I’ve got #2 on the brain. Not that number two. I’m talking baby number two. It’s not a coincidence because lately it seems everyone is wondering if I’ll have a second baby. I find this questioning only slightly less invasive than having my belly felt up when I was pregnant. D2 turns two in November and whenever anyone asks me how old he is, it’s always followed up with, “So are you going to give him a little brother or sister?” Last week at the salon my stylist put it much more bluntly, “So what’s the story, are we having a second baby or what?” *Gulp. Silence.* Heads swivled to look at me as I choked out the standard “We’re practicing!”line. Sheesh. What do I say to such a personal question? My uterus has barely snapped back into place and already the questions are flying.
I’ve been saying that we really would like to give D2 a sibling if we can. Actually, I sort of feel that we are obligated to do so because we are older parents. When D2 turns 20 we’ll be 60. When he’s 40 we’ll be …. oh God, I don’t even want to think about it. This sounds morbid but I fear that we’ll die and leave him alone while he’s still a relatively young man.
I think about my anxiety over possibly having another miscarriage, which I experienced before I had D2. It’s a tough emotional journey that many women don’t talk about – and it’s exceedingly common. I think about the letters AMA (Advanced Maternal Age) that will be scrawled across my chart that let everyone know at the OB/GYN that you are officially past your prime but some how your eggs have managed to hang on for the last call at the bar. (Quick side bar: Ignore the B.S. lies you read in tabloids about 40 something celebrities and their claims they got pregnant “naturally” even though they are pumping out fraternal twins at alarming rates. There is no f@$*^!g way. Not Judging. Just saying.)
I think of all of the pros and cons of having a second child. On the pro side I think about:
- D2 won’t grow up an only child and will have a sibling for friendship and company;
- having my first child at age 40 has meant that I am a more centered, focused and mature mother which has been good for D2;
- how I ‘m obsessed with my son and a second child will ensure I won’t smother D2 to death if I have another child to dote on;
- having children exponentially opens your heart to wanting more;
- how kids are just so much darn fun and Dr. D and I are having the time of our lives with D2;
- how much I loved breastfeeding even though it was hell on my boobs.
On the Con side I think about:
- whether I can love a second child as much as my first (I think I can but I worry about it);
- whether I actually have any good eggs left to conceive (My OB seems to still think I’m in the Green Zone);
- how pregnancy and recovering from pregnancy is pure hell on a post-40 body (my C-section scar still hurts);
- the fact that Dr. D and I are exhausted already with one toddler, can we really do two children under 5?
- taking three months off for maternity leave and the anxiety and paranoia it caused me.
- having two kids in college at the same time. Enough said.
All that said, I absolutely love being a mother and D2 is the single best thing that has happened in my life. I am thrilled watching him achieve all of the little milestones and yet also sad because it’s going so fast. I take in every day and am grateful for it. Even on my worst days, I really wouldn’t mind doing it all again.
So yeah, we are going to go for it. It’s not going to be easy. I know the statistics on getting pregnant after 40. But I choose to mainly focus on the positive; I’m in great shape and have a positive mental outlook. We’ll see if luck and the fertility gods are on our side. In the meantime, the next time someone asks me if I’m going to have number two I’ll just smile and say, “We’re practicing.”