meeting my baby brother at the hospital (I'm just under 2 years old; my Dad is not yet 29)
How do you know if you're ready to have another baby? Or if you even want another baby? I've been feeling the weight of this question a lot lately, and not only because Lorelei just turned one. It suddenly seems like everyone I know is pregnant, both in the blogosphere and in the real world, and I've been seeing lots of posts about having two from people like Kristin, Nicole via Taza, and Teresa. There are a million opinions out there about how to time your pregnancies so your children are spaced apart perfectly -- whether that's 2.5 years or 5 -- but it seems like the primary suggestion from everyone is this: you'll know you're ready when you start having baby fever again.
But what if you never had baby fever in the first place?
My pregnancy with Lorelei was largely the result of methodical, logical family planning on our part. Jason and I wanted to be married for five years and with grad school completely behind us before we started thinking about having children. Once that milestone was reached, we had several months of conversations about timing based on his tenure clock, some health issues I have, and our ages. We also weighed the pros and cons of a childless life versus one with kids and tried to imagine our futures with both outcomes.
We finally decided that, even though neither of us felt totally ready to have a baby right now, we always imagined ourselves as a family rather than just a couple, and it'd be better to start sooner rather than later so that, if we had fertility issues, we'd have plenty of time to sort them out. I spent three months charting my cycles, taking prenatals, cutting out caffeine and alcohol, exercising religiously, and meeting with my doctor before we decided to take the plunge. One month later, I was pregnant. And we were completely terrified.
I love Lorelei to pieces and I'm so glad that we had her. But I never had that feeling of "I desperately want a baby," so I have no idea if I'll ever feel that way. I never pictured myself having just one child -- but after the turmoil and agony of Lorelei's newborn days (not to mention childbirth!), I just don't know how I feel about going through that again. Plus, our life is so wonderful now -- would I ruin that if we added another baby into the mix? How will my heart be able to fit in love for another child, when this one takes up so much of the room?
What are your thoughts on having baby #2...or 3 (or more!)? What makes you so sure you do or don't want another one? And if you've already had that second child, what made you feel ready?