On my lunch break today, I ran to the store to pick up a couple of last minute items needed to make my Thanksgiving food assignments. Walking out of the store, I saw a woman walking in with the most beautiful baby. You know the type - a baby so cute that it makes your uterus ache. I've actually been experiencing a lot of "uterus aching" moments lately. For some reason, I've got a serious case of baby lust. And I've got it bad. Despite the fact that it makes absolutely no sense for us to have another baby, I want one. Logically I know that I shouldn't, and probably never will have another biological child, but it doesn't stop me from yearning. Perhaps its a feeling that plagues all women in their child-bearing years. I remember my mom saying several times growing up that she always felt like she was supposed to have one more child. Am I the same way? Am I always going to long for that child who could have been mine? To live my life with the regret that I should have at least tried?
I've actually been thinking about getting pregnant again so often, that I sat down an made a list of pros and cons - to actually see if it did indeed make sense for us to try and have one more baby. Here's the list that I came up with:
1. I'm old. Chances are, that I'd be 35 before I ever conceived and/or gave birth, and the odds of birth defects would be significantly higher. Not that I wouldn't love a special needs child, but I'm not gonna lie - it would make life much more challenging.
2. Pregnancy is difficult, especially for me. Between the hyperemesis (puking every single day), blood pressure issues, pitting edema, pre-eclampsia, and weight gain, I don't know if I could physically handle it again.
3. The weight gain. How I managed to gain 65 pounds with the first baby and 75 pounds with the second baby, while puking up almost every single meal that I ate the entire pregnancy, remains a mystery. But with my upward trend, I'd be on track to gain 85 with this baby, and that would be awful. I've just about lost all the baby weight now, and it would be difficult to gain it back.
4. Financial reasons. We can barely afford daycare for 2 children. Adding a 3rd child would almost certainly mean that either Ben or I would need to stay home, and I don't know how we'd afford that.
5. Emotional reasons. Some days, I can barely handle the 2 kids I have. They're really great kids too, but I get so overwhelmed sometimes. A 3rd just may push me over the proverbial edge.
6. Numbers. Everything is nice and even around my house, just the way I like it. There are 2 kids and 2 parents. No one is outnumbered. And my house only has 3 bedrooms. Where would another child sleep?
7. My girls are more grown up. Bryn is almost potty trained, and G is starting school next year. I'm not sure I want to start all over again with bottles and diapers, and night wakings.
8. More on the numbers. My first baby was 6 pounds 2 ounces (at 35 weeks). My second baby was 9 pounds 2 ounces (at 38 weeks). Does that mean a 3rd baby, if carried to 40 weeks, would be 12 pounds 2 ounces? I think I'd die (its not totally unreasonable - my brother was an 11 pounder)
1. The chance at having a boy. Poor Ben is seriously outnumbered in the house - even our cat is a girl. Some days, the estrogen is running so thick you could cut it with a dull knife. A boy would be good to even things out a bit - besides, Ben's such a sports freak. He would love someone to teach football/baseball/basketball/golf/etc to.
2. I really want another baby.
3. I really, REALLY, want one.
Ok, so I'm stretching a bit to come up with more pros - obviously on paper it doesn't make sense to try for another baby, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to try. We've talked quite a bit about adopting a child from a Russian orphanage, and I'm certainly open to that possibility someday. But I also really want to have another biological child. Despite the fact that my pregnancies were awful, I had the most amazing birth experience with both babies, and I'd love to do it again. But I'm afraid I'll just have to dream about it.
Edited to add another pro:
My adorable babies. Doesn't the world need more babies this cute?