As Liam rapidly approaches his first birthday, Mr. TTT and I have been talking about when we might want to have another baby. We’ve always known we wanted more than one child, so the question hasn’t been if, but when. At first, it seemed like an easy decision to make – we’d try to get pregnant this coming summer, putting me on a similar maternity leave schedule which gives me an extra two months with summer break from school. This would put our children about two years apart, which is an ideal age gap in Mr. TTT’s mind. He and his sister are a little less than two years apart and he has fond memories of growing up with a sibling close in age. However, as we think about it more and more, it isn’t so simple.
The first thing to consider is the fact that we may have trouble conceiving again. It took a little over a year for us to get pregnant the first time and we conceived twice on clomid, but lost the first pregnancy very early. I had hopes that a successful pregnancy would sort of reset my system and help my fertility, but I still haven’t started my cycle yet. I am still breastfeeding, but Liam has been sleeping through the night since he was 4.5 months old, except for a couple nights here or there, and usually nursing moms begin their cycles once their babies sleep longer stretches at night. Since I still haven’t started mine, I suspect I’ll have similar issues when we try to get pregnant again.
I spoke to my doctor about this and told him of my plan to very slowly wean Liam – I’d like to stop pumping at work when he’s one, but continue breastfeeding in the morning and at night for as long as we’re both enjoying it. My doctor said that I had two choices. First, I could completely wean him at one year and see if my body goes on a “normal” cycle on its own. If it didn’t, I could take medication to bring on my period and then do clomid again when we were ready to try for baby number two. The other choice would be to continue nursing at morning and night and put off the baby plan until Liam completely weaned (unless I started my cycle while still nursing and got pregnant, which is also a possibility). He said I can’t take any medication while nursing (which makes sense), so now I’m considering weaning at a year, earlier than I originally planned.
Another thing to consider is my weight. I’m finally at the point where I’m comfortable in my skin again and pretty happy with my post-baby body. I’d like to be able to experience a summer where I feel confident going out in public in a swim suit, which hasn’t been the case for the past two years. If I get pregnant this summer, that would make four years of feeling bad about myself in a bathing suit. In addition, if I continued breastfeeding I would be burning extra calories, which helps with my body image (and food-loving tendencies).
Lastly, I’m not sure I’m really ready to introduce a new member to our little family of three. I can’t imagine dividing my attention between a toddler and newborn, and I don’t want to feel like I’m cheating on Liam with the new baby – this is how my aunt described feeling when she had two boys less than two years apart. I’m enjoying him so much and I don’t know if I’m ready to rock his world by giving him a sibling quite yet.
Of course, all of this is ultimately out of our hands. We can make a plan and try to control things, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life has its own plan and it’s usually better than the one I try to come up with. For now, I’m trying my hardest to just go with the flow and not worry about what will happen next month or next year. Liam is already starting to decrease his bottles and nursing sessions on his own, so maybe he will wean on his own much earlier than I expect. And maybe he won’t, which is ok, too. I’ll just try to take each day as it comes and appreciate my time with Liam as my only baby.
What factors did you consider when thinking about trying for a second baby?