From the start, we have wanted to add another kiddo to our family. We didn’t have an exact date in mind, but we knew we’d do it, and that barring unforeseen fertility issues, I would carry. After the first year of parenting, with all of its sleep deprivation, I was hard-pressed to imagine adding another baby. And as year #2 progressed, I still felt like we weren’t ready. Jaybird took a loooong time to sleep through the night, Uno had just started a new job, etc. Plus, I was raised in a big family with siblings spaced closely together, and I worried about Jaybird feeling crowded out. My childhood was marked by a real competition for my mom’s attention.
It was really after his second birthday that it started to feel more possible. As he became more independent, and as we felt more settled in our new city and lives, we both started to imagine our next baby. But we hadn’t stored any vials, and his donor was sold out, so we thought we’d have to start the long search for another donor… Until the bank emailed to say that two vials had become available! It was an act-now-or-lose-your-chance moment. We bought them. Then it happened again: three more vials, a couple of months later. We put those on the credit card too, and voila, suddenly we had five vials.
We’ve paid for storage through March. So much to do! We must find an RE. I must get hormone levels and such tested, and would like to do that through my regular doc, as my insurance doesn’t cover fertility. I have tracked my cycles the last six months or so, but I haven’t ever paid THAT much attention. It’s such a new world for me, even though I saw Uno go through it and supported her all the while. I feel like I don’t know ANYthing about my body. I’m looking at myself in the mirror thinking, hello, uterus, are you in there? How about you, ovaries? What’s up? Everything ok?
We all know how long this process can take. How nerve-wracking and heartbreaking it can be. How each TWW is such an eternity. Are we ready? How long will it take? We have just five vials and that makes me nervous. Then again, we know a lot more now. We know not to bother with unmedicated cycles, for instance …
Whew. The readiness question. It’s not just about the physical and financial issues, obviously. We do feel ready, emotionally, for another little being. There’s room in our family, our home, our hearts, and our lovely king-size bed (aaah, co-sleeping will be so much easier). I worry that we’re too stressed and busy, though. I’m trying to figure out a career and a pregnancy / infant period doesn’t exactly make that any smoother. I already feel like I don’t have enough time to write. Mainly, I worry we don’t sit down enough, take breathers, that we’re always checking things off of to-do lists, and that a new baby will send us into overload.
Also, I don’t know HOW in the hell I will give up caffeine. I’m telling you. No idea.
And what will it be like, switching roles? Uno loved pregnancy and nursing; will she be jealous? Will I be as good at it as she is and was? A new person is a monumental change; our family will go through growing pains, I’m sure. I want to safeguard my bond with Jaybird, and worry about how all the hours with and physical needs of an infant will affect us.
But: we are so excited. Uno and I discuss it … oh … EVERY SINGLE DAY. Jaybird pats my belly and talks about putting a baby in there. We toss out name ideas. Our families are chomping at the bit. My cousin is trying right now and it’d be wonderful to have babies at the same time-ish. My mom just bought Jaybird a board book called “My New Sister.” (Hoping much?) I sense this second child out there, waiting for us.
I feel myself preparing. It’s mainly mental. I am craving calm. I’m trying a new mindfulness practice when I can, sort of combined with writing. It has been wonderful and weird, in that I find the quiet breathing for five minutes opens up an emotional minefield and sometimes I just cry. Don’t worry, I’m not losing my mind – I think I’m trying to find it. I want to get back into therapy. I feel protective of my sleep, my family’s down time, and my own space.
I’m so much less tolerant of bullshit lately. For instance, I’m working with a really difficult, demanding collaborator on a commissioned piece). And I’m so ready to just cut him out of my life. I DO NOT NEED THIS. Fortunately, we only have one more round of revisions. I think I can, I think I can … I think I need more meditation. Breathe in the world, breathe out your thoughts of wanting to punch a certain someone in the face.
I also have this grant wherein I’m supposed to be working on my novel, and I’m sad all the time that I don’t have time for it. It’s my other baby. But the idea of adding child #2 doesn’t scare me in that regard; I just want to work on both babies, to be with my kissable son, my smart, funny wife. It’s all the other stuff I want GONE. That collaborator and the related project. My students, all of them, augh. Not really. But kind of.
I write this and ask myself once again: are we ready?
I think so.