Emma is walking. She’s eating regular food. She’s telling me no. She is getting further and further from being a “baby” everyday. I believe that it is thinking along this line that has led me to begin contemplating my next pregnancy. I’ve started looking at Emmalee’s newborn pictures through rose-tinted glasses, romanticizing the time with thoughts of how little and adorable she was and conveniently forgetting all the negative aspects of having a new baby. I’ve always known that Emma would not be an only child. I want at least one more. The thing I’m not sure about though is when the right time to have another baby would be. Suddenly I’m thinking that now sounds pretty good.
There is a part of me, perhaps the still sane part of me, that knows now is probably not the best time to get pregnant. There are a million reasons why I shouldn’t. The main reason is that I am barely getting by now with one child, what in the world makes me think I could manage with two? I can’t pay my bills. My house is a mess. I have a laundry pile that goes on for days. Not to mention the fact that my “not-really-a-baby-anymore” first child is still in diapers, is still consuming all her liquids from bottles and still can’t communicate her needs effectively. She is still at a point in her life where she requires a lot of my attention, and there are times when I also feel like I want more time with just the two of us. I can’t help but worry about how a new baby would affect my very emotional and needy first born. There is also my child care situation to consider. Emmalee’s Grammy (my mom), who has always watched her while I work, is going to school a couple of days a week now which means that her Poppa (my dad) has reluctantly agreed to step in on the days Grammy is busy. Somehow I just don’t think Poppa would be thrilled about doubling his workload. I often feel like I’m in over my head now, and I’m considering adding more to the mix? I know, I should be committed.
Another part of me though, perhaps the part ruled by insanity and hormones, has plenty of arguments too. This part chants things like “there will never be a perfect time to have a baby” and “when there’s a will, there’s a way” and “Emma and her sister shouldn’t be too far apart in age.” (Yes, I’ve already decided the next one will be another girl.) My thirteen months younger sister and I have always been close. I want that for Emmalee. I mean, obviously there will be more space than a mere thirteen months between my children because I’m not quite that insane, but I want her to have a sibling close in age that she can be friends with. I can’t imagine how lonely it must be to grow up alone, and I worry that if there are too many years between them they won’t be able to relate to one another. We’re already looking at two years apart which equates to two grade levels in school. And though I worry about how a new baby will affect Emma, I also know that a sister (okay, or maybe a brother) is the most amazing gift I can give her. A sibling is a life long, built in best friend to share secrets, play games, get into trouble, and complain about your parents with. It’s someone who always knows where you’re coming from because they’ve been there too. Emma deserves that. Plus, new babies are so tiny and cute!
I think that in a perfect world, one in which I could pinpoint the exact moment that I conceive, I’d choose to get pregnant in August. A May baby would coincide nicely with the end of the school year, and it would give my mom time to finish school so that she can resume her full time child care duties while I work. It would also give me the opportunity to spend the summer with Emma and not be bogged down by first trimester fatigue. Not to mention a few more months to try to get things in order, though truthfully, my house and finances will probably always be a bit of a mess. But it’s not a perfect world and I don’t get to decide. So where does that leave me? I suppose it leaves me continuing to argue with myself, changing my mind at least twice a day about what I think I want. Or maybe it leaves me deciding to leave it up to fate, which I’m not even sure I believe in. Go ahead, get the straightjacket. I’ll go wait in the padded room.