To have another or not to have another? That is the question. That is what I am thinking about as Rosh Hashanah approaches. Not about apples and honey and atoning for all my lashon hara the past year, but is it time to have another baby?
Thankfully, I got knocked up easily the first time around. I don’t take it for granted that at 33 I became pregnant our second month of trying. Isn’t it ironic how much of our 20s we try NOT to get pregnant? Then when we start trying in our thirties, it’s not quite as easy as my high school health teacher made it seem. I remember Mr. Putnam saying if there was any semen within five feet of your vagina, there was a chance you could get pregnant. If we do have another one, I pray that it is as easy to get pregnant the second time around.
Our first conversation about baby #2 was on a dinner date. We’d signed our mortgage loan papers for our first home and pretty much every dollar of our savings account was now written out in a big check for the down payment. We were going out to celebrate. I was unemployed and under-insured, but was feeling confident that I would be getting a job with benefits soon, so maybe we should start family planning again. When I causally asked my life-partner, “So when do you think we should have another baby?” and he said maybe we shouldn’t, I was a bit taken a back.
Perhaps I exclaimed, “What the f*ck?!?!?”
I have a sister. My husband has a brother. I am pretty sure we had conversations before we got engaged and married about how we would have two kids. When I was pregnant and we discussed names for our baby, we had girl names and boy names, and I am pretty sure we said we could always save the boy/girl name we didn’t end up using for the next one, if it was the opposite gender. So I was a bit surprised when my husband said maybe we should just stick with one.
I get it. One is already a lot of work and a LOT of money. Day care, summer camp, plane tickets, braces, college! We haven’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep in nearly two years. Do we really want to sign on for another round of birthing, diapering, potty training, and another b’nai mitzvah?
I am glad that we have been able to fully enjoy our first child and definitely do not feel rushed to have a second. Perhaps we can time it right so we are only paying for day care for two kids at the same time for a minimal amount of time before Charlotte starts kindergarten. As my good friend Ellen said (she had her kids in her late 20s) it’s never a good time to have kids, but just have them! I definitely don’t want finances to be a reason we don’t have another child.
Our daughter is amazing; I know we would make an awesome sister or brother for her. I want to be pregnant again and bring another little creature into our lives. I think siblings are very important to everyone’s sanity in a family. My relationship with my sister is like having a best friend, plus. I want Charlotte to have a brother or sister who she can commiserate with about her crazy parents. I know I will never regret having another baby, but I think I might regret not having one more. Of course my husband says the discussion is open and this time around we should give more thought to when and why, which can only be a good thing. We’ll just have to wait and see what gets written in the book for this year. Or maybe I’ll just poke a hole in my diaphragm*.
*Totally just kidding. First of all, I don’t use a diaphragm, does anyone? Is it 1976? And I promise I would never ever try to get pregnant without my husband’s full consent, but I understand now why a woman might. Not that it makes it OK.