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:
- 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.)
- 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!!