How We Decided When To Have A Second Baby
Starting a family is a deeply personal decision. If you’ve been here for awhile, you may recall my post at 31, followed by another at 32, where I explained that I simply wasn’t ready to have kids. Two years after that, I shared a post about how we decided it was time to start a family. It was definitely a journey for me, and one that eventually took some prodding and nudging from my therapist to help me get over some final hurdles. Now it’s time to talk about deciding when to have a second baby.
I’m writing this post because I’ve been asked about it several times on Instagram. This is my experience, and everyone will have a different one. We have different expectations, wants, needs, and requirements for bringing a child into this world, and these are mine. They may differ from yours, and keep in mind that only you know when these things are right for you, and how you go about doing them.
For me, it boiled down to just a few things:
- my age
- wanting them close together
- simply feeling emotionally ready
I was 34 (just shy of 35) when I had Miles. His infancy and beyond was amazing and I loved watching him grow and taking 349820384023 pictures of him as he did. Right before his first birthday, I sat on the bed and watched him standing at our window overlooking the city, taking everything in. I realized that my tiny, little baby wasn’t there anymore. He had crawled, stood, and even though he wouldn’t take his first steps until a couple months later, had grown so fast before my eyes.
I cried. It was an emotional week. I missed the newborn smells and snuggles. I missed being pregnant. I scrolled through Instagram and longed to be back in the pregnancy stage, where somehow my body image was wonderful and I embraced my changing body more than I had at any other time in my life.
Neil and I had discussed starting to try again after Miles’ first birthday, but I figured why not start near his first birthday, not knowing how long it would take. His birthday is in April, so we tried in March, then again in April, and I found out I was pregnant again basically the same time as his first birthday. It was definitely sooner than I expected, but I was grateful nonetheless.
Based on many conversations I had had, I knew it would be difficult having “two under two,” but I felt ready and knew that I wanted to have them close together. I wanted them to be close, but not have Miles so young that he had absolutely no idea what was going on. To be fair, he’s still around 75% clueless, but does grasp things like “baby” and helping me out, so he’ll get the hang of it. I also got a lot of good suggestions about how to prepare him for a sibling, so that has made me feel better. “It’s challenging in the beginning, but I love the bond they have” was the biggest comment I read over and over. In my gut I just knew that this was a good time to do it — for our family and for me.
I will be 36 when I deliver this baby. It’s been an uncomplicated pregnancy and a very complicated pregnancy at the same time. Given the complications and possible inability to have any children after this, this will likely be my last pregnancy. I often wonder if I would have developed the same conditions if I had gotten pregnant earlier or later than I did. Would things be different? Regardless, I feel grateful that I got pregnant when I did and that we can grow our family by at least one more little person.
It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the luck we’ve had in getting pregnant not once, but two times. I’ve spent time talking to and reading experiences of women who have not been so lucky, because it’s important to me to understand both sides of the coin. If you’ve struggled or are currently struggling with loss or infertility, I see you. I see you and I’m so sorry for the pain that these things bring.
So that’s basically it. We had had a general conversation about when to try for a second and then I just listened to how I was feeling emotionally and physically to know when the right time actually was. My advice is to do the same. Think about what things are important to you and listen to your intuition. You’re the only one who knows what’s actually best for you. 🙂
How did you decide when to have a second baby? Let me know in the comments!