Negotiations have commenced

I’ve had my boobs all to myself for 8 months. The marathon is over. Chick Fil-A is up and running. There are chicken biscuits less than 5 minutes from our house.

Kendall is nearly two (HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?), and I’m becoming entirely too used to getting 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis again.  In fact, I’m coming closer and closer to regaining a semblance of a sane routine that I fear will shut down the baby factory forever.  My body is in great shape. It’s possible if I keep up this workout regimen, I just might look pretty freaking amazing in a bathing suit this Summer.  I’m getting dangerously close to accepting life with one kid and moving on to getting another dog and running another marathon.

Problem is, we *want* more kids. *I* want more kids, I do. When I envision myself many years from now, I have more than just Kendall. He has brothers and/or sisters.

I know what I have to do to get there. I just shudder to think about it (no, not THAT, the parts that come after THAT). I don’t know if I’m strong enough to deal with chasing a toddler while dealing with a pregnancy. The thought of another colicky newborn makes me want to curl up in a fetal position and cry.  In contrast to my blissful ignorance prior to getting pregnant with Kendall, I KNOW TOO MUCH…and yet I don’t know enough. I don’t know HOW I will do it.

The “planner” part of me knows that now is the time, the window of opportunity is perfect. Though I don’t know how long it will take this time to get pregnant, hopefully I’d end up with the two kids 2.5 to 3 years apart. That’s what I always intended, you know, back before I hit “start” on the clock.  Scott argues that we just need to get all this “baby stuff” out of the way all at once, just throw ourselves into the world of newborns, infants and toddlers. The quicker we get in, the quicker we can get out.  In theory, I totally agree.

Why is it, then, that I just am NOT that into getting pregnant right now? Why is it I not only don’t have Baby Rabies, but I don’t even have a touch of Baby Fever?

I’m trying everything I can to re-ignite that feeling that I had before we got pregnant with Kendall. I’m looking at fancy baby gear and checking out the newborns other parents are toting around. I even requested a 0-6 sized onesie from when they offered to send me one of their adorable “Joint Production” creations. It’s freaking adorable, it is, and sometimes, if I look at it the right way, it sort of tickles my ovaries just enough to make me think, “Well, maybe….”

So, you see, it’s not that I *don’t* want another. I do. It’s not that I want to wait ten years. I don’t. I’m blaming this  hesitation on TOO MUCH INFORMATION and too much experience. I’ll take my blissful ignorance back, please.

Kendall is nearly 21 months old.

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  1. I felt this way about having 1 baby ha. I just gave up all birth control and waited to ‘see what happened’. You know, that way I didn’t have to take responsibility for making a decision. That of course took me 14 months, and as a new follower of you, I haven’t read back to when you got pregnant with Kendall and have NO idea your fertility particulars (if there are any).

    I’d say surround yourself with newborns but, that could push you back in the other direction even further hahaahh 😉

  2. I conceived my second when my first was 21 months old. I can tell you that the age difference now (24 some odd months later) is pretty awesome.

  3. A different approach would have been to do what my wife and I did (Alas, it’s too late for you, though). We didn’t wait until the hell of toddlerhood began to conceive #2. As much as we both want 4+ kids, #2 might not have happened had we waited as you as you have. 😉

  4. Maybe with the 2nd, 3rd, 9th pregnancies you start to get that fever once you already know you are pregnant? Maybe you never get the same buildup that you do when you are starting TTC your first baby? Maybe this is one of those situations where you just have to grab Scott’s hand and jump with your eyes closed?

  5. oh man, I feel you, my other issue is, I like my life now, a lot, and I know I’ll love a second kiddo just as much as I love my first.. but will I like my life as much? I’m just afraid it’ll be too much, I mean, one toddler is A LOT of work!

  6. scot and i were having this exact conversation the other day. i’m not ready to give up wine for 10 months again (hello, it helps me deal with the current kid!), but i also don’t want to get too comfy with our current sleep situation (read: we get plenty) and then be even more fucked up when it’s back to 1-2 hour increments. and now that i know how hard that is, i’m even more apprehensive about doing it. that and basically choosing to start barfing for 1-4 months by my own doing sounds pretty crazytown.

  7. Jill I am right there with you. Although I have not run a marathon and I not in the shape you are in, I love my sleep…I love it, and I have been getting really good sleep for a while now and I don’t want to lose that. There are more factors that make me wonder if I want another, but when I think back to how much fun he had when my sisters were around, and how much fun he has when he plays with other kids, it makes me want to have just one more. But I am just not sure. I have not had a twitch of baby fever at all. I have no clue what it will take to get me there. I may have to just give up the birth control and what ever happens, happens..but I still have to take that step to give up the BC.

    I am right there with you 🙂

  8. We got pregnant with Jules when Jonas was 13 months. Looking back, I cannot BELIEVE we got pregnant again so fast, but the first year seemed a lot longer with Jonas. We got pregnant on the very first try too – we actually figured it would take a few months, but nope, I guess we’re extra fertile. We had Jules when Jonas was 22 months old, and again, I cannot imagine that now, but honestly, I’m SO GLAD we did. The last 20 months with Julesy seem to have flown by, and now they’re at an age where they can play together really nicely (which is what they are doing as I type this.) I’m relieved to have the first two under my belt already.

    They say going from 1 to 2 is the hardest, and I can see how that’s true, but honestly with your second baby you are SUCH a pro at this motherhood stuff by then that I think it’s way easier than going from 0 kids to 1. This time around, the newborn stage can be spent actually enjoying your baby, rather than trying to figure out how the hell you’re supposed to swaddle that thing, or how often his diaper needs changing.

    My unsolicited opinion is go for it! They’ll be close enough in age where they’ll grow up close, but Kendall will be old enough to fetch a diaper for you (and trust me, the toddlers usually LOVE to help) by the time the next baby arrives.

    • All very valid points. I pray I’ll know WTF I’m doing this next time around. Surely I’m a little ahead of the game by knowing how to put an infant in a trance with a hair dryer, so there’s that. I have to say, I’d feel a lot better about it if Kendall woke up potty trained tomorrow.

  9. I feel EXACTLY the same way. My son was colicky the entire first year and I was ripping my hair out. It scares the crap out of me to have another, even though I know deep down that I want another…

  10. There is a reason there is 9.5 years between my 2. Yes I started way back at square 1, but this 2nd time is so much easier.. ok maybe its easier because now the dad it out of the picture.

    But Emmy is so relaxed, she goes with the flow. Will go to almost any movie Matt and I want to at 4, though she didn’t want to see Avitar. She grew up at the HS pool while Matt was swimming so spending 8+ hours stuck with nothing to do is something she is used to.

    But 1 of the best things is that I have a built in babysitter with Matt-

    • And see, THAT is an excellent reason to wait a LONG time. Plus, hired babysitters are so DAMN expensive. Like, we will NEVER be able to leave the house without them.

  11. There is a reason there is 9.5 years between my 2. Yes I started way back at square 1, but this 2nd time is so much easier.. ok maybe its easier because now the dad it out of the picture.

    But Emmy is so relaxed, she goes with the flow. Will go to almost any movie Matt and I want to at 4, though she didn’t want to see Avitar. She grew up at the HS pool while Matt was swimming so spending 8+ hours stuck with nothing to do is something she is used to.

    But 1 of the best things is that I have a built in babysitter with Matt- I can run errands early and let them both sleep in.

    Yes dealing with pre-teenness and todlerness was a mess at times, and pre-school attitude and teen attitude can have me pulling out my hair. But most times they are at the same stage in life, I’m going through the same problems with both even though there is the age difference.

    Having them close together with no help would kill me I think. I am so much more relaxed now then I was when Matt was 4, but that could be because Emmy is not an 100% ADHD inteligent male being.

    And yes I still do want a 3rd, but that will have to wait for a few more years while I get myself straightened out.

  12. Look, I’m no one to talk here- because I have completely fucked myself in this situation. But, I always thought 5 or 6 years apart would be ideal. My brother & I are 7 years apart & it’s perfect! My husband has two sisters and it was 2 years between each of them.

    Me? My son turns 1 on Wednesday and I am almost 32 weeks with twins. I’m not sure how I’m doing it NOW let alone when these kids make their entrance!

    As long as Kendall is walking and talking- I say go for it. At this point they’d be almost 3 years apart which seems like a good age difference.


  13. I could have written this verbatim. In theory DH and I want one more child. We want Aidan to have a brother or sister. It’s the pregnancy and first 3 months of the child’s life that I’m not looking forward to going through again. This time with a toddler. And colic – that’s one of my biggest fears. Aidan wasn’t colicky and I came very close to losing it on several occasions. Colic would put me in a mental institution for sure.

    That said, we’ve tentatively settled on June for trying for #2. I still don’t think I’ll be ready – I doubt I ever will be 100% ready – but we’re biting the bullet. Maybe – it’s really easy to say this now at almost 6 months out.

  14. My Nate is six months older than Kendall. That’s where our similarities end though. I’m 40 and we endured 2 years of fertility treatments to get to where we are: I’m currently 17w pregnant with #2. You can do the math, but we started trying for #2 when my son was about 6 months old. As Nate got more mobile and verbal and then the tantrums started we were so deep in treatments that stopped never seemed an option. I may have even been a little relieved after what we agreed would be our last cycle when the test appeared to be negative (clearly I didn’t read it correctly). Now I’m over the moon.

    As someone said above, I think you just have to take Scott’s hand, close your eyes, and take a leap of faith. Who has TWO colicy babies? 😎

  15. Michelle Nolan on

    Oh girl. I am. not. ready. We’re waiting to try again until Caroline is 3. My sister and I are 3 1/2 years apart and I think it’ll ber perfect. Plus, she’ll be outta diapers by then. I’m not all about 2 in diapers at once! Plus, we want to get a good vacation in for our 5yr anniversary next year!

  16. Just do it! Bite the bullet! Jude and this new one will be 2.5 years apart and I think it’ll be good.. he’ll be able to communicate, understand, etc, but still young enough not to get worked up for too long about a new person in the house.

    I was scared for a couple of days when I found out but now I am so freaking excited! Join the club!!!!

  17. I didn’t have the same experience as I was more than ready to have a 2nd…now at 35 wks pg I’m not so sure… : ) Do you read Dooce? She had a horrible time with her 1st and her second has been complete bliss and changed everything…check it out… : )

  18. Totally struggling with this as well. Piper just turned 1. My husband has one brother and they’re 4 years apart.
    They were never in the same school after 5th grade which I think impacted their relationship (for good or bad? not sure.) So he wants to wait. I’m an only child and my friends who have sibling relationships are spaced a couple of years, maybe three, max.

    But I don’t have that yearning. Like at all. And I don’t know what that means! I know I want more kids for SO many reasons. But do I have to wait for that feeling before I can be sure? No idea.

  19. I am caught somewhere between NEVER wanting another one and catching that fever. I might want another one – one day. But then I have days like today and I think I do not know if I ever want more. I love my three. But man somedays!!! In the end though I love them and I am glad to have them. They are fun and I would not be complete without them.

  20. Eeee I want to see more Donkey babies!!!!! You moved all over the country with K when he was a baby, now you’re stable and close to Chik-Fil-A, #2 will be a BREEZE!

  21. You could just leave it up to fate. Stop using birth control and you’ll get pregnant when you’re supposed to (if you believe in that kind of stuff). With some women it takes months to get pregnant after stopping birth control, so maybe by the time you’re actually ready to conceive your body will be too?

  22. I agree with the last poster- just get off BC & it will happen when it happens. We never wanted (or shall I say *I*) never wanted kids, but now we almost have two. When you’re off BC, your hormones tell you when you’re fertile, which is how we got both #1 & #2. Pregnancy is definitely hard with a toddler, I’m not going to lie, but it’s fun to see him actually interested in my growing belly and now obsessed with babies. Good luck with your decision…I can’t imagine what it’s like to have “let’s make a baby” sex intentionally!

    • Well, considering I’m not really *on* BC, it’s not that hard to come off. I have no idea what it’s like to just “see what happens”. I don’t know if my type A personality can handle that ; )

  23. I want to wait until I get my degree but I don’t want my kids to be that far apart in age. And I agree – knowing too much makes me just want to stick with one.

  24. I think our kids are about a month apart – Della is almost 22 months – and I am in the EXACT SAME BOAT. I have always, always maintained that I wanted my kids about 2.5-3 yrs apart, that I want to have 3 and be done before 35. But that would mean getting pregnant sometime soon and…no thanks. Like you, I feel my life has sort of returned to normal and I LIKE that. My body is back, my sleeping is back, my child is becoming a real little person. Newborn haze? Chubbiness? Mastitis? Can I really go back there, so soon? Feels like I gave birth yesterday.

    I guess we just have to, like, do it or something. Although I’ve been talking to friends who are 4 yrs distant from their siblings and still close with them…can’t say it doesn’t intrigue me to wait just a BIT longer…

  25. I’m in the same boat. Our Addie turned 22 months old today. When the heck are we supposed to give her a sibling. We’re not 100% sure that we want another one, but as you do….I see a sibling when I dream of our future. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting TTC next summer, but I don’t know if I can do it…I don’t know if I can handle a newborn again.

  26. Jill!

    Thanks for the shout out… I had NO idea that a baby *wasn’t* on the way. The more the merrier, and if we helped in the “negotiations” like 0.0001%, that makes me happy 🙂

    But, yeah, Mandy and the wine issue… totally get it! Keep us updated, as always!

  27. Don’t do it. Seriously. Pregnancy + toddler = major suckage. You know how you could come home from work and pass out or sleep in until noon on the weekends the first time you were pregnant? Doesn’t happen the second time. Plus, why the hell would you want to put yourself through the newborn stage again?

    Take it from a girl who’s currently stuck with a second pregnancy that is entirely unwanted: listen to your gut. You know it’s right.

  28. Oh, Holy hell, are you my twin sister? You just said all of my fears and feelings in that entire paragraph!! But, no matter how hard it is, I never regret having my second child. It is hard as hell, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and am 39 going on 93! My daughter is 15months and a handful! wants carried constantly, cries and wihines all the time (yes we are at that stage!). We are FINALLY getting to a full nights sleep (orchestra playing amen in the background), and some nights she thinks 3 am is 3 pm and it’s time to play…WTF??? I could NEVER do this again. Had the hubby snipped to be safe! I had my son Nico, when I was 35, and Abbbie when I was 38. I’m too old for this! I know how you feel about the fear of being up all night and the non-stop crying and chasing kids around…makes me wonder…How in the hell did that chick, Michelle Dugger do it 20 times?????? Crazy bitch!

  29. Frank Williams on

    Oh come on! Don’t listen to the naysayers. Pain is forgotten and sleep is overrated. Go for it!!!!! And then have another one after this…..

  30. I can totally relate. What we did was agree that I would go off birth control and we wouldn’t actively try to get pregnant. As in the ‘pull out and pray method’ which is about as useless as I’ve always heard. Pregnant the second month off birth control with my number two. Pregnancy is actually easier with my toddler around. I nap during his nap time and take it easy on the floor reading picture books and playing with trains. Much easier than being pregnant at work! I would say the worse part is the guilt about kicking my son off the baby throne/having to share my love and affection between two children, but we have some time yet and a lot of changes happen between 2 and 3. You just have to take the plunge and it does suck (I hate pregnancy) but life would be too lonely for an only child. I tell myself that I’m doing this for my son as well as to fulfill our desire to have another child. I AM SURE AS HELL NOT DOING IT AGAIN THOUGH!

  31. Ok, mine are exactly 2.5 years apart. I think a few years from now, I’ll be very happy with that age difference. However, I am probably not the best person to talk experience w/two so far has been a little rough. I know people do it all the time and some even have them closer..a lot closer. I love them both very much but I am so exhausted I cannot even see straight.

  32. Drink a little too much wine one night (or two or three) and go for it. I still (9 weeks out) have no idea how I’m going to do it, but it was now or never for me. I didn’t want to get too comfortable before having a newborn turn it all upside down again. A little chaos now for less chaos later!

  33. Same, same, same! My husband and I have always agreed on two children, and I want our daughter to have a sibling, but the thought of repeating these newborn months is horrifying! At 5.5 months old, our kid is finally starting to sleep better and is less needy, which is good because I was starting to feel like running around in the streets with my arms flailing wildly just so someone would pick me up and take me away. Far, far away. Maybe we should just adopt a 6 month old…

  34. This is why I think it is both a blessing and a curse that I had a surprise second pregnancy! Of course, I had a very easy baby first time around but the fantasy is definitely different. The anticipation is different. I definitely think there is more fear involved with this pregnancy. It was ignorant bliss last time. I have sailed through this pregnancy though. I don’t have time to obsess like I did the first time around. I am too busy chasing my crazy 17-month-old around!

  35. shawnna Householder on

    We are having the Number 2 discussion. My son is 13 months and there are nights that I am SCARED to have sex!! He sleeps through the night..which means I sleep through the night…why would I want to ruin that???!!!!

    What is your work out routine???

    • Shawnna, I trained for and ran a marathon, so that was huge. Also, chasing Kendall around is pretty much an exhausting routine. I’m just doing that and keeping up with a couple long-ish runs throughout the week so far.

      • Congrats on running a marathon. My husband runs. I’m more of a walker/jogger type person.

        I’m also beginning to wonder if the fever will ever be as intense as it was the first time around.

        There is no way I could go off BC and just see what happens!!

  36. I have SO many mixed feelings on this topic; I am glad to see I’m not the only one! And while I certainly echo some of your same hesitations (another 6 months (let’s be honest) of no sleep, marriage back on a roller coaster, DELIVERY (way easier when I had no idea what to expect)), my major hesitation is how my son will react to not being the “only” anymore. I feel SO GUILTY about it already and I’m not even pregnant! Crazy thing is, I don’t want to be a one-child family, either! Of course I want him to have brothers and sisters, hopefully one of each! All the same, the guilt of turning HIS world upside down with a newborn brings me to tears…I cannot escape mommy guilt on any level!
    Ok but what are the positives? Obviously, the chance to create another LIFE, and to bring more LOVE into your family. Think of all the “firsts” you get to experience again, the first smile, first roll over, first step! Another baby means more chaos, more laughter, more emotion, more FUN! More excuses to watch Disney movies and buy overpriced-but-adorable shoes. More reasons to create family traditions and stick to them EVERY YEAR. More blocks in the foundation of your marriage.

    The positives are WAY more fun to think about than the negatives 🙂

    • Julie, you are so on the money. I DO worry about how Kendall will react. He is our world, and I just hate to think of him feeling “pushed aside” somehow. But, I LOVE your lists of pros. Thanks for that, it made me smile 🙂

  37. Good luck with the decision Jill. I have two that are 22 months apart and my first was very colicky, didn’t believe in going to bed before midnight and didn’t believe in going back to sleep for hours after waking, but like you, I couldn’t see my future with just her even though it scared me to go through it again.

    I honestly believed that my second would be calm and chill and convinced myself of that as we got pregnant – and luckily she is. She is so relaxed and it has been a totally different perspective on the newborn experience that I am so glad I had.

    I used to want to smack everyone who talked about how sweet and wonderful their newborns were and how being a Mom was the most amazing experience because I didn’t have that. It was miserable. I loved my first daughter with all my heart, but I hated the feeling I had in never being able to calm her down. I am so glad we decided to bite the bullet and do it again and that I was able to experience a newborn in the way I always longed for when I heard other mother’s talk.

    I wish you the best in your decision and to answer your question of HOW – you just do. I don’t know how somedays, but Just like you survived the colic and the sleepless nights, you will figure out how to make this work too. I tell myself that a couple of years of really hard times on my part is easily erased by a lifetime of closeness on their part by being so close in age.

  38. wow! Seems like everyone is feeling the same way. I am right there with you (and all of those commenters too)
    I was hoping to start trying later this year, but I mentioned it to DH and he now says he thinks maybe when this ones in school (she’s a week younger than Kendall).
    Ummm Hello? My eggs will be shriveled and wrinkly by then. I’m old!
    Hoping that having family move here this year will show him that we’ll have help and it won’t be so hard. He’s a P/T SAHD, so I can see why he might feel overwhelmed.

    Okay, maybe all of us can do this together. But you go first! I’ve got a half marathon to train for first!

  39. who are you and how do you get into my head? seriously? My son is five month’s shy of being THREE and I blame too much information. oye! let me know what you do to kickstart that fever, k?

  40. It comes down to what you want for your son. After you have 1 child, nothing is about you. When I found out I was pregnant the second time around (my first had just turned 2) I freaked. Then I thought about my son and how he needed to have brother or sister. Someone to love and protect. Everything else comes naturally. (At least you know what to expect (bad or good). I think it’s much more enjoyable the second time.) Things have already stretched and grown and got back to normal the first time. It will happen again. <3

  41. this is something hilarious i read which you might like 🙂 :
    The Birth Order of Children

    Your Clothes
    1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
    2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
    3rd baby Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

    Preparing For Birth
    1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
    2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
    3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

    The Layette
    1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, colour-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
    2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
    3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?

    1st baby: At the first sign of distress – a whimper, a frown – you pick up the baby.
    2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
    3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

    1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
    2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
    3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

    1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
    2nd baby: You change his diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
    3rd baby: You try to change his diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to his knees.

    1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
    2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
    3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

    Going Out
    1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
    2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
    3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

    At Home
    1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
    2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
    3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

    Swallowing Coins
    1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
    2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
    3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance.

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