Thursday, September 16, 2010

Number two

No, not that number two, though I could undoubtedly fill seven blog posts with those adventures. I'm talking about another baby.

I always envisioned having two - no more, no less. Close in age. DH wanted zero. Then I convinced him to have the one, and he thinks he wants to stop here, but is open to two...maybe. He typically lets me decide these kinds of things. That's how we ended up with the one in the first place. But he's begun to question the wisdom of some of my decisions recently since our second dog (that I insisted on) is turning out to be higher maintenance than we ever imagined. The first one was and continues to be a perfect angel. I pushed it too far this time, I admit it. The second one has made our lives exponentially more stressful for reasons we could not have seen coming. You don't really know what you're going to get when you adopt a dog. Same with having a kid - even moreso with a kid that you don't get to spend 20 minutes with before hand. I have a lot of faith in my gut feeling on this one though, I LOVE being a mom, I love taking care of a baby, I like the idea of giving Dom a sibling and having a slightly bigger family and avoiding the 'only child' syndrome.

I am, however, starting to consider the disadvantages and the possibility that not only do I not think I want to start trying again immediately but that I may be good with just the one. As B3thany Fr@nkel so aptly put it - this motherhood thing is "no joke" - and she doesn't know the half of it with her full time nurse, two personal assistants, and a work-from-home career. I remember thinking, briefly, when I was considering a second dog - why mess up a good thing? We are so happy, content, life is easy, why complicate it? Because I always complicate it. I have some kind of cosmic pull toward challenge, chaos, and stress. I think it's some deeply-rooted psychological phenomenon having to do with wanting to prove myself to my parents. I always convince myself that I want the impossibly difficult career that's way over my head, the hard-to-get bad boy, the second rescue dog. I don't listen to people telling me to take the easy way out because it sounds like the easy way out when really it's just a recognition of one's limits and how to make life comfortable. I've never listened and have paid a price. I don't like the career path I'm on and am constantly stressed out about one aspect or another of the life I've built. So it does give me pause when I recognize how headstrong I am about a second baby. Do I want it for the right reasons? Or because I think that I should be all and do all including the 'perfect' family?

Paired with this hesitation is the protocol I'm just now learning about for pregnancy-after-c-section. It's actually a protocol for consecutive pregnancies in general. When I first spoke to my OBG to schedule my 6 week post partum appointment she mentioned that we would talk at that appointment about what birth control I wanted to use. I was instantly irritated (to those who aren't familiar with my previous blog, I don't have a spectacular relationship with my OBG). She has this repulsive way of putting things that nixes any chance of discussion. She often makes decisions applicable to my body and my life and presents them to me in a way does not leave room for talking about pros and cons or risks and benefits. Like it's not open to discussion at all. This was one of those times. She didn't mention anything about why I would have to immediately go on BC or for how long or what the consequences could be if I didn't. She doesn't think the patient needs to know the details and that has always frustrated me about her. So I ask a littany of questions based on what I've read off the internet and heard from friends and she proceeds to criticize me for borrowing inaccurate or unreliable information. What else am I supposed to go on?

Anyway, it took a few minutes on babycenter to figure out that there are real reasons to wait to have a subsequent pregnancy. Even more reasons after a c/section. It makes sense, your body has been completely depleted. You have a six inch incision in three or four layers of the max stretching zone. DH told me I looked "too skinny" and tired last night - he was holding Dom and I pointed at the baby and said well, there's all my calcium, my protein, my nutrients, vitamins, energy, everything. Everything went into that little bundle. I get that there might not be enough left to create a whole other being right away. Now, in this day and age and region, nutrients are easy to come by - we civilized societies are a healthy people and kabillions of people have healthy back-to-back babies. So it doesn't seem to me like an impossibility, but I get that back-to-back may increase the risk of certain issues. In my research about SIDS I found that having a second baby right away increases the risk in that second baby. The waiting periods I keep hearing range from 9 months to two years. If you know me you know I am not someone who deals well with any degree of risk. I hate the unknown, I am a control freak. So I can wait.

I was trying on work clothes today, to try to gauge whether I'll ever be able to wear any of them again. As it turns out, DH is wrong. I am not too skinny. And as I got into the mindset that I will eventually have to march back into that office, it struck me that this would be the first time in my professional life that my day to day activities, my every thought and decision and action, will not be governed by the babymaking cycle. The waiting, the charting, the sex-on-demand, the more waiting, all the tests, putting off making plans, it's all very stressful and a sense of relief that washed over me when I realized that I'm currently free of all of it. Free of it and appreciative of that. The last two+ years of my life have been consumed, in the fullest sense of the word, by a desperation, a dissatisfaction, a want so bad it hurt, and finally, I have attained a sense of contentment. Happiness. And the focus has now shifted to my life as it is rather than what it is not. And while there are plenty of good reasons to have kids back-to-back, I think I am going to enjoy this break.

1 comment:

  1. when i was where you are i was like, there is no effing way i am having anymore kids, but now here we are, louise is eight months old and we started trying for number two last month. maybe you won't end up having more, maybe you will, it's hard to imagine doing it all over again so shortly after giving birth, isn't it?