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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

My husband told me on Mother’s Day that he’s been considering when we’d start trying for baby #2 (providing that I want to try for another at all). And that, if we do decide to have another child, he’d be ready to start trying as early as this upcoming fall.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

There’s a huge part of me that would love to give Alexander a sibling. He’s such a sweet and affectionate little boy that I’m sure he’d be a amazing big brother. At play group, he’s forever bringing me abandoned baby dolls that have been forgotten in strollers – I’m assuming he doesn’t want them left alone, because he doesn’t want to play with them, he just wants me to hold them. And he’s always sure to fix their hats and give them a kiss before handing them off to me. He also loves to help with the dog – feed her, give her a treat when she does something good, and smooth her down saying “good girl, sissy”. So there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d be a wonderful big brother. And incredibly helpful.

Plus there’s the newborn cuddles with that new baby smell. And that feeling of constantly being needed, which is becoming less and less as my big boy becomes more independent. ūüė¶

And all the firsts. First time holding that precious little being. First time seeing my husband hold him, and falling absolutely in love with them both a million times over. First smile. And laugh. And the first time he said “mama”. And those first wobbly baby steps. So many firsts that can never be had again. But I could experience them all over again watching a new person develop and learn and grow. And I’m sure the second firsts would be just as precious and amazing.

But then there’s the 8 months of round-the-clock sickness I endured when I was pregnant with Alexander. I’d be such a crappy mom to him if I had to go through that again.

And labour / delivery / recovery scare me. Not because I had it bad last time. But because I had it so good. From “here’s your IV” to “here’s your baby” was less than seven and a half hours. I wasn’t ridiculously uncomfortable for weeks leading up to going into labour. My water broke, I spent a couple of nights at the hospital, I had a (relatively) uneventful labouring experience with minimal tearing, and was able to get up around by myself the next day. I didn’t have to take anything more than Tylenol for my postpartum pain. I’m pretty sure I fluked into something lucky there. Maybe my body’s apology for eight months of pregnant vomiting? Either way, I hate to think about how differently it could go if I decide to do it again.

Plus we’re not in the financial place I imagined us being to have another child. I’m still not working in my chosen field. I’m working part time in a minimum wage retail job. There are times when I feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water. (I know that isn’t true – we live a lot more luxuriously than many people our age, and our son already has a nice little college fund started. But some days it feels that way.) I want to be able to provide our child(ren) with many of the opportunities I couldn’t have growing up – to be part of any kind of team or take any lesson, to go on family vacations, to have money set aside for post-secondary and hopefully not have to get a student loan. I didn’t have those things. I saw my parents struggle. I knew, even from an early age, that my mom sacrificed and went without so that we could always have the basics to be “normal”. I don’t ever want my child(ren) to feel they way. Don’t get me wrong – we were always provided for, and there was no shortage of love, but don’t most parents wish to give their kids more?

And… and this is huge for me, because I’ve never written or said what I’m about to say… I’m pretty certain that I suffered from some degree of PPD/PPA during Alexander’s first year. It wasn’t terrible. I never dreamed of hurting him or myself. I never wished I hadn’t had him. But there were certainly days when I questioned if I should be a mother. And days when I resented his neediness (and my husband’s general inability to help) with every ounce of my being. And I certainly didn’t really enjoy much of his first year. Looking back on it, the signs were there. I was just too afraid to admit it. And I’m sure my husband probably saw it too. But feared for his life and/or his testicles if he ever imagined bringing it up to me. And that scares me. If I do decide to have a second child, I want to enjoy the newborn phase. I don’t want to become an irritable, cranky version of myself that even I can’t stand to be around. But I worry that, if I were to find myself in a similar situation again, I’d be too deep inside it to realize what was going on until I was looking back on it later. That terrifies me.

So, I’m torn.

My husband is an amazing man – he has already acknowledged that the decision is ultimately mine. It’s my body that has to carry and deliver any additional members of our family. And he’d never pressure me to do anything I don’t want to. But the problem is, I have no idea what it is that I want to do.

Honestly, part of me would be perfectly happy for it to just be the three of us forever. We’ve got a pretty good thing going. But there’s part of me that wonders if I’ll regret the decision to not have another if that’s the decision I make. Some day, when it’s too late, will I look back and wish I had decided to have my second baby?

How do you know?

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This has been bugging me for a while, and since I’ve decided to try and make more of an effort to blog regularly, here goes!

From the moment my son made his escape from my uterus, the comments started about it being time for another one. Seriously, the kid couldn’t roll over yet and he somehow needed a baby sister.

And when you tell people that you may¬†never have another child, they look at you as though you’ve just told them you routinely feed your current child poison. Somehow it’s like not wanting more children makes you a bad parent to the one you’ve got. I even had someone tell me that my mom, who passed away five years ago and never got to meet my son, would be disappointed if I only had one child because she loved children so much. Oh, HELL NO. Leave my mother out of it.

I’m not saying there’s a 0% chance we’ll ever be more than a family of three – four, if you count the dog. But, for the foreseeable future, that’s what makes us happy. We’ve never wanted a BIG family. It was always our plan to see how pregnancy and infancy played out for us the first time before deciding if we’d have more than one child. And, as it happened, neither of those stages was particularly kind to us.

First, I had a miscarriage. Yeah, I know, it was a fluke. There’s a pretty good chance it would never happen again. But that doesn’t mean it was any less excruciating – both physically and emotionally. My husband and I were devastated – we withdrew from everyone for a full week while we leaned on each other and grieved. ¬†You can’t shut out your current child while you grieve the loss of one who never got to live. It doesn’t work like that. When you have a child to care for, life goes on. Even if it feels like it shouldn’t. And I can’t imagine it would be an easy task to explain to a young child why mommy is curled up in bed crying in pain. So while having had a previous miscarriage wouldn’t be the thing that would make or break the decision to have another child, it’s always lurking there in the back of my mind.

Then there was the actual eight solid months of nausea. Pregnancy was really NOT my friend. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t glow. I dry heaved. I vomited. And sometimes I did it with such force that I peed myself a little. I even tore a muscle once. I was nauseated before I even knew I was pregnant – it was one of the reasons I tested so early. I threw up so much between 6 and 7.5 weeks that I lost ten pounds in ten days. I couldn’t keep water down. I missed two full weeks of work at that time because I couldn’t stop throwing up long enough to go. Even after I was medicated, I still spent the majority ¬†of most days feeling sick and still threw up at least once or twice a day during my first trimester. After my first trimester, the actual vomiting decreased to a few times a week. But I was still nauseated every.single.day. And then in my third trimester, the vomiting returned full force. Imagine having varying intensities of the stomach flu for eight months straight. Yeeeah, it sucked. I can’t imagine doing it with a toddler in tow. Plus I feel like it would make me a really shitty mom. I felt like a really shitty wife the entire time I was pregnant. I can probably count on my fingers the number of proper meals I cooked for my husband during the entire eight months. I had no desire to go anywhere or do anything. I wanted to be left alone with my yoga pants and barf bucket. I know every pregnancy is different. But what if it’s the same? Having my kid stroke mommy’s hair while she lays on the couch and sips gingerale every day probably won’t get me on the short list for the mother-of-the-year award. And I have a feeling making my kid entertain himself because I feel too crappy to interact with him properly won’t either.

Plus¬†the kid didn’t sleep for ten months.¬†Seriously. He didn’t sleep consistently well until he was over ten months old. For the first eight months (EIGHT MONTHS!!!), he woke every 1-2.5 hours. He never slept more than two and a half hours. Then he finally started sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time. I’ve said it before, I was bitch. And I could get away with being a bitch to my husband. He got it. I’m not proud of it, and we still had our share of fights. But he’s an adult and he was (to some extent) going through the same thing. You can’t be a bitch to a kid just because you’re excruciatingly exhausted. I mean, I guess you could, but you’d probably screw him up pretty badly. And I don’t want to do that. My kid is pretty awesome.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, we’re happy as we are. We love our son. We love each other. We’re happy.

So, to summarize, I have a long list of reasons why I may choose to never have another child. Not that I should have to justify my decision to anyone. (With the possible exception of my husband.) It’s nobody’s business how many children I choose to have or why I choose that number. And it doesn’t make me a bad mother because I don’t want to have an entire litter. It doesn’t mean I love my child any less than someone who wants to have two or three or ten. Hell, maybe it means I love him more because I don’t feel the need to have another to make our family “complete”. ¬†Actually, no, I don’t believe that at all. I feel that some people could have a dozen children and give them all an amazing amount of love. I don’t judge anyone’s choice to have multiple children and don’t think it means they love them any less. But I also don’t think you need to have more than one (or even have one at all!) to love adequately either. My best friend doesn’t EVER want to have children, and I don’t think that makes her any less of a woman or any less affectionate. She loves my child. She just doesn’t want any of her own. And that’s perfectly fine. My brother-in-law and his wife decided not to have children right away after getting married. They have other goals and priorities. Maybe some day they’ll have children, maybe they won’t. And I think it’s ridiculous when people ask when they’re “starting a family” – they ARE a family. They just happen not to have any children.

My point is, I don’t care what anyone else does with their uterus. I don’t care if someone wants a bunch of children or just one child or no children at all. They can decide what works for their family and I’ll decide what works for mine. So I wish other people would learn to keep their opinions out of MY uterus!

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I guess this is my main reason for starting a blog. I have babies on the brain in a major way. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother. I grew up in a household where there were always children around. I’m the type of person who ooh’s and aaah’s at random babies because I think they’re just that cute. I see everyone around me having babies and I think to myself “Why don’t I have a baby yet?” or “When’s it going to be my turn?”

I’m not stupid or irresponsible – I’ve always known I would wait until I was married to a man who was not only an amazing partner but would make an amazing father, and that we’d be financially able to provide our child(ren) with a better life than I had growing up. Don’t get me wrong – my parents did their best. We always had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on the table. But I knew from a very young age that my parents sacrificed a lot to give us those things. I knew that my mom scrimped and saved and stretched every dollar. We always had the basics, and we had happy Christmases/birthdays/etc. But we could never afford things like music lessons or ballet classes or organized sports or summer camp. Those were luxuries I didn’t have growing up, and I always swore that my children would at least be able to have the opportunity to experience those things if they wanted. So I knew I wouldn’t rush into having children before the time was right.

Six years ago, I started dating that amazing man. We got married on August 27th of this year. On our honeymoon, we decided that when we got home we’d throw caution to the wind and let nature take its course. This is officially our first month of not preventing pregnancy. We’ve decided not to say we’re “trying” because that puts a lot of pressure on it. We’re not going to track temperatures or use test strips to see if/when I’m ovulating. We’re going to go on about our sex life as normal and see what happens.

We’ve also decided to keep this to ourselves for the time being. Hence the blog. I have one friend that I trust enough to share this with. But other than her, nobody knows we’ve stopped preventing. So our journey to parenthood may be one of the recurring topics discussed here.

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