Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- when is #2 coming -
That's the question I have been hearing a lot lately. Well, actually, I have been hearing that question since the day Ellie was born! (seriously? I just gave birth to this one...let me catch my breath! ha ha!)
This might be a long post, so bear with me...
Let me start with a little bit of history...I have an older sister. Her and I are three years apart. Matt has a younger sister...they are almost four and a half years apart. So it's not like either of us were raised with siblings super close in age to us. But ever since we got pregnant with Ellie, I had always imagined having our kids close together. One and half to two years apart was ideal in my mind. I thought it would be even more desirable to have our kids close in age if they were the same sex (cause I can really control things like that right? ha ha!). I always imagined two little girls growing up to be the best of friends because they were so close in age.
Fast forward to today...Ellie turns 2 in November, and not only am I not pregnant with our second baby, we haven't even started trying yet. Why? Well, I have asked myself that a lot in the last couple of months, and I am finally at peace with the answer.
When Ellie was born, she had severe reflux, was in constant pain, and was an extremely high needs baby. I'm not exaggerating when I say that for the first month or two, she would cry at least 18 out of 24 hours of the day....everyday...without fail. She also had an intolerance to all dairy and soy. Once we got her reflux under control, and I stopped eating dairy and soy (I was BFing her), she was a much happier baby. But those first four to five months were hell. Lots of tears were shed by us (okay, mostly just me). I knew having a newborn was going to be hard, and I am one tough cookie. But Ellie was so much harder than most newborns. There were times I looked at Matt and seriously meant it when I asked him "why in the hell did we decide to do this?". I knew immediately that my plan to have another baby in one and a half years was never going to happen! I was questioning even wanting another one at all after going through what we went through with Ellie... (this is where I have to enter a disclaimer...I, by no means, am trying to say Ellie's health problems were serious or life threatening. I know there are thousands of women out there that give birth to babies with very serious health problems or complications. Reflux and a dairy/soy intolerance are so low on the scale of seriousness compared to what some mom's are dealing with on a day to day basis. So please, please, please don't think I am trying to play the pity card for something as trivial as reflux. But understand that no mom wants to see their baby in pain and upset, so in the thick of it, dealing with it was very difficult for us as new parents)....
After Ellie hit toddler-hood, things weren't as hard with her anymore, and Matt and I started discussing trying for our second. The plan was to start trying in August or September of this year. That would put our kids about two and a half years apart, and I was okay with that...or I at least I thought I was. By the time July came around, I really started freaking out. I would think about it constantly, and just not feel right about it. I knew Matt was ready...I just didn't feel the same enthusiasm as he did. I started scouring the internet to find out what the "perfect" spacing for your children was. That was a joke....everyone out there has their own opinion, because in reality, it's what's best for your own family. I couldn't exactly place what was making me so uneasy, but I knew that I probably shouldn't be jumping into having our second child if I was this "unenthusiastic" about it.
After over a month of soul searching, I was finally able to say out loud to myself, "I'm just not ready yet". Once I finally admitted it to myself, I was able to admit it to Matt. Although I can't say he was thrilled to hear me say that, he supported me 100%. It wasn't easy for me to admit this to myself. I mean, I'm a mom...I'm supposed to want another baby right away right? Maybe, but maybe not. All I know is that as soon as I was able to accept that I just wasn't ready yet, I immediately felt a huge weight come off of my shoulders.
I know many families out there that have kids less than two years apart, and they absolutely love it. I also know just as many families out there with kids three or four years apart and they wouldn't have it any other way. When Matt and I first got married, we intentionally waited six years before getting pregnant. We wanted to truly enjoy each other before starting a family. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying everyone should wait that long, but it worked for us, and more importantly, I don't regret waiting...not.one.bit. I absolutely loved living those six years with just Matt, no kids, just us. And I sort of equate that to how I am feeling now. There will never be another time that Ellie will be our only child. That time is right now and I want to savor and enjoy a little bit more time with just her. And I don't think I will regret it this time around either. I am doing what is right for myself and what I think is right for Ellie. I somehow knew when it was time to start trying for our first baby, and I feel like I will just know when it is time to start trying for our second...
...(time to insert another disclaimer...I am very sensitive to those couples with fertility problems who would be appalled that I am being so "picky" about when to have my kids...please understand that I am sensitive to fertility troubles, and I know that being able to have kids is an amazing blessing that I can never take for granted).