Friday, July 8, 2011

Thoughts on Second Kids

With Krew being over a year old and friends all around us popping out their second (or third) kids, I've been asked countless times lately about when Dave and I plan on having another.  Sometimes people just flat out ask, sometimes they shuffle it into the conversation as a suggestion ("Krew's so sweet, don't you want another?"), sometimes they just say something along the lines of "I keep waiting to hear that you have another on the way!"

See the thing is, I'm really wishy-washy about this whole second child thing.  Some days I think to myself, Yeah, we should have another kid now!  Many other days I think, No way I want to go through that all again and add another responsibility to my life.  I love my little boy so much, and I'm finally starting to adjust to mommahood.  I don't know if I want things to change again.  Yes, I know I would love another child dearly, just as much as I love Krew.  If I did happen to get pregnant right now, I would embrace it and feel joy.   But I'm just not at the point where I'm ready to purposely make the decision to bring another baby into our lives.

Being pregnant was hard.  Much more difficult than I expected, much more difficult than it seemed for my pregnant friends around me.  I honestly hated it.  I was nauseous and I felt large and bloated.  I was unable to wear my normal pants and shorts starting at five (yes, FIVE!) weeks along.  (Some women don't even know they're pregnant at that point!)  My hips ached to the point where I couldn't walk without grimacing.  I'd wake up in the middle of the night to my bladder feeling tied up in knots or to calf muscle cramps that made me want to scream.  I had restless legs sydrome and couldn't fall asleep at night because I would have irresistible urges to thrash my legs.  I had acid reflux that would burn my throat and make me gag.  My chest (to use the more web-appropriate word) was so painful at times that I would want to cry when the shower water hit it.  Krew liked to kick a certain part of my belly so much that it felt like I had a giant ulcer in that place.  I was unable to wear many of my shoes and socks because my feet and ankles swelled so much.  I couldn't wear half the maternity pants I was given because their elastic bands made me nauseous when they pressed on my belly.  I had an abnormally large number of Braxton Hicks contractions and was restricted from exercising for the last two months of my pregnancy.  I was emotional.  I was hungry 24/7.  I gained too much weight (according to the docs).  My belly was larger than average.  I felt gigantic.  I missed my normal clothes and felt unattractive the entire nine months.

Then there was the labor.  A horrible, horrible labor.  In all honestly, probably one of the worst experiences of my life.  I did not know that pain that severe existed.  It seems that it shouldn't.  I remember praying to God, "Why do You even allow physical pain this horrible???"  (I'll have to share my labor story at a later point.  The basics are that I tried to go without an epidural and Krew got stuck and my labor stalled and I was held in the most painful part of labor for hours before I finally got an epidural - and I can honestly say that if epidurals didn't exist I would NOT be having another child.)

Then postpartum depression.  Most definitely the worst couple weeks of my life.  I've been recently reading a book about a suicidal girl, and everything she says makes so much sense to me.  It makes me sick to my stomach as memories come flooding back.

Since getting past the depression, things haven't been as difficult.  But they haven't been easy.  I know I may give the impression that I have it all together in this blog, but trust me, I don't.  I am so overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything.  I can never seem to keep everything in sync.  Working four days per week, taking care of Krew, seeing friends, spending quality time with my hubby, visiting family, blogging, photography, Bible study on Tuesday nights, life group on Wednesday nights, traveling for frisbee throughout the summer, working out, reading my Bible, laundry, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, growing a garden, taking care of the yard, attending church, volunteering at church, coupons, grocery shopping, taking care of our dogs, planning activities with neighbors...I'm just exhausted.  If I fit one item into my schedule, another seems to fall by the wayside.  I'll finally start cooking healthy meals, but exercising will completely disappear from my life.  I'll finally get my pictures updated, but to do so I'll stay up late and be unable to get up in the morning to do my Bible reading.  I'll finally spend time outdoors getting our yard in shape, but then the house will be in shambles.

Don't get me wrong, I love my child to pieces, and I would never choose to go back to the way things were pre-baby.  He has brightened my life in oh-so-many ways.  And many, if not most, of the responsibilities above existed even before he was born.  But wow were they a lot easier to manage back then.  A child takes SOOOO much time.  So so so much time.  And energy.  We have to get him up in the mornings, feed him, change his diaper, dress him, and take care of him while we get ready for work.  We have to pack a diaper bag, and oftentimes a pack n' play with all his sleeping necessities, every time we leave the house.  We have to take him to daycare and pick him back up after work.  He needs doctors appointments, he gets sick and we have to stay home from work, sometimes all he wants is to be held.  We have to feed him, bathe him, and play with him in the evenings.  Any chore that we want to work on, we have to somehow manage while also entertaining him, unless he happens to be taking a nap or be in bed for the night.  Everything we do takes ten times as long as it used to.

And now, you ask me if I want to add another child to this???  You must be out of your everloving mind.

I mean, yes, I love babies.  I have definitely had many moments lately where I've thought, awww I want a baby again.  I also want Krew to have a sibling, and I want them to be close enough in age to play together.  But then I'll have a super stressful day or night, Krew will be screaming and I'll be sick and exhausted, the house will be a mess and we'll be out of dog food while the dogs are staring at me starving, no meal will be planned and my hungry husband will be home any moment, laundry will be piled everywhere and Krew will have no milk in the fridge, the lawn will need to be mowed and there will be a stack of unopened mail on the table, and I'll think to myself that there's absolutely no reason I should purposely add more responsibility to my life right now.

I've decided that I am just not cut out for the multiple-children lifestyle.  Most definitely not three or four.  I have no idea how you multiple-children mommas do it.  (And to my mom - FOUR + OTHERS?? SERIOUSLY??)

Do I plan on having another kid?  Eventually.  Once I convince myself to take the jump, and once Dave is ready too.  But I'm scared and nervous, because I know it's going to be a train wreck.  Part of me just wants to get it over with, the other feels like I should wait till I feel in control of my current responsibilities before adding another.  But will that point ever come?  Will I ever feel in control?  I'm thinking not.

So there you have it.  My rambling thoughts on having a second child.  Do I ever have the urge?  Yes.  But am I ready to take the plunge?  No.  At this point I'm just praying and waiting on a go-ahead signal from God, and it hasn't happened yet.  God knows what Dave and I can handle, He knows the right timing.  And He hasn't given me any signs that now is the time yet.  So for now, I'm afraid all you anxious friends and family and acquaintances will just have to hold your horses and wait.  Because this mom just isn't quite ready.  And when (and if) Dave and God and I decide the timing is right, you will know. :)

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