Having Another Baby

>> Friday, August 12, 2016

If you've had a baby, you know that you'll inevitably be asked -- usually too soon -- if you're planning on having another baby someday. In Eloise's very first week of life, some old lady at the grocery store asked me if we'll try for "our boy" in the future. Once I had finally picked my jaw off the ground to tell her we weren't even specifically trying for a boy to begin with, she was gone.

I mean, seriously!

I had my postpartum checkup this week. Things are looking good down there, despite still healing from a "deep" second degree tear. My uterus is nice and high. All good things. Then we got on the topic of birth control, and I swiftly declined. I haven't done the pill since 2009. I've written a few articles on IUDs (here and here), so I know their merits. Still, it's not something I'm interested in doing. Instead, we'll follow the FAM method with lots of caution + barrier backup during breastfeeding (I got the lecture about breastfeeding babies). And a solid mix of abstinence, I joked, since I'm all sorts of touched out from breastfeeding.

After I had Ada, I basically screamed at anyone who would even suggest we think about having another child. I was only 28. We always knew we wanted to wait a couple years, though we never imagined it would be as long as it ended up being. This time around, the idea is something I'm having to consider sooner for seemingly more practical reasons.

First, I'm 33. That's still relatively young, but not a spring chicken, reproductively speaking. If we waited a couple years to try again, I'd be 35 -- and with my history, I feel like that's being overly optimistic. Advanced maternal age doesn't have to be a big deal, but it's definitely something to think about if we'll have a third sooner rather than later.

Second, I don't know if I want to put myself through potential losses or infertility again. (Plus, the risks can increase with age!) There's no guarantee we'd go through all of it . . . but at the prospect, I'm kind of freaked out. It was emotionally damaging, as I wrote about with healing my infertility wound. I did ask my midwife if I should just do the baby aspirin and progesterone thing again if we wanted to try -- and she said yes. So, there's that.

Third, money. Holy money. Is having three kids ridiculously more expensive than having two? I've read yes and no. We'll be done with a huge number of financial obligations in a couple years (most excitedly -- student loans!), so there'd be room. But it might be nice to save rather than spend.

Fourth, I feel really fortunate to have both of our girls. Maybe we're done? Maybe our family is complete? Only time will tell. But I feel like our home is bursting with love already. I've seen how love can grow . . . but if we decide that two children is it for us, I don't think I'll feel like we're missing anything.

For a long time, I felt like we WOULD be missing something if we didn't have a second. After thinking about it, that feeling was more about me mourning another pregnancy. We are so blessed to have Ada, and she would have been an awesome only child. Instead, it was about not necessarily having the choice since I had always just assumed. Anyway, I view pregnancy and childbirth so differently now. I've grown a lot. And though it is weird to think about never going through the whole experience again, I can be at peace with it.

Those are my thoughts right now on the "will we try for number three?" question. And, no, old lady at the grocery store, we both feel no need to try again to get "our boy." (I don't really understand that whole concept anyway.) For now, I plan to love this little one to pieces -- along with her big sister -- and mull upon this question again in a year or two.

I'll be back next week with a not-so mommy-heavy lineup of posts. Two recipes and some running plans, to be exact!

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