May 12, 2016

Will I Have Another Child? {An Honest Reflection}

We're at that point in our life when people and family members gently start asking us if we are planning on growing our family. Sully is now two years old and Jim and I aren't getting any younger. It's pretty common for people to have their children 2-3 years apart, so I'm not surprised that inquiring minds want to know if we have plans to have another child .
Will I Have Another Child? An Honest Reflection via A Slice of Brie
It's no secret that I do want another child. While I would be completely and utterly happy with just Sully in my life should we not be able to conceive another child, I never pictured having an only child. Before I even had Sully, I always assumed I would have a second child no more than 2 years after my first. But then once you become a mom, you realize how quickly you actually have to get pregnant after your first in order to make that age gap happen! Obviously it's done all the time, but when Sully was just over a year old, I knew I wasn't ready to be pregnant again. And to be honest, I was glad I wasn't pregnant. I adore and cherish this time that I get to spend with just him.

So we held off on trying to get pregnant right away. It's amazing how fast time flies though. As Sully got closer and closer to turning two years old, I couldn't stop thinking about how we had missed the two-year age gap boat and are closing in on the three-year age gap soon. I was glad to not have a newborn and a young toddler to take care of, but I also somewhat regretted that a possible future sibling for Sully wasn't going to be as close in age to him. The reality is a bit bitter-sweet - I love having all of this time with just Sully, but having that time means a bigger age gap between him and a potential second child. And now, I'm realizing how easy it is to miss the two-year age gap and have a three or even four-year age gap. Time passes so fast. I'm also not even sure anymore that there is a "perfect" age gap. I think it's relative to what each parent experiences and I've met people with children with small age gaps and larger ones and they all think their children's age gap is great.

Having a second child is something I think about all the time. But it's also something that terrifies me. It's something that makes me question every part of my capabilities as a parent. Am I patient enough to have another baby? How will I care for a newborn and a rambunctious toddler who is used to spending all of his time with me? How will I give my new child my undivided attention like I was able to give Sully? Will I be able to devote as much time to breastfeeding as I did with Sully?

And then there are all the selfish thoughts that go through my head. I'm finally at a place in my life where Sully doesn't need me 24/7 or depend on me like his newborn self did. I have my social life back (and one I really enjoy), I can go away overnight without worrying about whether he won't take a bottle or not, I'm finally back on track with my fitness journey, and I get an uninterrupted night of sleep every night.  How can I go back to sleepless nights and getting up multiple times a night and then also take care of a toddler the next day? How will I ever get out of the house with two kids - I can't even get anywhere on time with one! I won't have as much time to read books. Or blog. Or do things for myself.

And the biggest thing I think about: how do you go backwards in life? Because in my mind, having a second baby is a lot like going back in time. Just when you get passed the difficult newborn and baby stage, you have to start all over again. And your body no longer belongs to just you. You're nursing around the clock and a tiny human is dependant on you for the first several months of life. Your body will change again, weight gain will happen, possibly more stretch marks will appear, and I'm really not sure where the time or the energy to workout again will ever come from.

BUT. (Of course there's a but!). This chapter of my life is so short in the grand scheme of my life. When you're in the throws of taking care of a newborn, it's hard to see the light ahead some days. But it's true what people say - before you know it, your baby is no longer a baby and they are a walking, talking, tantrum-throwing toddler. I know one day, not too far away, I will look back on the early years of parenthood and wish for them back. So while I may be scared and feeling selfish about having another child, I know that ultimately, it's exactly what I want. When I think of our future, I don't see a family of three. I envision four of us - out there, exploring the world together, loving each other and growing together.

It's inevitable that you have to give some things up in those first few months of your baby's life, but the reward is worth it. I know this. And even though the days can be hard, I truly believe that we aren't given anything in life that we can't ultimately handle. So should I be blessed with conceiving another child, I know I will be ok. I will be more than ok. And I will give thanks everyday for being lucky enough to provide my son with a sibling, my parents and in-laws with another grandchild, and my husband and I with another child.

So for those inquiring minds out there...yes. My answer is yes, I would love to have another child. I hope I have another child. And I say that with all sincerity because in my opinion, conceiving a child is a miracle and something that shouldn't be taken for granted.


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