother, her fourth child, with three girls also demanding constant attention?   I looked at Mr. P one day, baby blues tears running down my face, and told him perhaps we would only have one child.  We could love her exclusively and give her all the opportunity in the world.   I just could not see myself doing this again.

Then the baby blues went away, Pumpkin slept longer and longer stretches at night and was awake and adorable during the day.  She tugged at my heart with her first smile, her first coo and every time she looked at me.  I wanted not one but ten of her.   How on earth could we not do this again.

So we are back to the magic number of three, the question now is the spacing.  When is the right time for number two?  There is no way we are starting again next month, or any time before Pumpkin is one.  But then?  Is that a good time?  Should we wait longer till when Pumpkin is older and can understand it more and be less work herself.  When she is out of diapers?   Should I spend more quality time with her before bringing another baby into our lives?  One of the women from my pregnancy class is already pregnant with her second, and another is going to start trying next month as soon as her husband returns from Afghanistan.   An old colleague is expecting her second daughter in two months, when her first will be only 15 months.  And Mr. P’s sister is expecting a new lil’ man in February, when my nephew is just 20 months.  I think they are all nuts.  I guess this means that we will not be trying for number two any time soon.  I miss being pregnant, but am not ready to have another baby in the house.  But I wonder would I be ready in nine months?  After all it does not happen immediately, conception could take months and then the baby does not arrive for another nine.  So when would be the best time?  How will I know when we are ready?  How did you know you were ready to start again?


posted by Laura @ 2:11 PM   2 comments