TRYING FOR ANOTHER
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
How We Decided to Try for Another
Ok, back story….
I am thirty-eight. My husband, Luc, is thirty-six. Our first son, Julian, is my stepson, and I entered his life when he was four, and married his dad a year and a half later. He is now almost twelve. Our second son, Anders, is now five and a half years old, and our daughter, Ella, is almost four. Anders and Ella are 21 months apart.
Luc and I always knew we wanted to have two kids together, and a third was up in the air. After Ella was born, we were raising two under two at once, and we knew for sure that we didn’t want another any time soon! But we agreed to keep that door and conversation open with one another.
The years passed, and in 2021, with Ella turning three, and me turning thirty eight, I told myself that we would either get pregnant by the end of the year or not at all. My reason being that I didn’t want to be too old, and I didn’t want the kids to be too far apart in age.
Throughout 2021, Luc and I were more and more leaning towards a “no”. We did not want more chaos, more responsibility and more sleepless nights. We were enjoying the increase in freedom and time together. Buuuuuut, as the year came to a close, things began to change and I found myself seeing room for a baby, and that vision became clearer and clearer. But, I was only half of the equation…
First I mentioned it to Luc casually, just to dip my toes in. He was still a definite “no.” So I let it sit for another month or so, and tried again. It was another “no,” followed with…”if this is something you really want then we should talk about it, but I really don’t think I want to.” Fast forward another month, and with our in-laws in town, Luc and I had a beautiful date night planned. I decided that this would be the time for my pitch. He listened, like the caring man he is. He entertained my vision and heard my desires. I let it rest and gave him a few days for it to sink in before testing it again. This time I asked how he was feeling and what his concerns were. For him, it was mainly a concern of money; also how it would affect the trajectory of our lives: age of retirement, kids out of the house/independence, etc., and the unpredictable health of another child. I totally understood. And I really didn’t want to push him into it. I hoped he would see what I saw, but I knew that his feelings were just as valid and important as mine. And I really didn’t want to do it without him 100% on board, even though I knew that if I pushed him he would do it.
This all took place at the end of December. I spent the next few weeks really agonizing over the decision. If you know me, you know that big decisions like this are painful for me- I’m a Libra (the scales) after all. I tend to lean on those around me for advice on big decisions, which always irritates me about myself, because I think I should be more self-assured. But alas, I resorted to what I know.
I called my mom crying: “Hear me out before you respond… I want another baby.” (sob, sob)
I asked my tennis friend who is a mom to four grown kids. She says: “two years of not playing tennis isn’t that long in the scheme of things.” To which I respond: “Two years?! I was thinking 6 months!” :(
I called my two best friends who have known me forever and are both moms to three. And I spoke with Dr. Jen, mom/baby expert and my loyal client.
In the end, everyone had the same resounding advice: whatever you and Luc want is the right decision. Ugh, why do they always put it back on me?! Because they’re good advisors.…I know.
So here’s how I sifted through it all, and Luc eventually came around:
So first of all, my catalyst for wanting another baby is not just that they’re so stinkin’ cute. It actually came down to the realization that for me, there’s nothing better than creating life. Getting to know a new tiny human that we helped bring into this world is just the best. I also really look forward to giving that gift to those I love as well: my kids, my parents, my family. I felt in my bones that there was another soul for Luc and I to meet. And once I realized how important it was to me then the details: room in our house, having to get all new baby stuff, toting the baby around to the older kids sporting games, became so much less important. So the question then became, what are the reasons not to?
This was the biggest obstacle. But once we figured out a way around this, our decision was solidified. If you want to know how, it’s called lucky/smart (depending which of us you ask ;)) investments by my husband. Good job hubby! We realized that by selling a couple of our investments we could afford the first few years of baby costs.
My work is the second thing I am most proud of in my life, next to being a mom. My work feeds me in many ways: I get to serve the community, specifically mothers, which is a community near and dear to my heart. I get to be a creator. I’m a business owner. The list goes on. I love, love, love my work and my clients. And I know that it makes me a better person. I also am really happy to be doing it at home where my kids get to see it all! Which leads into my vision of keeping new baby by my side while I work. Both Anders and Ella, were sent to a neighborhood daycare at the early age of three months old because my husband and I both worked 9-5 jobs out of the home. I really don’t want to repeat that- and I don’t think I’ll have to. My new plan is to sometimes have baby with me when training clients; big sister Ella will be home three out of five weekdays (two she’s at Mixed Greens Preschool- the best!) and she’ll be able to help a bit, and other times there will be naps. I imagine my workload will decrease, and I’ll take some time off for the first postpartum month or so, but I think it’s doable! So the plan is that for the first two years baby is home with me, until going to Preschool. And that saves some money as well.
Okay, how do you juggle four kids? FOUR?! Never ever did I ever imagine doing that!
The key: age gaps. When baby would be born, Julian would be 12.5, Anders 6, Ella 4.5. Yes, there are some big gaps here, which I always thought I wouldn’t want, but do you see what I see? That’s right: built-in babysitters. Bottom line, they’re old enough to be helpful. I should add that Julian is with us every other week, so half the time we would actually have three kids in the home.
Anders and Julian are both in school full-time now. And Ella has really grown over the last year: becoming more independent and helpful. I think she will thrive as a big sis and my helper.
With the kids being older, and more self-sufficient, I envision having more dedicated time and energy to the baby. Not like it was the last time, when I was basically raising two babies together.
Now, our lives consist of a lot of practices and games (we are a sporty family). So that being said, there will be the challenges of toting the baby all around over town, but that is something we will all have to adapt to. The baby’s schedule will revolve around the older siblings schedules. We’ll see how that goes, but that’s how it’s going to go… makes them more adaptable, right?
We have a four bedroom house already. Two of the kids will share a room- which I think is super fun for them, actually! And that will probably only last until Julian turns 18 (only six more years?!) I already have a mini-van. Done.
Trajectory of Our Lives
As you recall, this was one of Luc’s main concerns. His thoughts: by the time Ella graduates we will want our freedom. My thoughts: when Ella graduates we will be sad that it’s over! He also saw his retirement stretching further away from him. I’m not exactly sure how he came to terms with this topic, but he did.
First, my health. I’m thirty-eight. Everyone has a different view point on what’s “old“ for having a baby, but I‘d say it’s indisputable that thirty-eight is getting up there! I feel good though. I’ve taken pretty dang good care of myself and thankfully have no serious health concerns. Both of my pregnancies and labors went well and were uncomplicated. I would actually call them enjoyable. I’m tuned into the birth world, and in short, feel my body is equipped to handle another pregnancy. I’m looking forward to it!
Mental health is also a consideration. My stress and anxiety was intense with my first. With my second it got a lot better. I believe I’ll be equipped to handle it another time around as well.
Second, the health of the baby. This was also top on Luc’s list of concerns. His viewpoint: we already have three healthy kids, why test our odds. My viewpoint: we already have three healthy kids, our odds are good. Now this is obviously not guaranteed, and in my opinion is the scariest part of having kids. Even if they develop healthy and are born healthy, you never ever stop worrying about your child’s health and safety. But, this is a risk we’re willing to take. But in reality, all of these prior obstacles rest on the premise that we have a healthy child. And that is THE biggest and scariest unknown.
So, as you know by now, we decided to try. This was NOT an easy decision, but after talking through the above points, Luc felt comfortable and excited to have another baby. And I felt resolute in it. As someone who has a hard time making big decisions, another factor adding to my confidence is that I would feel unhappy with the alternative: not trying.
Three months. We are giving it three months. Three months to see what the universe holds for us. And I realize how lucky we are to be able to make this decision.
Stay tuned to see what unfolds.