Bunny turned 8 months old on Monday.
And all around me, people who have given birth around the same time as me, or perhaps a little before or after, are either discussing, working on, or already pregnant with baby number 2.
When it was starting to be clear that my pregnancy with Bunny was going to have a happy ending, Shmerson and I had a discussion. He was worried that I would want to jump directly to baby number 2 after Bunny was born. He was afraid that no time would pass and I would feel the pressure – and pressure him – to start trying again.
I was pretty sure that within months I would want to go again. As much as he didn’t trust me, I didn’t trust myself either. And logically we both knew that if nothing else, my body needed time to recover.
So we made a deal: No discussing baby number 2 until Bunny was 18 months old. That felt like a really long time for me. I thought for sure that even with that promise, I would never actually be willing to wait that long. I assumed that by the time Bunny would be about 6 months old I’d be hiding the condoms and peeing on sticks.
Now that everyone around me is back on the Baby Crazy Train, I thought for sure I would want to hop on board with both feet. I was waiting to have that itch to go again.
Monday night was Israel’s Independence Day. It’s holidays like these that make me look back and reflect, and also look ahead. We went to my parents’ place to get a good view of the fireworks. Bunny was asleep in the guest bedroom, and Shmerson and I hugged on the balcony and watched.
This time last year, we hadn’t quite reached viability yet. I was going absolutely stir crazy and I was TERRIFIED. Looking at those fireworks, I couldn’t quite believe how far we’d come.
There are days I still feel like she’s not real. That I just look at her in awe. That I feel like my head is about to explode because holy crap – this amazing creature is mine to keep.
So on Monday night as we watched the fireworks, I looked ahead to next year and did the math: a year from now Bunny would be 20 months old. That’s two months past the 18 month “green light”. Will I be pregnant again?
Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks: Will I even WANT to be pregnant again?
The truth is that the answer is “maybe not”.
When we first got on the Baby Crazy Train I wanted three kids. There are days I still think that I want 3. But then I do the math. I’m almost 34. 35 is considered advanced maternal age and we already needed some medical intervention to conceive Bunny. So if we want 3, we can’t really take our time about it.
And getting pregnant for me is just the beginning of an ongoing nightmare. How many tries will we need to make another baby stick?
And say that baby sticks – that means another cerclage. Most likely bed rest at least for part of the pregnancy (even if it’s voluntary and just for my sanity). 9 months of anxiety again.
And this time we have Bunny to think about.
When I put that all together – I’m not quite sure I want 3 any more. I’m not quite sure how much more I can handle.
My body and my soul have been through the ringer. I NEVER want to go back there again. I will never again spend 3.5 years straight either pregnant or trying to get pregnant in pursuit of a baby.
I can’t do that ever again.
Yes – I want to bring Bunny a little brother or sister. Yes, perhaps 2 more would be nice.
But will we even be able to make it happen?
And even if we can…
I want to enjoy my baby girl. We have to move and get some more stability and cut down our commute. I want to continue to get my body back. I want to continue to get to know myself. I want to get back to enjoying my husband and my marriage. I’m working very hard on getting a life right now and I’d like to keep it for a while.
All of those things are important. All of those things would be pushed aside in pursuit of number 2.
So on Monday night, as I contemplated where we’d be a year from now, I literally felt dread at the thought of being pregnant.
Dread. This is how much I’m NOT ready to think about number 2.
And I don’t think I’ve ever surprised myself more.
Even with everyone around me working on it. Even with my dwindling fertility and the ever-ticking biological clock.
Maybe when we hit 18 months I’ll be ready. Heck – maybe I’ll even be hungry for it by then.
But for the first time in a long time - I’ve taken myself out of the race. I don’t feel the pressure. I don’t feel like I want to play catch-up with anybody.
I have chosen not to hop on this Baby Crazy Train.
For now, I’ll hang out at the station and play a game of peek-a-boo with Bunny.
And I’m just fine with that.
You may now pick your jaw up off the floor.