why we’re still going to wait

After a while of carefully guarding my choices of posts and words over here, I’ve started to become more adventurous again. It’s not because I somehow magically stopped caring about what people think, but because I feel like if something is tugging on my heart for that long and is that powerful, it’s worth putting it out there. The type of thing you can’t forget because it’s always on your mind and you want to post about it, know there’s the chance of potential flack (even when the virtual hugs drown out any negativity), so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:

I want another baby more than anything, but I fear it as much as I want it.

It seems to be one of the most commonly-asked questions when people find out you have a baby. “Oh you have a baby?! When are you having another one?”

What I say:

“Ohh, you know, maybe when she’s 3 or so.”

What I’m thinking:

“I want one right now but postpartum anxiety scares the f*ck out of me.”

When Liv was teeny tiny, I wasn’t sure what the rush was about. I’m relatively “young” (whatever that means?), I want to enjoy my amazing daughter for a while, and things are finally in a routine and we’re having so much fun as a little family. I started to feel little inklings of baby fever within the past couple of months and lately the urge has been strong. As much as we want it, we’re still going to stick with our original plan and wait a while. 

I’m not scared of the pregnancy; I loved every second of being pregnant,

I’m not scared of the actual birth; the pain was INTENSE, but then it was over, and we got to finally meet our baby girl,

I’m not even scared of the dark sadness of sleepless nights and constant feedings and/or pumpings; I know what to expect.

The postpartum hormones? Another ballgame entirely.

Quite a few of my friends who also experienced postpartum anxiety told me that it was SO much better the second time around. The hormones weren’t as awful, they still had some anxious spells, but it was much more short-lived. Then, on the other hand, a couple of friends said that it was a thousand times worse the second time. The anxiety was magnified by the worry of giving the older child as much love and attention in addition to caring for the new baby. There was more guilt, more sadness, and even turned into full-on postpartum depression in addition to the anxiety.

We know we want more than one baby, but always planned to wait at least 2-3 years in between. I feel like I’m at the point where I’m ready, but am still waiting until I have a solid plan of what to do during my pregnancy and after the new baby is here to prevent what happened last time,

Some of the steps on the action plan:

Seeking out therapy as soon as we decided to start trying.

Knowing that it’s ok to ask for help when I need it.

I’ll do a better job of prioritizing work and tasks, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed and anxious.

I won’t be so apprehensive to introduce formula. If breastfeeding isn’t working, I’m not going to fight it. I’m glad I worked as hard as I did to get Liv breastmilk for the first 6 months, but I don’t want to put myself through that again in addition to caring for a newborn and a toddler.

So even though baby fever is definitely here, I’ll be waiting for quite a while, and enjoying the little lovebug we have, because she’s kind of the best thing ever.

<3 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I feel the same way, although for different reasons. I was in a baby bliss bubble in the early days (with the odd hiccup of unexplained crying that all babies do from time to time) but I just can’t imagine how you do the early days of feeding with these teeny tiny, utterly dependent darling creatures who just need milk, sleep and clean bottoms – mixed with a toddler??? How does it work???!!! A different world from the first baby I’m sure.
    My Stella is a month younger than Liv and we always wanted them to be about 2 and a 1/2 to 3 years apart so I’m crossing fingers and toes you go first again and explain how it’s done!! Haha, I learnt so much from you in the early days of my first, would be so perfect to have you as my internet angel again for the second!! xx

  2. So glad you wrote this. It’s been a post in the back of my head for awhile. I feel like every single person I met when I was preggo with my son (he’s almost 2) is pregnant again or has a little one again already. My husband and I got engaged pretty quickly after we started dating and bought a condo, sold a condo, bought a house, had a child and opened a gym. Oh and I completely changed careers. (We are coming up on being married for 5 years.)

    It’s been a ton of change…and we are so lucky and blessed, but I want to make sure that I slow down and enjoy my son a little bit before rushing into having #2! Plus he is getting to the point where he is easier now (sort of…) so I can just pack him up and go if I need to run an errand, etc.

    I’m terrified of trying to do it all over again with a crazy active toddler on my hands too! 🙂

  3. Jen in MN says:

    Awww, bless you. It IS hard in different ways the second time around. My daughters are just a few days shy of 3 years apart (they about to turn 4 and 1 pretty soon). I am VERY glad we had that big of a gap between them, because while age 3 is a tricky beast of its own – my elder daughter (G) was able to be fairly independent when needed. She was daytime potty-trained, etc. It made quite a difference. Especially because our new baby (L) ended up with lots of troubles early on – reflux, MSPI, super expensive special formula and reflux meds, etc. It was rough, and I quickly became a wreck.

    It was strange for me, because I didn’t struggle much after G was born. Never felt like I had PPD or PPA or anything that serious. But with L, I don’t know if it was the reflux (I’m talking terrible, horrible, scream and cry and take an hour-long, bottle feedings) – but perhaps that triggered me into PPD/PPA that has lingered quite awhile now (in part because I didn’t recognize it at first, so I didn’t get help quickly enough, and we also have a lot of other stuff going on like house on the market, and moving cross-country contingent on selling said house. Whew).

    Anyway, I believe you are wise to take your time. I also think you are wise to have in mind that formula is not the devil. It just simply isn’t. Is it as ideal as breastmilk? Of course not. But is it a perfectly acceptable way to feed one’s baby if needed? Of course it is (-: I didn’t end up nursing either of my daughters long, because I got bad mastitis early on with both of them (well, and seemed to have a very low supply w/ G). So I gave it a couple weeks, and said, you know what, this just isn’t happening. My sanity and presence and enjoyment/peace as a mom, means something. In fact, it means a lot. Because if I fall apart, then we all kind of do. So, long story short, you do what you have to do, and all really does turn out well in the end.

    Guess I have a lot to say about that. (-: Just wanted to chime in on a topic near & dear to my heart! I enjoy your blog, and all the variety it brings. Good luck to you in your baby-making decisions! I’ll be rooting for you.

  4. I have a 4.5 month old, and I have clear opinions in my head to wait at least 3 years. 1) because I had a c-section and in order to give birth naturally with a second one you need to be pregnant-free for at least 2 years, so that’s a big motivator for me and 2) I’m still in school, will finish my degree next April, but then plan on doing my Masters for a year, so it would not happen during my Masters at all!

    I don’t know if my mindset will change, but I’m so content with one (as of now) for at least 3 years. I love that you have plans for when you do start trying. I definitely would not rule out counseling either. It’s so important!

  5. I’m so glad that you wrote this post! The anxiety and sleep loss is what I’m the most worried about if/when we have another child. I currently have a 4-month-old daughter and things are slowly getting easier, but I can’t imagine having another baby any time soon! I also want to wait until she’s 2 or 3 years old to start trying again.

    My brother and I are only 18 months apart and I don’t know how my mom did it! I can’t imagine getting pregnant again when my daughter is only 9 months old and it must have been crazy dealing with an infant and a very young toddler at the same time.

    I’m glad that you’ve taken the pressure off of yourself about breastfeeding. I have several friends who went to crazy lengths to try to nurse their children and it ultimately didn’t work out. They definitely went through a mourning period, but realized that they’re still being awesome parents to their kids. It sounds like you have a great plan worked out!

    I love your blog and am glad that you’re posting about things like this :).

  6. Oh, we waited six years. I wanted to nurse exclusively like i did the first time, more than a year. Made it 8.5 months. Just couldn’t put that much pressure on myself anymore.

  7. Thank you for this post! I had my first baby boy in Oct. ’11. I kept telling my husband I wanted to start trying for #2 when our 1st turned 1. I nursed until June ’12 then started working out extra hard to lose the extra baby weight. I never got my period back (i desperately wanted it back so we could try for #2) and i started gaining instead of losing. In Sept. a co-worker asked me when I was due, which was mortifying – but I’m so glad she did! I was 23 weeks at that point, so at this point we’re still processing the fact that we have 2 babies! Talk about a shocker! I had all kinds of anxiety about our 1st not getting enough attention. Now I have it for not giving my 2nd as much as I did my 1st. It wasn’t according to my plan, but I love the (exhausted – i work full time) hand i’ve been dealt. 🙂 already thinking about #3…although I’d like to go one year without being pregnant..

  8. Mine re 16 and half months apart. My expect ions were much lower, like this is going to be a distant. I didn’t fully enjoy motherhood on a consistent basis until 6 months. I finally got sleep, hormones leveled out and I was happy again. But I struggled with bf’ing, labor and delivery was everything I didn’t wanted I really hd a hard time processing it all and my first sucked at sleep. I also decided not to put pressure on myself with bf’ing, if it worked, it worked, if it didn’t formula was/is not the Ned of the world. And what do you know? Labor and delivery was a dream, and baby boy is breast feeding 12 weeks later, with some hiccups, but not like last time. I felt like myself from the beginning which I was grateful for and just knowing what t expect, having more tools in my bag, and having low expectations and hormones being better helped out this time round. I think you will be just fine! Close together is tricky, but when they re older i think I will love having them close in age and not spaced apart. But since you re working I but it would be easier to have them spaced further. I never thought I would want a third, but I have a 3 month old and wouldn’t be sad of i was pregnant again, scared as all get out, but not sad. Good luck, you will make the right decision when the time is right for your guys!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you friend. i love hearing stories like this- gives me hope that it will be better next time
      xoxo

  9. I think it’s fantastic that you want a second baby. I also commend you for taking a step back before jumping into it and acknowledging your fears. But being that I just went through this and now have two babies under two, I feel like I have to share. And I’m pretty open about it now.

    I, unfortunately, was/am one of the people who had post partum issues WAY worse the second time around. As you know, my babies are 19 months apart and I’m pretty sure you’re already aware of all the extra stressors we had at the same time (TLF living, new house with a newborn, surgery, hubby’s upgrade, no family here, etc). So maybe all that made it worse, but I was a poster child for post partum depression. Thankfully it wasn’t the kind where I had bad thoughts of hurting my children or myself. But I just didn’t care about anything. I had no desire to play with my kids, clean my house, or even shower. There were many days where I’d research plane tickets back to my parents house and had a plan to drop my kids off at a friends house and hop on a plane before Rodney got home. I even asked my husband for a divorce and I said he could keep the kids. (Thankfully he understood exactly what was going on and seemed to just love me that much more to help me through it.) I wasn’t myself at all. It was like I just took care of my kids because I was obligated to. I cried every day, multiple times. It seems to be getting better now that we’re 3 1/2 months in, although I still have days that are just depressing. I contemplated for a long time about quitting breastfeeding so I could get an antidepressant (I know a lot of doctors say Zoloft is safe to nurse with, but I just wasn’t ok with it). But thanks to the hubby and his help, I think I’ve just about overcome it and am still nursing. So I completely understand your fears, and I think it’s great that you have a plan on how to help yourself next time.

    *Now I feel like I have to state that I do love my children more than anything in this world and couldn’t imagine my life without them.

    Having 2 kids is no doubt stressful. There are a lot of great moments too though, like when Avery stops what she’s doing to come comfort her little brother, or gives him a kiss on the head for no reason at all. However, it’s definitely not a decision to take lightly.

  10. I have a few thoughts in response to this, but I’m going to go with the simplest: HUGS. You’re a great mama, and when you guys decide to have #2 you’ll be a great mama x2. Even if you do experience the anxiety again, you’re too good a mama to let it keep you out of the game 🙂

  11. Shaina Anderson says:

    Can I just say that I LOVE your honesty? It is so refreshing. I get so tired of people saying what they think people want to hear. Sometimes I just want to say “hey newsflash: not everyone’s life is a fairy tale with all the clean laundry folded and a healthy dinner from scratch on the table at 6pm every night.” Haha.

    In all seriousness though, you guys will make the right decision for your family. Something that I personally learned during our “trying” phase with Tripp is that it will happen when the time is right. We tried for 8 months because we thought the time was right, and looking back, we got our baby at the EXACT right time. I would love to be pregnant again (Tripp is 11 months next week) but I know that I will get pregnant when the time is right for our family….and when my kid stops wanting the boob every 5 minutes maybe? 🙂 Something to make you laugh: he tried to nurse from the shopping cart in Costco the other day! Literally pulled on my shirt so that I fell forward toward him and stuck his face in my chest. Umm, not right now kiddo.

    • Shaina Anderson says:

      The moral of that story was hey – the bright side to formula is that you don’t get molested in public by your child.

  12. I have the baby fever too but feel exactly like you do. I imagine round 2 to be less stressful (we’ve done it before) but more chaotic!

  13. Glad you posted on this. I am 33 and am 5 months pregnant. I know I have time, so I am not worried about that issue but my husband and I were talking about #2. I know, this one isn’t even here! lol However, I am a planner:) We decided to wait until this baby is a year old and evaluate that decision then. Its a lot of work and I want to see where we are after a year. If the time is right, we will try again. If not, we may give it another 6mo to a year and think about it then. We have been married 11 years and my mom started buying baby clothes when I got engaged in 2000! HA I work a lot at times and others not so much, so I pray that I can deal with the guilt of being away from my children. Lot to think about! You will no doubt do what is best for your family. Both of you are wonderful parents! Thanks for posting!

  14. Thank you for being honest! I have (pretty bad, at times) anxiety and I’m not pregnant, nor do I have any kids, so I am a little nervous for the day that we decide to start a family. My hormones and personality already make me paranoid and anxious, so who knows how I’ll be with pregnancy/postpartum hormones! For right now, we’re waiting until we feel financially and emotionally ready, and I’m okay with that.

    I think it’s smart to wait — you shouldn’t rush into anything you’re not ready for yet!

  15. My hormones after the second were WAY worse than the first. But I also think it was due to taking care of and adapting to a life/routine with 2 kids. After 4 months however it was smooth sailing…there’s never a good time, and nothing will last forever, even the crazy hormones 🙂

  16. how did you decide on the age gap of 3-4 years old between liv and the second child?
    would love to hear your thoughts on that!

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