More, More, More

Starting a post with a disclaimer always feels sort of cheap and pointless, because if I’m able to sum up everything I’m about to say with “I don’t really MEAN it” then why write the post at all? And why would you bother to read? But blogging is the equivalent of spending 45 minutes picking lint out of your belly button so I’m going to do all the navel gazing I want and you can just come back tomorrow for some pictures of my TWO YEAR OLD.

Here’s the disclaimer: I’m not pregnant and don’t plan to be any time in 2011. My uterus is taking the year off.

Here’s the introspection:

I was approximately a week pregnant at Little Evan’s first birthday party. We had decided to start trying for baby #2 once baby #1 was 12 months old. We picked that date totally arbitrarily – it SOUNDED like a reasonable age gap – but I was really really not ready just then. Evan was not an easy baby. But because – TMI ALERT – I never got my period back we weren’t really trying trying but weren’t not trying and then bam! Knocked up. No time to think about how Little Evan was still nursing 6 times a day, still wasn’t eating any solid food, didn’t drink milk from a cup, didn’t sleep through the night, and didn’t listen to a thing I said.

Three months later he had totally weaned, drank whole milk like it was going out of style and slept 12 hours straight at night. He still doesn’t listen but if I waited until that happened before getting pregnant he’d be an only child. So besides the time during those first 3 months when I lay on the floor wishing I could go back to being totally childless (nothing like getting up at night with a toddler screaming for milk when all you want to do is hug the toilet) having babies 20 months apart seemed like a totally reasonable choice, even though the first baby was a, uh, challenging infant.

At my first prenatal appointment with Caroline, the doctor looked at my chart and said “Have you considered what kind of birth control you’ll use after you have the baby?” And I said “Can you put in an IUD while I’m still in the hospital? I think 2 babies in 2 years is enough.”

Three months later, I’m a little sorry I got that IUD. I mean, NO. GOD NO, being pregnant again so soon would be AWFUL. The last two months of pregnancy kicked my ass so hard I need at least a year to recover. The kidney stones, the time in the hospital, the pre-eclampsia…Ugh. I’m exhausted just thinking about how exhausted I was. But in some sort of cosmic apology for all that, Caroline is still a super easy baby. She’s happy and smiley and a great nurser and a good sleeper and I’m not struggling at all the way I was when Little Evan was this age.

I guess what I’m thinking is, if I was ready for baby #2 after a year with a really difficult baby #1, how long can I possibly want to wait before having baby #3? But if baby #3 is going to be my last baby do I really want to be done having babies so soon? On the one hand, finishing up all the newborn stuff now sounds really appealing. No more diapers! A wardrobe that doesn’t involve boob-accessibility!  A child-free bedroom! On the other hand, I know my baby fever will be COMPLETELY out of control in a few years when my friends are getting pregnant and I don’t want to end up fighting with E over whether or not 4 is too many kids for us. We have not yet decided with ANY certainty how many children we’re going to have, and I know even if we did pick a number now it’s not like someone etches it in stone somewhere and I couldn’t possibly change my mind 5 years from now. But it sort of feels like I’m using up my baby allowance rather quickly. I never did learn how to save my babies. Er, pennies. No wait, babies. I think I killed that metaphor.

Now here’s the part where you unload your thoughts on child spacing and family size. You know you want to.

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34 Responses to “More, More, More”

  1. Kelsey says:

    Amen, sister! Mt first-born turned two last week and I am literally nursing a 10-day-old right this minute. Despite the fact that our older son had * severe* reflux disease, 17 ear infections in his first year (despite getting tubes after 6), and didn’t sttn until 15 months old, I want more babies, like, now-ish. Despite bed rest and pre-e, an emergency c-section, six mastitis infections with Drew, a failed VBAC and another emergency c-section with Owen, and already another mastitis infection, I am totally ready to try for my girl. Must be my fever. :)

  2. Amanda says:

    Well you know my thoughts on this one! I ::thought:: one was all we needed but then you had to go have an adorable baby and get yourself all knocked up again so now look where I am.

    The girls will be 5 years apart and I am good with that. Maddie will start school this fall so I will be home during the day with only one baby (thank goodness) which sounds good to me. We are definitely done after this one though.

    I am sure Brandon is happy to hear I will EVENTUALLY be going back to work in a few more years!

  3. Krista T says:

    The only advice that I will give you is that with E still in the Navy, don’t have more kids than you can handle all alone. This number is different for everyone – for Chris’ deployment, for me, that number was 1. I’m now ready for another – Carolyn will be almost 5 when #2 is born (I HOPE we conceive soon!). :D

    My best friends from college – one has 3 and is done, and the other has five and 1 on the way (and I STILL don’t think she’s done)!

    I think it changes for each woman/family over time. But never have more kids than you can handle all by yourself as long as there is potential for E to not be around to help for a Very Long Time, Lol!

    • bebehblog says:

      That is a really good point. One of the reasons we had these 2 so close was because of shore duty. There’s a year of that left but then it’s back to boat life and I’m not sure I’m ready to take car of 3 on my own. Thank you for the dose of reality!

      • Amanda says:

        Heck I didn’t really thing much about that either. We planned Maddie so she would be born when Brandon started shore duty. Which of course got screwed up by about 6 months. Stupid Navy. This time he is on a boat but since the keel laying isn’t until next month I don’t think he is going anywhere anytime soon!

      • MKP says:

        Ooh, that’s a really good point. More optimistic than my mom’s family’s “The Men All Leave” philosophy, but just as practical. Plus having a little more distance between Lil E and FutureBaby (sounds like s/he should have laser toys) means he can help out with either #3 or keeping Caroline entertained. One of the things my mom always says about how she spaced my brother and me (7 years) was that I was a built-in mommy’s helper from the very beginning and that made Gigantor an easy baby.

  4. Swistle says:

    Blogging is PICKING BELLYBUTTON LINT? Dude, geez. Can we at least call it “WRITING bellybutton lint”? We’re talking about, like, the way I spend my days.

    I am ALWAYS keen on baby-spacing-type discussions! I’ve boiled it down over the years to this ONE THING I think is the most important thing: starting it early enough so you have time for options.

    Another thing is not putting too big a space after the baby that COULD be the last baby. Obviously ANY baby could be, but I mean at the crucial crossroads between, say, 3 and 4, if you wait too long it’ll be too hard to imagine getting back into the newborn thing. It sounds like you’re certain you want at least 3, so I’d put the nice space NOW: waiting, say, 4 years will make an enormous (good!) difference in how the older two will be able to manage themselves when the 3rd is born, and it also makes it make sense to have a 4th soon after. But of course if you decide you don’t want a 4th, this plan isn’t so hot.

    Well, okay, I have a SECOND main important thing, and it’s that all the spacings have an equal chance of working out to be the best spacings ever. In our household we have 2-year, 4-year, 6-year, and 8-year spacings, and they all worked beautifully and/or not so well for different members of the family. So much of “what spacing works” depends on personalities of the children, and those can’t be planned for.

    • bebehblog says:

      Ahaha, OK, MY blogging is like picking belly-button lint, because no one cares if I do it or not. I just like hanging out on the internet. Blogging when it’s your job is totally legit.

  5. Audrey says:

    Chris and I started discussing #3 while I was still in the hospital recovering from my ruptured uterus. How crazy is that? But the OB said it was possible to have more, just has to be c/s. I realized a month ago that if I stick to the coarse I had originally planned I’ll be pregnant by the end of the year. And right now, with a 5 month old waking me up every 1-2 hours at night and a 2.5 year old full of energy and tantrums..that sounds exhausting. Plus I’m a little leery of how well my uterus is healing because it gets twingy during my cycle. So I’m going to space it out a little more and wait until next summer. Secretly I want our last to be a summer baby because I want nekkid newborn legs at least ONCE. Also (and this is super sekret) a few months back my friend had asked me to consider being her surrogate if things don’t go well for her. So assuming I check out for my doctors and her doctors (and she needs it, which she currently absolutely DOES NOT, HURRAY!!!) I have to factor that in there somehow.

  6. My baby fever never ended after having Jack. I still remember laying there 20 minutes after giving birth asking the doctor when I would have clearance to have another baby. Unfortunately due to some medical issues, I am still waiting for the green light from the doctor to begin trying for our second baby. :(

    My sister and I were 18 months apart, and although my Mom said that was very tough, my sister and I are very close. My other sister is 5 years younger than me, and although we are close, I don’t feel as if we are as close as my other sister and I are.

    The bottom line? You do what works for you and your family.

    I also felt the same way about having more babies right away and finishing with pregnancies all at once. I LOVE being pregnant and savor every minute, so I can’t imagine not being able to experience that again.

  7. Joanna says:

    We had absolutely zero plans of having two kids 21 months apart. In fact we had JUST decided that we would be waiting until Madison was 2 to start trying again. I don’t need to go into the particulars of babies being made but people always say they don’t understand how we could have had a surprise baby. And I guess my answer to that is we had no pregnancy for over a year without official birth control… and we never thought we’d be part of the “it only takes one mess up” club but here we are.

    Now that it’s here, we are thrilled to have them close in age and can see all the perks. I think I’m most scared because a lot of you had hard first babies and easy second babies. My first baby was easy so clearly this time around is going to kick my ass.

    Either way I can say with complete confidence that we will not have another kid until Hannah is out of diapers. Period. The plan is to get the IUD this time.

    Unless of course we have another “surprise” that no one understands as a surprise ;-)

    • bebehblog says:

      So here’s the thing about my IUD – I love it. It requires no effort. It’s super effective. I haven’t had any negative side effects – no pain, almost no spotting, no cramps. It’s like the perfect birth control.

      But because it IS so effective, I won’t end up with another “oh well let’s just see what happens” baby. I have to make a conscious choice to start trying for #3 because I have to have the doctor remove it. Then there’s a whole bunch of time to think about whether or not that’s the right choice while I wait for my appointment. And you just know that’s the week the kids I already have are going to be total terrors and I’ll end up swearing I should never have another baby. I almost wish I had just gone with the natural child spacing method we used last time (i.e. breastfeeding for a year so my period never comes back).

      It’s thoughts like that that will end with me having 12 kids.

  8. Disclaimer: I’m a crazy person. My first two will be 17mo apart, and we are adopting and I am really hoping our adopted baby and current fetus will be less than a year apart. And….then I want one or two more. I just want to do the tiny years all together and have them all less than two years apart. My hopes that they will not only be close in age, but best friends. But also, makes me lose my hair…and my mind on some days :)

    Moral of the story….I’m all about having them super close together.

  9. Natalie says:

    I want one more. I am willing to have one more within the next two years. Bill does not want an odd number of children. He feels like Olivia & Sophia are so close that the third kid will be left out in the cold. I pointed out that my sister & I are 3.5 years apart and we were close as children. He said “So what about Olivia??” Maddening, I tell you.

    I cried because “how do we know if we can afford 4 kids? That’s so many! I know I can handle 3! What if after 3 my body won’t let me have anymore???” He called me crazy and of course he wouldn’t be mad or upset if I couldn’t have anymore after 3, but he can’t go into having another child without the plan on the table that we are going to have two more. Even if things don’t go as planned.

    I am glad I had my girls so close together. They are WONDERFUL together, but I wonder if I could do two so close together with two older kids around. Time will tell, I guess.

    But with my health stuff, 2011 will NOT be my year. I would love to be done procreating by my 35th birthday.

    I guess a magic crystal ball would be awesome to have, but…I’m taking all of this one day at a time.

  10. Robyn says:

    I hear you on the baby allowance. My DH only wants one more, so i keep thinking i should save it for a while…i dont’ want my baby days to pass too quickly…

  11. Can I just tell you that I’ve scheduled AND CANCELLED a Vesectomy THREE TIMES NOW?!

    Trust me, you’re not alone.

  12. Emmie Bee says:

    I know I’m not done. But I can’t say when we’ll get around to it. Each month I literally worry and hope that my period will show up so I know we aren’t ready. More than 3 in diapers is probably sick. As for planning- the only thing we ever discussed is trying for Hudson. We never discussed sibling placement or even if we wanted more kids. So for us it will just happen if & when it happens. And hopefully not too soon. Because we have no where to put another kid & we will probably be stuck here for a while! Though, I do want Sawyer to have a little sister- so my plan is one more girl- even if I have to have a few more boys to get her.

  13. Abby says:

    One other thing to think about is that you haven’t yet entered the joyous “fighting like cats and dogs” stage. Once the baby gets to be about 18 months and has more of an, ahem, opinion about things, the fighting shall ensue. I would say that waiting until you see what having two KIDS (instead of a kid and an infant) is like before trying for #3 may be wise. BUT! I also know that we are finished having babies, so take that bit of assive for what it’s worth. Do what works for you! I loved the 3 year age gap, though.

  14. Mama Fisch says:

    Let’s be honest. There is not perfect time to get pregnant, to have #2, or #20. I kept telling myself two years a part would be perfect. So, after trying for 6 months for Brady we ditched the BCP early thinking it would take some time and decided to see what happens. We look at each other once :wink wink: and bam, pregnant with #2. They will be 22 months a part. Perfect…no but I am good with it.
    Spacing for me is about school. I want my kids two years a part in school. I want to only pay double college tuition for two years but not feel like I am paying tuition for 20 years.
    I am 100% confident that we are done. 2 kids, 2 years a part equals done. Once I leave diapers I am done with diapers. That has been my statement all along!
    Does this mean since my first was so great that #2 will be the devil?

  15. molly says:

    Oh dear, if I wrote everything that I have thought and re-thought on this topic your blog might explode. It just couldn’t take the constant changing of my mind.

    Our second baby was a huge surprise. HUGE. I was on birth control but I had taken about 3 antibiotics to get over an undiagnosed medical issue and bam – I was knocked up right after Landon’s 1st birthday. I had a panic attack when I saw those two pink lines. DH and I were in shock for the entire first trimester and I suffered from a terrible case of antenatal depression, for which I had to medicate myself during pregnancy to get over.

    So um, yeah, as you can see I didn’t take the whole surprise thing very well. I was anxious the entire time I was pregnant. I didn’t get excited and happy about it until the 3rd trimester. But that was the depression talking. I love Brigham more than words could ever express and his birthday was one of the best days of my life. I told DH that this would be my last. We even spent a lot of money on maternity photos because I wanted good photos of my last baby belly ever.

    But I’ve been going back and forth ever since. Everyone in my family assumes I am done because I told them I was. As if I cannot change my mind. Then there are a lot of people who assume we will try for a girl because heaven forbid I live a life with no daughter! Two boys is just awful, right? ::eye roll::

    If (and that is a big IF) we decide to have a third baby it will be because I have discovered that I love babies and I love being a mom. If we had the funds and/or time to continue procreating I would go all Duggar on this world.

    My husband seems done at 2. But then he won’t get a vasectomy so who knows. I’m not even on birth control. We’re dumb, I know. I could seriously get pregnant at any time except for the fact that I haven’t had a period in 2 months (yes, I’ve tested. no, I’m not pregnant).

    Hmmmm. So I don’t know if this has helped at all. Except to rid me of some verbal diarrhea that I’ve had stuck in my head for a long time.

    It’s quite confusing, really. I thought I would “feel” done. It’s so strange that I don’t. It feels like there is room for one more, ya know? I just have so much love to give.

    • bebehblog says:

      We actually have names picked out for another boy AND another girl, so I don’t think I’ll feel “done” until we use them. Which makes me think we’ll end up with at least 4. And if that’s the case, then I should create a gap now, so Evan and Caroline are close and then babies #3 and #4 are close. But I also feel like the younger I am when I have kids the better it is for everyone, health and chance-of-birth-defects-wise.

      I wonder if people really do feel 100% DONE? Because I’ve seen people make that choice but never without a lot of hemming and hawing.

      • Rachel Inbar says:

        I also wondered if anyone ever feels done and especially if I could ever feel done, but it actually happened to me.
        I had kid #1 after 3 years of infertility at 24; then twins at 27. I got divorced after a last miscarriage (because I was always missing that 4th baby) and then got remarried at 34. We had our first baby 5 days before our first anniversary, immediately wanted another – she was born 6 days after our second anniversary and was a really difficult baby – allergic to *everything*, even my breastmilk. We waited until she was 15 months to get pregnant with the next one, who was born just before our 4th anniversary, right before I turned 39.

        I’m actually done and happy about it. I’m happy for anyone else who’s having a baby now & really happy that it isn’t me… then again, I hope that sometime in the next decade my older kids will start having kids…

        We knew before we got pregnant with the last that he would be the last and have felt fine with that decision. Our youngest recently turned 3.

  16. Kimberly says:

    This has been a HUGE topic of conversation in our house,and I’m going to try not to vomit it all over your blog. O is 5 months old, which is how old JD was when we started trying. One part of me can’t imagine getting pregnant again so soon and desperately wants a time when I am not preggo or nursing! But the other part knows I want more babies and already feels like O is growing up too fast, and I’m not getting any younger. (As I’m typing, JD is hugging and kissing O which is making my uterus explode.) We’ve agreed that we will have at least 3- maybe 4, and we would like to be done by the time I’m 35. Most recently hubby said he thinks 2 years between O & future baby would be nice. The biggest issue for me is work. As of now I’m supposed to report back in Sept. 2012- 1 month shy of O’s 2nd b-day. I love my job, but I don’t want it to get in the way of our family- but I love my job. arrrrggg Part of me wants them to eliminate my position so there is no decision to make, and I can just stay home and have babies :)

  17. i think the closer the better. i mean, it’s gonna suck for a few years but once they’re all out of diapers how much fun will it be? lots & lots. we hope to have 1-2 more, roughly two years apart. i just wanna crank ’em out while i’m hot & then be DONE. good luck! :)

  18. Leah says:

    As someone in her 34th week, let me just say, “IUD! IUD! IUD!” I am at the just so uncomfortable I am never doing this again point. This may change of course.

    One thing to think of, the more kids you have in college at the same time, the more federal financial aid your family will be eligible for. I am fairly certain this was the only way my parents were able to send all 4 of us to school without us all being under mountains of debt. My sibs and I are just over 5 years apart from start to finish so now we just have small debt hills.

  19. Denae says:

    I think you should have as many children as you want as you want them. Personally we are thinking 2 years apart, 3 or 4 as we can afford them. Hubby would love more. If we can feed another mouth, my va-jay-jay hasnt fallen out, and I want to be pregnant again we will probably have 5+. I really dont want to have more than I can fit in a single easy to find car/minivan. So max 6? Ideally I would love to be in a home I own before the next comes. We will see. Renting is still doable for now.

    • Denae says:

      To note: I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and not very uncomfortable. However, I am not the girl that loves being pregnant. Babies, yes, I love babies. IMHO pregnancy is overrated and other than the first trimester from hell – its been an easy ride.

  20. Our planning for NB (next baby, as the savings account for that baby is lovingly named) came down to “I want the baby part all over with”

    I want to be done with diapers. I want to be done with worrying and thinking about the milestones. I want to be done with waking up in the middle of the night (for a bottle or even a pacifier that got away) I want to get that part out of the way. Maybe that’s because my experience with a baby wasn’t great. But I just want to get it over with. And I know I want at least one more (and probably only one more). So I won’t be popping a baby out in 2011…but hopefully the same won’t be said of 2012!

  21. Brigid Keely says:

    I’m 32. When I was younger, I fully planned to have all my baby having done by the time I was thirty. I had my first kid when I was 30. HA HA ZIIIIIING BEST LAID PLANS! Nesko and I would really like to have more than 1 kid. He’s the oldest of five, I’m the oldest of 3, big families are a tradition in his neck of the woods. But time is literally running out for us (I’m done at 35. One of us is getting fixed at that point.), and I have PCOS, endometriotis, and uterine fibroids. Can I even get pregnant again? If I do, will I be able to sustain the pregnancy? (my personal uterus history says HA HA MAYBE?). It’s something we grapple with! I go through stages where I really want another baby, especially a girl, and stages where I’m totally fine with what we have and I OMG when will we be done with diapers?

    Maaaaaan, it’s hard.

  22. Julie S. says:

    Once Brayden (now 20 months) started to be a little more independent, we decided that it would be a good time to start trying. Little did we know that when I went off the pill at the end of December that we would find out I was pregnant with #2 on January 28th. Definitely didn’t see that coming, but we feel so blessed. The kiddos will be 2 years 4 months apart, and for us, that kind of spacing will be perfect. It is definitely different for everyone- and I know this won’t be it for us. It then becomes a matter of juggling preschool (ACK!) with a newborn and all the fun in between! However, it must be noted that I warned my husband not to speak of another baby until Brayden was at least one. The thought before then terrified me. I am still nervous about getting Brayden into his big boy room and starting potty training but in time, that will all run its course. Hopefully.

  23. Mrs. Blur says:

    We just had number 1 in December. I miss being pregnant but in no way want to get pregnant right now. DH sais he’s fine with what we have now (our little man) I am NOT done by any means- I want 3. And I def. want a girl and will have up to three to get one…that being said Im only 21 right now and I dont want to rush my baby having days either. Dh is 25, I’d like to be done having kids by the time im 30, we’re (well I am) planning on ditching the birth control on our little guys 2nd birthday so that our kids are at most 2.9 years apart. The only reason i’ve decided that is because my neice was 3 when we had little one and shes been a good helper and can entertain herself and gets really excited about her “cuzin” :) Also that gives me plenty of time to get this one potty trained while baking the second

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