Well we've reached that point again in our parenting journey, a place we've been before, a spot that seems oh so familiar. And yet its different this time. This life altering intersection that every parent comes to when they are asked this question by well meaning friends, family and yes, perfect strangers. You look at your significant other and you can tell they are thinking the same thing, "do we want to have another baby?"
The first time I asked myself that question I was laying in a hospital bed staring at my beautiful, brand new baby girl I had just given birth to. Yes, not even an hour after pushing a decent sized 7 lb. 13 oz. baby into the world, I turned to Andrew and confidently said "I could do this again." I knew I wanted to provide my daughter with a life-long friend...a little brother or sister with whom she could share secrets and hopes and dreams. Or torment and gang up on. I have 10 younger siblings, I know how this works. But I knew right away that I wanted that for her. In the following months, I agonized about the right time to start trying for a second. It took us about 5 - 6 months to get pregnant with Lily and knowing that I wanted them to be about 2 years apart I calculated many times the "correct" time to start trying. Sibling spacing issues aside, I also wanted to make sure I was able to enjoy Lily's baby time for as long as possible. I mean, here was my first child. I didn't want to deprive myself of the joy of watching her discover her world with no interruptions. I loved watching her grow out of her babyness into toddler hood and that she got to do it with her two parents right there by her side giving her their complete attention, meant a lot. So, for me, it was a bit of a tough decision to make to decide when it felt right to bring another little one into our world.
But when she was about 15 to 16 months old we decided there was no better time than the present and we got pregnant with her little brother pretty much right away.
And now here we are, our second is 16 months old and I'm contemplating whether we should start trying for a third little one. Some of those well meaning people think we should stop at 2, since as they put it, we have the "Million Dollar Family" (I had to google what that meant when I first heard it). I always thought it was almost selfish in a way to stop at two. Becoming a mom one day was a big priority for me when I was young. I didn't need some fancy life with lots of trips to exotic places or a large, expensive house. Because apparently the younger me thought you can only afford to take exotic vacations when you have one or two kids! lol I guess I always thought you had to chose one or the other. Now that isn't necessarily true though it certainly is a little more challenging financially and logistically. But we've managed to sneak in a few lovely trips both locally and nationwide since having kids and I don't plan on stopping if we have more.
So like I mentioned before, this time it feels different. I don't have such an all consuming desire to have another baby like I did after having Lily. I'm really enjoying having two for so many varied reasons.
In no particular order:
Its so easy to manage two both by myself and with Andrew. We go to church and he drops Lily and I off at the door. I go with her to her class while he parks the car and then carries Reuben to his class. One child for each parent. Simple. Even on my own its manageable thanks to my two hands that can each grab a kid. If I had three kids I'd have to grow another arm!
And good ol' finances. We're not in a great position to add another to the brood quite yet. We're getting there but its going slowly. Obviously its less expensive with two versus three.
I'm also not in such a hurry for more...selfish reasons too. I'm enjoying being back in shape and I look forward to a day when I can ditch the nursing bra and wear a shirt that I don't have to think "can I breastfeed in this?" before putting on. Of course if Reuben is anything like his sister that day may never come...
But then there are those moments when you're rocking and nursing your youngest to sleep and he's cuddled into you all long arms and legs and you look at him and you think back to what it was like holding a soft, tiny newborn and you start to feel that itch. It may be fleeting but it was there and you can't just brush it aside. Or when you're cleaning out a closet and you find a pile of baby clothes you forgot to pack away and you wonder if they will ever be worn again. Yeah, that has started to happen a lot recently.
So I've come to the conclusion, those who want to know, that I'm happy with our two...for now anyway. Who knows, give me a few months, the rate Reuben's growing I'll probably be longing for a baby to hold in my arms again. One that can actually fit in my arms.