I absolutely love being a mommy to my now almost 10 month old son. I’m later to the mommy party at 38, but that’s fine by me. I’ve had a great pre-baby life so I don’t feel as though I missed out on any other life experiences. That being said, I’m forced to make a decision earlier than I’d like to about whether or not to have a second baby. My biological clock reminds me of the realities of my aging uterus. The plan had always been to have two children, but plans can change. Right now, I’m not sure I’m up to it. My heart might be telling me no.
My story gets a little lot more complicated with the very premature arrival of my son. He was born at 24 weeks gestation and spent the next 4 and half months in the NICU before he was able to come home to us. There is a whole host of trauma surrounding his birth, and I’ve been dealing with it as best as I can. That’s a whole other post. I digress. Besides that huge wrench in the plan with my son’s birth, the other big factor is the reality of our lifestyle. We both work full-time and my husband travels most weeks as part of his job. We also don’t have family nearby that we can call on in a pinch. Our neighbors are great, but with family I may feel less guilty and more inclined to lean on them for help if needed. Maybe; this coming from a fiercely independent, Type A personality. It’s a character flaw-one of many.
My heart tells me could I feel like I could manage one child really well, but beyond that I am not sure I’d ever have enough hands or sanity when my husband is out of town. All of that has me imagining scenarios in which I go mad on the days my husband is away, all the while growing a resentment for him as I attempt to hold down the household during the nights away. I don’t want that to happen. I love my husband too much for that. He works so hard when he’s here, and he travels because his job dictates it. I know it’s not easy for him to be away from our son as much as he is. Having a micropreemie baby in the NICU for 131 days is stress enough for one parental team. Do I push my luck and find my breaking point by having another baby, another that I would surely love with all my heart…but still. Reality is a cold ‘you know what’ sometimes. It’s not as cut-and-dry as wanting another baby equals trying for another baby.
The book is not closed on this very huge life decision. There’s a lot my husband and I need to talk about, to figure out, to learn about the realities of another pregnancy following one in which I’m said to have an incompetent cervix. (By the way, who came up with that clinical term. It reads as though my body’s got faulty equipment. Lovely, just lovely.) Beyond another pregnancy, assuming that’s possible, we need to discuss how our lives would change with two children. I don’t want to stretch myself too thing. I have a lot of great moms of two children in my social circle. But I can’t think of one mom I know who has two young children, works a full-time job, has no family nearby, and whose spouse travels frequently for work. Our decision has not been made, and my husband is not ready to start talking about it.
We’ve only had our son home for five months now. In many ways, we’re still adjusting to our new little person, or as we like to call him “the boss.” I still pause sometimes in disbelief when I’m referred to as a mommy. But I can’t help thinking about it, about the decision, wondering how I’d ever be able to be the best mommy possible with two children given my realities. On the other hand I’ve got this happy little person waiting for me every day after work. He makes everything all better. He came into the world with such a terrifying start. He’s defied all the odds, and he is perfect. What was that about reality being a cold, “You know what?” Sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not.
Who else has had to reevaluate plans for another baby? How did you make the decision?
Robyn is a new momma in her late 30s; Chicago city dweller recently turned suburbanite; enjoying a full-time career as a manager at a pediatrics member organization; one-time Peace Corps volunteer and global traveler; humbled and amazed at the amount of energy spent and love multiplied by caring for her son. Auggie was born 16 weeks premature in February 2013. “Super Auggie” finally came home from the hospital on July 2, 2013, and life for Robyn, her husband, her chocolate Lab and tabby cat was forever changed. She is learning how to juggle being a mom, a wife, a manager at work, a dog caregiver and a woman with her own needs and interests.