Thinking About Having Another

I have been pondering if/when to have a second child for quite sometime now, especially as I read on the SMC online discussion Forum about all the other members who had their babies around when I had Elsie, and they are already trying for their second. And the fact that my 40th birthday is looming doesn’t help. :)

A little background history… I have (8) 5-day blastocysts and (7) unfertilized eggs in the deep freeze at my clinic. Elsie was the result of my first, single-embryo transplant. So I have every reason to believe that I can become pregnant with my second fairly easily.

So the questions that have been on what is starting to feel like a constant loop in my mind are:

  1. Do I want another child still? (One of the reasons I switched to IVF was so I’d have all those frozen embryos to try for another if I wanted to.)
  2. If so, when do I get started?

Here is a little bit of the back-and-forth I go through in my head every time I start to think about it…

  • Two kids are more than twice the work of one. Yeah, I get it but if it is just a matter of work, I’ll just work harder.  Plus there is some advantage of them playing together eventually (hopefully without killing each other.)
  • I don’t want Elsie to be alone in this world if/when something happens to me. So far, she is really close to her cousins which is great but cousins aren’t the same as siblings. I also know that just because they are siblings there’s no guarantee that they will be friends or supportive, but I’d like to think that I can raise them that to be supportive of each other. Finally with the fact that 1/2 of her DNA is unknown to her, I feel like that issue may be lessened if there is at least one other person in this world she would share a full biological connection with.  It was also the one thing the adult kids of SMC’s said at the 30th Anniversary SMC Celebration… that they wish they had had a sibling. Maybe that is just a common wish of all ‘onlys’ but it really hit home with me when I heard it.
  • The expense. This is my biggest hurdle and worry because it is SO complicated. First off there is the worry about paying for two day care fees. I have some savings that I could use but do I want to dip into my savings?? On the other hand this is a finite cost so I could most likely figure it out until it is over. Then just the general costs… If I have two kids, it means that I would have less money to spend on each kid and is that fair?? I know I would be able to feed and clothe them but the cost of two college educations; it would mean little to no traveling; not as many (if any) ‘splurges’ for all of us. None of which is horrible but would be Elsie’s life be richer (better) for having a sibling or for being able to afford more of life’s experiences such as travel?
  • For the one that is probably the most ‘ridiculous’ worry on my list… what if it is a boy?! I only have a two bedroom apartment and I can’t afford anything any bigger. (Granted I could leave Manhattan but at this point in time that is not a change I am willing to make. I like having minimal commute between work, day care and home.) For the first years, not an issue for them to share a room but as they got older, it would become an issue (maybe… boys and girls shared rooms for centuries and still do in many places). As I said, it is a bit ridiculous but I still wonder about it.
  • I just want two. No rhyme or reason, I just want two and I am used to getting what I want. :) Wouldn’t you want another one of these smiles around??

Practicing at being Santa Claus

So, as scary as it is… I think I have decided to go for it. (Though I reserve the right to waver still. :)

That leads to question 2… When??  For selfish reasons, I would really love to have another June baby.  It was SO nice to have the summer off for maternity leave.  Plus on the financial side, my day care allows kids to leave during the summer (July and August) without losing their spot for the next year so it would save me a little bit of money.  So that means trying again in August/September/October.

Now the question is when.  (This is where the looming 40th birthday plays in…)  After I had Elsie, I asked my OBGYN if there was anything other than egg quality I had to worry about if/when deciding to have a second (and luckily I get to ignore egg quality since the embryos are already frozen), and she said the younger I am the better.  I had a bit of high blood pressure at the end of my pregnancy with Elsie.  Nothing needed to be done about it but lots of monitoring.  Anyway the doctor said that blood pressure issues only get worse with age so the younger I am the better.

Then there is how Elsie plays into the picture… She is already a handful.  I am hoping she is going through the terrible two’s early so we will leave them behind earlier.  (A girl can dream, can’t she??)  So hopefully by 3 she will be out of the ‘testing-boundaries’ phase. But the more I read about other mother’s experiences, it sounds like 3 can be tough too.  So do I want to wait until she is 4 to hopefully have a more mellow kid by the time I have the baby??  (It also means less of an overlap in day care costs. A huge plus there but another year older for me, a negative.)

A week or so ago, I was walking with a friend and we were discussing our lives.  One thing led to another and this very topic came up.  She asked me if I was going to have another and surprising both her and me, I immediately replied, “Yes, I am going to try in September.”  I hadn’t realized I had gotten that far in thinking.  And then I went home home and wavered, of course!!

by Obernon

16 thoughts on “Thinking About Having Another”

  1. Again, I’m someone going through this exactly. I had my first as a single mother by choice when I was 37 with two gay friends. We got pregnant first time, at home, and it’s all turned out fabulously – i now have the most perfect 2.5 year old in the world. BUT – she was born extremely early, weighing less than two pounds, when I developed HELLP syndrome (like pre-eclampsia, but rarer and less treatable). 10 weeks in hospital, and years worth of medical fuss that were only just got through. And there’s a 30% chance it will happen again. So I’m absolutely torn. I’ve always wanted more than one, and I worry with just one it will be too intense. I’m not too scared about the extra work, cause I have a great support network. Financial is scary too, but I live in Australia with good free schools and social services, so it can be handled. But the medical stuff might be the killer. Logically, the stats say everything will probably be fine. But what if they’re not? Can I do the premmie thing again? What if I’m seriously disabled, or even die (a real possibility). I just dont know.

    1. Jess, this is a big topic on our private members’ Forum, where (if you’re a member of SMC) you can read posts and/or start a new thread. This blog is public, and we don’t have discussion here, but we would welcome you to our Forum if you are a member of, ir if you’d like to join, SMC.

  2. I’ve been thinking about #2 too. The only difference for me is that I just turned 50 and have a 20-mos old. I do have frozen embryos so they would be biological siblings. Financially I am petrified and after reading Susan’s post, even more scared. I would love to have 2 but never know what the future will bring. If I decide to move forward I would have to do it now!!! I have family and she has cousins but like one of the mom said, it’s different.

    I worry if it’s crazy of me to try at 50-51 years of age. Although I did read about the mom who is having another child at this age too. However, based on her job she can afford to. I don’t want to struggle. Like some of you I waiver back and forth.

    Great posts and comments!

  3. I am thinking of doing 2 at once! I am 43 at feeling like I am behind the 8 ball as it is. I am afraid to wait and do them seperately since I am only getting older.

  4. Good to read this post. I am 42 and have a biological daughter of 2.5 through IVF. My fertility is v. low so I’ve gone through the adoption process for a second, and have just been matched with an 11-month-old daughter. I have not yet said yes to her as I am terrified of the financial implications (I work for non-profits, which are not very profitable!) and whether I would be doing my daughter a disservice by significantly upping our financial strain. Part of me thinks we should just live nearer to family – she has three wonderful cousins in the States who we rarely see (we live abroad, in West Africa) – rather than expanding ours’. Two is intense, but it’s still a family. But despite these and many other reservations, I think I may be about to say YES to a second daughter. Terrified and excited. (Of course I realise they will each have a different set of identity issues, which will be difficult for all of us – have not combined the biological and adopted lightly, but had little choice). In any case, here is hoping all goes well and we all survive this journey.

  5. I have 3 children as a SMC,I am 41.It is tough but soooooooo worth it. My children have each other,now and forever!

    1. How in the world did you have 3 all on your own? I am getting ready this month to try and have baby #2 on my own, and I am terrified!! How am I going to handle 2 kids all by myself?!? All the fears, worries, what if’s, etc. are constantly going through my mind. However, what it boils down to is the fact that I would love to have another child, and I want my daughter to have a sibling to grow up with.

  6. I’m so glad to read about all you ladies thinking of and/or having #2. I’m right there with all of you. For me its a much harder decision than having my first. I just turned 43 and my girl will be 2 in September. I had no problem getting pregnant with her – didn’t even have to do IVF. Wondering if the 2nd time around will be just as easy. Financially, I know, its going to be a challenge but I’m always up for a challenge. Each one of us fabulous women has to follow our own heart and path. Just know that you won’t be alone on your journey. I wish all of you success and happiness in your journey of life.

  7. Great post! I have been working on #2 since #1 was a few months old. I didn’t have any in the freezer and so I have been doing back to back IVFs for almost 2 years even though my son was conceived on my first IVF and I got pregnant (M/C) on my second so far no #2. All covered by insurance thank G-d. I am now 44 and am still praying. I had a good round recently – so please pray for me 🙂

    I think that family is more important than money or trips or nice things. They can always buy those when they are older. My son (2 1/4) is thank G-d a friendly social guy and I think he would love a sibling. I think it will be easier for him to navigate in the world with a sibling. When I am older it will be less of a burden on him if he has a sibling. For me, it will feel more like a family with more than one child. I think it will be harder on me but healthier for him. Financially I’m very worried, but I intuitively feel it will work out.

    I also watched the SMC older children panel and was additionally motivated by their wise words. It can get intense with one kid and one parent – there is something nice about it, but in the long run, I think healthier with a different dynamic.

    I wouldn’t wait – who knows what the future holds. You don’t know how long it will take or what will come up along the way. Time is not our friend in this dept. I bought so many vials from our donor and thought ‘there’s no way, I’m going to use all of these’ – but I know find myself towards the end of them.

    Good luck!

  8. I raised two children as an SMC and I found it rather challenging, especially during the awful teen years. The droughts and recessions left me in a hole financially as I’m in a business that relies on a good economy and decent weather. At this point, I wouldn’t repeat the experience, but grandchildren are on the horizon so I expect that ten years from now, I’ll have a different outlook. I also got health problems in my fifties that prevented me from keeping up with the workload and I had lots of bad feelings as I worried over whether we’d make it financially. I think the health problems may have occurred due to the excessive workload and stress.

    Having an easy time achieving pregnancy the first time around may make it more likely to have an easy time the second time around, but that did not happen for me. The first time around, I used birth control so I wouldn’t get pregnant and I got pregnant anyway. The second time it took a year of inseminations along with an HSG procedure to become pregnant. I got high BP with the first pregnancy, but not with the second.

    I had my second child at 42 and I was in terrific shape at the time. But I encountered several major unexpected health problems in my 50s and I’ve been falling behind in every way. I feel like one of those little old ladies who with the help of social security and Medicare can barely take care of her home and herself, yet I have to also work and take care of a teenager. I was hoping that my children could pick up some of the slack, but they really needed to deal with their sometimes difficult transition from childhood to adulthood, so my expectations were unrealistic. Even when I was willing to pay them to do chores, their ability to cooperate was often non-existent and sometimes worse than that. For example, I might try to get my son to help deal with the holes created by woodpeckers and not only would this request be refused, but his soaring testosterone levels would create times of uncontrolled rage and he’d end up kicking a hole in the wall despite learning appropriate anger management techniques.

    Single mothers of the other variety – those who are not in SMC – have their children very early on. After my experience, I’m not certain that we shouldn’t start having children between 30-35 instead of 38-42. Raising teenagers while approaching sixty as a single parent is not easy.

    I thought I was well-prepared for the teenage years as I understood the need and desire to separate from one’s parents, but now I think the teenage hormones cause darling little youngsters to turn into undesirable, snippy, moody beings who are abusive toward their parent(s). I have numerous married friends who have had to go through the court process and court ordered counseling with their teenagers. My teenagers are not as bad, but if they were my roommates or my spouse, I would definitely kick them out or get divorced. There are definitely four years per child where life can border on the dreadful. I would suggest that anyone desiring a second child realize that not only are there the darling preschool years, but there are the grueling teen years, which many parents describe as the least happy years of their lives. Make sure you talk to parents of teenagers before making up your mind and don’t think that you can do better than they can because the outcome is more like a crap shoot.

    One of my goals was that I would always have close family members and I think two children helps with that. Teenagers will most likely become decent adults with children of their own. With one child, there is a possibility of no grandchildren, but with two, that possibility is lessened. Though so many children need attention these days, I think I would simply pick out children to be my grandchildren if I got none of my own.

    Having one child who is alone in the world is a problem. My first got what appears to be a life-long partner in high school, but my second is still in HS and doesn’t have anyone. However, she can go live with my first if something happens to me and that is a great comfort.

    The two bedroom apt can pose problems during the teen years. All you do is make or buy a divider and buy stackable dorm furniture so it won’t be a problem.

    Kids get jobs when they are about 16 years old and then they buy their own stuff. A route to college is more difficult, but worse comes to worst a child can get a year’s worth of cheap credit thought CLEP or AP, then a year’s worth of cheap credit at a community college before heading off to a state school. I’ve known kids who attended fourth rate state schools that have done better than kids from the Ivy League schools because they don’t have student loans and so they’ve been able to buy homes. The key is to have a lucrative major such as one in the health care field.

  9. Wow!! This could have been my headspace writing this. I have a 3yr old & have decided to try again this year- after all the yes/no moments. I have 4 day 3’s in storage- my little man was the 1st go using a fresh embryo. I will be 37 this year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts which allowed me to realise that its normal thinking & I am not alone! X

  10. Before I got pregnant one of the things I was sad about was that I wouldn’t be able to afford to give my child a sibling. I just knew it wasn’t financially possible. Not just daycare or college or splurges, but food and clothes. Well, I got pregnant with identical twins. I don’t say this to scare you that you could have twins. Rather, my point is that I think my boys’ lives are so much richer due to them having each other! We will never be able to go to Disneyland. We can’t fly to Guam (from Tennessee) to see family and the place where I grew up. There are few splurges. I buy all their clothes except shoes, sock, and underwear used. There’s no more organic food. I cloth diapered. Somehow we are making it financially! And we are so happy! My house is tiny and now 100% covered in little six year-old boys. It is a TON of work. But it is so very much worth it! My boys will always have each other and for that I am very grateful!

  11. You’ve captured my thoughts too! Except my daughter is almost 8 years old (June too!) If I got started now I’d be turning 41 when #2 is born. But I’ve pretty much made up my mind too. Great post!

  12. Wow! you captured my thoughts and wavering exactly! Except I don’t have frozen eggs or embryos and I am already 42. At my age I’m not willing to take the increased risk of birth defects. Plus all of my donor’s sperm is gone (I checked about a year ago :-). I have a 3 year old little girl and I think she would love a sibling – plus all the reasons you listed above . . . I do think about adoption a lot as a possibility of adding to the family. Does anyone have experience with blending a family with donor-conceived and an adopted child?
    Congratulations on your decision! Children are such a blessing and material stuff is just stuff.

    1. Yes, we do have SMC members with both conceived and adopted children. If you’re not yet a member, join SMC and discuss this on our Forum.

    2. Amy, adoption is one good choice; another might be egg/embryo donation. There are shared double donor programs out there that are pretty affordable (much lower cost than IVF or adoption). I’m cycling with one of them right now.

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