Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Not Ready. Ready? Not Ready? Ready.

I was reading a post over at Blite not whack about baby fever and having people ask if and when the next one's coming. It's something I can relate to pretty well. Pre-Madelyn, Tom and I went back and forth about whether we were really up for a baby together or not. He never really said that he was, and I didn't exactly either. What I did say was something along the lines of, "If you do, then I do because I don't want you to miss out on something as amazing as parenting from birth if that's what you want. If you don't want to, then I really don't because I don't want to be that woman who pressures the guy or gets pregnant on the sly."

I am that wishy-washy, however, that subtle suggestions or gentle questioning from friends (and yes, strangers) would get my mind headed down that path. There was a period of true baby fever once. I can't recall if it was before or after we were married, but it didn't stick.

Around this time two years ago, and after a lot of discussion and thought, Tom and I agreed that it wasn't about not wanting to have a baby together as much as not wanting to change our lives. Things were incredibly good between us... something akin to the beginning, but with the knowledge and love that came from making it through what was then the middle. I'm personally opposed to having babies after 40, so we talked about the possibility of adopting later should we change our minds. I don't care what's medically possible. I want to have a chance of being in my children's lives well into their adulthoods.

***No, I don't judge too harshly those who do have babies later. I feel for their kids, but I also know that I could be hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow.

***Please don't let me get hit by a bus tomorrow!

Anyway, life was good. It was a good decision for both of us. I was a little sad at the thought of never having that experience again, but not anywhere near enough to try to plead a case I didn't feel strongly about. Tom was brave enough to say what we were both thinking. My response was that I'd schedule an appointment to get my tubes tied. I figured that early fall would be best because our schedules would settle down by then. A few weeks later, I was pregnant with Madelyn.

Despite early qualms about how Tom would take the news, I knew almost instantaneously that I'd be having a baby. I'd had a sense for many years that I had a daughter "out there" waiting for me. When she was born... heck, once I felt relatively sure that she was really on the way... life took on a new completeness. I have a son and a daughter and a husband to be the father they need.

Sometime extremely early on, I was contemplating the future of our family. Tom was, too, but in a different way. Possibly even the week of our first prenatal appointment I nearly blurted out, "As soon as this baby's born and assuming he or she is healthy, I'll get my tubes tied." It occurred to me that I might want to choose my words more carefully. The really good news is that I thought about it before I said anything.

I have a tendency to be much more blunt than Tom (ahem... or a lot of people) prefers. So when the thought arises that I could be more smooth, I usually try to heed it. Good thing I did, too, because here's how the conversation went down:

"So... after this baby's born... *hand wringing and searching the ceiling for the right words*... is this... this is it, right?"

"Ahem... well... I was thinking that we should... unless we're having twins, which would be ideal..."

*internally* "WHAT?!?"

"... we should probably have another one. Corey's so much older than this one that it's like having two only children. I don't think it's fair... I think it would be better for them... not... to be only children."


Since then I have constantly pondered the next child. We call him/her the PFC... potential future child. We spoke about said child while on our way to the hospital to have Madelyn. Same thing a couple hours after she was born. On our anniversary last year Tom and I shook on it. He's got a very convincing logic at times, and the gleam in his eyes... well, I'd defy any of you to deny him his request if he looked at you that way.

So we were in agreement. Sometime this summer we would try to conceive another baby. Even though Mad was a total surprise, the timing of her arrival could hardly have been more perfect. After all my maternity leave and some of the FMLA pay was exhausted, I went on summer break.

Last month I thought I was pregnant. The timing wasn't right for me. I wanted to stick to our plan. As is the case with just about any important decision, I went back and forth. Ultimately, when I got my period, I was relieved. So relieved in fact, that I merely told Tom how I felt about it and didn't even ask him. I realized it later, but by then it would have just stressed my oversight, so I never asked him.

All signs point to Tom wanting to have another baby, sooner rather than later. I suppose I will do this dance of indecision until we really are expecting our third child. In the meantime, having a puppy and a new house has meant that no one is looking to us to bear the next baby. It does help that two of my coworkers have had grandbabies in the past two months. The baby fix is in for now.

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