Monday, August 1, 2011


Ben and I never talked about having kids.

We talked about having a kid.

I mean, they are so expensive. If we had one, maybe we could actually send him/her to college, and pay for it? And with one, we figured, you are a little more mobile. You know? I have two siblings, but we are so far apart (and with different fathers) that I grew up more or less as an only child. And I don't feel ripped off in the least.

But then in the last few years, I started kind of looking over the fence. We would, for example, be watching United States of Tara, and seeing how (even though they weren’t BFFs) the kids related, how they could turn to each other during their parents' insanity, it would kind of touch me. (It didn't have the same effect on Ben.)

Then Henry was born. I remember thinking, a day or two later, "I don't know if I can do that again." I also remember thinking a month or so later "I can't imagine doing this with a toddler here." Or, "I can't imagine going through the absolute all encompassing exhaustion I felt during the first trimester of pregnancy with a TODDLER."

And yet, as I knew I probably would, we seem to forget. And also, I know that women and families do it ALL THE TIME. And everything is fine. Great even.

I still don't know that I want another baby. (Add to my list of cons; if going back to work with one baby at home breaks my heart, how will I feel when it is TWO?) My feet are still on the one-only side, but I am on my tippy toes peeking over. Ben still has his feet rooted deep into the ground. (I am ignoring that at the moment.) (As he will likely ignore this post.) Not that we need to decide right now, of course. But I can't help but think about it.

Like today, when a friend relayed the sound of a beating heart as heard through the Doppler. (Womp womp, womp womp...) And I am missing in advanced things that haven’t even passed yet, like nursing Henry. Today, when I feel quite certain that I just want another one because tiny babies are so sweet, and surely, there must be another? (And what if Henry never has a child? I understand so much more now the pressure for grandkids.)

Or like when our friend Carly was over a couple of months ago. I was lamenting that Henry had outgrown one of the first outfits that fit him, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. She suggested she could give it to her friend who was about to have a baby.

"NO!" I practically shrieked as I clutched the tiny garment in my white knuckles.

So that is kind of a problem. We already have all the STUFF. We may as well have another baby to use it, RIGHT? And until I know for sure, what do I do with it? Give it away? Sell it on craigslist (we could use the cash, for sure. I haven’t had a paycheck in months!)? Or (to Ben's dismay) (and to the downfall of our closets) (and to the joy of our mother in law) store it all.

Just. In. Case.


  1. i'm pretty sure i only want one too...i get easily stressed, and for me, having one dog felt like a family but having two felt like chaos, which i know is not the same thing but it does tell me a bit about myself. i leave it open to the possibility that i could change my mind, though.

  2. Dan and I talked about that a few days ago. We always said that we only wanted one kid but, you know, little babies are so cute and Alice is such an easy kid. But, so far, we still think that one kid is the way that we will take...but we don't know the future!

  3. you know, my husband and i are a ways off from catching the baby train, but we both know we want more than one. i think it is because we both have incredibly close relationships with our siblings and can't imagine how our lives would be without that bond of a shared childhood and being able to commiserate over our parents. (not that they are crazy, but all parents have their quirks).

    i think that the decision to have more than one child is difficult, however, and i know that you + ben will make the best decision for your tiny family. but let me just say: you guys did a knock-out job making little H and you KNOW the second one would be just as cute ;)

  4. 1. you know my stance on this.

    2. i have *not* forgotten. not even a little bit.

    3. we already sold her infant carrier on craigslist. it was nice to have the extra cash, and it was worth the risk.

    i guess, like ben, my feet are rooted DEEP into the ground.

  5. My children love each other more than anyone else. They take care of each other. I love my siblings similarly. But I'd never tell anyone it's something that should be done, per se, only that brothers and sisters are a big plus in my particular world.

  6. I'm going to comment with very biased intentions so you should ignore me if necessary.

    We know (assuming it's possible) that we will have another, maybe/probably/possibly even two more. But that is because we both have siblings, I loved being pregnant, I love babies, I love the experience of birth (even though it was completely insanely hard and I swore I never wanted to do it again), I loved having a tiny baby (even though I felt totally wasted and mental most of the time), and I desperately want my child to have a sibling to play with and grow up with and grow old with. But we also fret about how hard it will be to have two, whether we'll have enough money, starting over again just when it's gotten "easy", etc etc.

    So I'm just going to say it: you should most definitely change your plan (but don't tell Ben yet) and have another (with his eventual consent of course).

    You are never going to say, upon having second child, MAN I wish we hadn't had that second baby. But you might say (and I know a few women like this), mmm I wish we'd have had two.

    Not that I know anything. But you know how I like to share my opinion.

  7. I have the exact same concerns as you... well I already have one (he's 7) but sometimes I think having a baby brother or sister will give him a sense of caring sharing, loving and so many other ING's.. my main NO is money... and couple life... it really gets lost... but aaawww I think I'm going fo it...

  8. Loved this post! (you're a great writer).

    I too am a new mama. For me, just thought of more babies simply doesn't feel right...not because I don't want them, not because I do want them, but because: how could I possibly be thinking about anyone else besides this baby here in my arms now. These days, I'm trying really hard to stay in the here and now. I know time is going to slip by way too fast.

    If I learned anything throughout my pregnancy and birth experience, I learned that not everything goes as planned and as the great Stones so finely stated: "you can't always get what you want"....I can't imagine my daughter growing up withOUT siblings, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. Maybe she'll be my one and only and I need to be okay with that.

    My heart got real heavy when I realized that if there ever were to be more babies, it would never be like it was the first time around. It would be so different with a toddler running around (like you said). A second, or third would never get that same undivided attention that the first got. There's just SO much magic with the first...

    I'm a strong believer that things have a way of working themselves out. That said, I say leave it up to the universe! (Yeah, right. Easier said than done).

  9. I feel like you climbed inside my brain on this subject!

    I couldn't even wrap my head around having a baby until we stopped talking about "having kids" and started talking about "having A kid." And going into having this baby, I was adamant that I only wanted one.

    But there are little cracks starting to appear around the edges of my belief that one is enough. I won't say that pregnancy and childbirth was easy, but for me, it was empowering. (Though I'm still trying to find the words to explain my experience.)

    The thought of two college funds, two carseats (and the bigger car that would require), two kids in that tiny bedroom (we don't want to move!), and of course the ordeal of going through all of this again? Sounds crazy. But putting away the moses basket and never using it again? Just figuring out this whole parenting-an-infant thing, and then never needing those skills again? Kinda sad.

    I dunno.

  10. oh man, i'm there right now!! i so love having elodie and the thought of having another baby sounds equally amazing and horrible. i just think it comes down to sacrifice. i think having more than one child is worth the sacrifice of time, worry, resources. i also wonder about women who are addicted to having babies but then don't have the energy, time or resources to care for them as they become adolescence. i know that this might sound outrageous to say but i have a couple of those women in my family and i see it first hand. i think it's made me really reflect and maybe not be as instinctive with my feelings towards having more than one. i do agree with kristina though, i doubt if you had more than one you would regret it ;)

  11. Wow, I've had the exact same thoughts over the last two months. We're holding on to those little outfits too...

  12. all of your "pros" are so true: you are definitely more mobile, which allows for more freedom as a family. We did everything when it was just Arlo. Now, with 3 boys under the age of five, we are sorta house bound. We do indulge in simple outings like the beach, the park and friendly bbqs, but in all honesty it is 10 times harder to get out of the house at this point. With that said, I knew going in to it that it was going to be really tough. The daily rewards of a full and overflowing amount of love filling this house make it all worth it in the end though. Just wanted to say how much I admire how honest and well thought your current stance is. I am guilty of falling in love with newborns again and again, hence getting knocked up constantly :) ~ anyway, you have lots of time to decide. Good luck! :)

  13. so much to think about you guys! thanks for weighing in. ways to go before this is resolved.... ;)

  14. imagine my surprise when our 1st ultrasound revealed that we are having identical twins. now there's no WAY we can reuse things, it's definitely going to be 2 of many many things, and it freaks me out financially and logistically (how do you get the two in and out of a car?) but i'm starting to love it. now the question i'm asking my husband (and i'm only 4 months along) is "are we going to have a third?" then i answer myself and say "let's just get through the task at hand first." i think the body's desire for another baby would far outweigh the "practical" concerns like money, space, and maybe even sanity.