My youngest child is about seven months old. We are closer to her first birthday than we are to the day she was born! And I am starting to be asked the questions, “Do you think you’ll have another baby? When will you start trying again?” Part of me is a little annoyed when I am asked this type of question. First of all, what happens in my uterus is nobody’s business. I find it a very intrusive and inappropriate question. And secondly, I still think of my baby as just having made her appearance. It would be absurd to be thinking of conceiving again, right?
While part of me is annoyed, another part, a quiet but persistent part, has been considering the idea.
When should I have another baby?
There are so many factors to consider in expanding your family. Here are a few of the reasons tugging on my heart to get pregnant again.
Our life is built for babies.
My life is chaos. Regardless of the occasional mental break down, I love it and am comfortable with it. The baby stuff in already out. We plan our lives around nap time. What is one more baby?
I want my babies to be close in age.
It is such a deep desire of mine for my children to have a close relationship. My sister and I are almost five years apart. Because of this large age gap, it was difficult for us to relate to one another until adulthood. We are now the best of friends, but it would have been nice to have a built-in best friend during childhood.
I just want another baby.
There is an irrational, biological ache in me to have another baby. My little girl no longer falls asleep in my arms – she prefers to be alone in her crib. My son speaks little a miniature adult and becomes more autonomous every day. I miss the absolute dependence that newborns have on their mommies. (Remind me I said that next time I am in the weeds of the newborn stage.)
Now, I know that conceiving another child seven months postpartum is not recommended by the medical community. In addition, I think it would be really nice to take a break between nursing and pregnancy, and to have a few months of restful sleep. I am not yet ready.
But when is the best time to have another baby?
I have been really thinking about the different factors that go into the decision to have baby number two (or three, or four, or five). Ultimately, I make decisions based on my gut, and right now, it doesn’t feel like the right time. Here are the factors that are playing into the decision to wait.
I want to give my baby the chance to be my baby.
Because she is my second, she will never have the undivided attention and doting that I was able to provide my first. I can’t play with her one-on-one, unless my oldest is sleeping. When I nurse her, it is rarely peaceful time of connection I experienced with my son. Sometimes it is, and I treasure those moments. But many other times, it is purely for the sake of her nutrition, and is done while I pay bills on my phone, read to my toddler, or even eat lunch.
My second baby has enough competition for my attention. I don’t want to add any more.
I want to have more time to heal and strengthen my body.
There is still weight for me to lose. Baby weight is hard enough to shed. I don’t want to have to lose more than one baby’s baby weight. It is also so important to be physically strong before pregnancy and maintain that strength throughout. A strong core supports you, and a strong lower body is vital for labor and delivery. I am not yet where I would like to be in my level of fitness, so it is not yet time to start trying.
It would be too hard on my body.
My daughter is not sleeping through the night consistently. Actually, it is a rarity. Pregnancy, for me, has meant extreme exhaustion for the first trimester, and moderate fatigue for the rest. If I were to get pregnant right now, I would not be able to rest the way I need to.
I am also breastfeeding round the clock. It would be too much to have to worry about my nutrition of my daughter, myself, and an unborn baby. If my next pregnancy is similar to my first two, I will have morning sickness and daily bouts of vomiting, making it more difficult to breastfeed and near impossible to care for my own nutritional needs.
I want/need a break in between.
My son started sleeping through the night consistently at around twelve months (hold the gasps, please), and nursed for eighteen months. My husband and I started trying almost immediately after my son stopped nursing and I was pregnant with my daughter two months later. Those two months were filled with fun couple time for my husband and I. We took a vacation had some drinks and enjoyed each other. It was nice to spend time with my husband without being attached to a breast pump or being plagued by the discomfort of pregnancy. I am looking forward to having that time with him again.
But. . . The Thought is Still Weighing Heavily On My Mind
So I know it won’t be long. My husband and I will know when it is time to add a new baby to our family, just like we did before. And one day, we will know when our family is complete. For now, the ache of wanting a new baby continues to grow from a flicker to a flame. When I am asked, “When will you have another?” I don’t have a specific answer. But I know we will, and I am excited for that.