Thinking About Baby #2

If I had conceived last month, WZW and baby #2 would be two years apart.  In fact, based on the timing of my menstrual cycle, my due date would have been only one day off from WZW’s.  Although there are worse things that can happen, having two children with birthdays very close, or perhaps even on the same day, would have been annoying for everyone involved.  So we figured we can hold off for a month.

But we are definitely thinking about #2.  Before having WZW, I thought I’d want to have my kids less than two years apart.  But the reality of life after baby is that it’s really tough.  It’s hard having such a demanding job, and also handling life with a toddler, who is naturally demanding in a different way.  So it’s taken me a while to get to the point where I’m ready to start trying for #2.

For a long time, I was hoping to get to a point where I could focus on eating better and exercising a little more.  But after a while, I realized that it’s not realistic given my current circumstances.  Even if I didn’t have a child, my job would take a significant amount of my energy.  When I’m there, I can’t half-ass it.  I need to give my 100%.  Not to mention the time- I would love to have a 40-hour work week, rather than my typical 50-something hour work week.  With the combination of needing my brain to be critically thinking most of the time, staying positive and friendly for my patients, and the long hours of doing so, my usual work day is very draining.

Between work and wanting to spend time with WZW, I just don’t have the energy to prioritize Paleo eating.  While I’m not going crazy with pizza and pasta, ultimately convenience wins out.  Not to mention after a stressful day, I gravitate towards comfort food.

One day my brother-in-law was helping watch WZW when the nanny was sick, and he was gracious enough to make dinner.  It was a fish and greens dish from Sun Basket (like Blue Apron, but faster to make and with Paleo options).  I ate it, and it was good, but I just didn’t feel satisfied.  I needed more- something with more carbs, and/or something heartier.  It’s too bad that even when a healthy meal was made for me and ready to eat, it still wasn’t enough.  It just goes to show how much my mental state can affect my eating habits.

Even if I finish work at a time that would potentially allow for fitting in a little exercise before heading home, that means less time that I’m spending with my son.  Of course, exercise is beneficial for my health and I need to prioritize that.  But still, when I don’t see WZW that much during the work week as it is, it’s hard to choose.  It’s easy to talk myself out of exercising by rationalizing that it’s because I want to see my son, when really part of it is that I’m feeling unmotivated.

I’m trying not to completely give up- if I can choose healthier options, or if I can fit in a little exercise, I’m going to try.  But committing to being fully or nearly Paleo, or exercising a certain amount, not to mention New Year’s resolutions- I feel like I’d be setting myself up for failure.  As a result, I find myself avoiding making specific goals.  I don’t want to have yet another thing to feel bad about, because I didn’t meet those goals.

I’m sure it’s common to feel a little nervous about the prospect of having the new challenge of a toddler plus a newborn.  I also worry about the challenges of pregnancy the second time around.  This time, I’d be entering pregnancy heavier and less fit than I was before WZW showed up.  I already have low back pain from lifting him and such.  So I’m expecting a second pregnancy to be harder on me physically.  A lot of my patients seem to have more pain the second time around.

My first pregnancy wasn’t bad, but the nausea in the first trimester was tough to deal with.  The thought of going through that again, plus probable additional physical discomforts the second time around isn’t something I’m looking forward to.

I can’t help but wonder- what kind of effect will it have on baby #2 if I’m not as healthy at baseline starting the pregnancy?  And I know based on my current habits that I won’t be able to eat as healthy or exercise as regularly during pregnancy compared to last time.  We know statistically that there are risks of obesity in pregnancy, which is why we recommend starting a pregnancy at a healthy weight when possible, and once pregnant, gaining the appropriate amount of weight based on one’s starting weight.

It does depress me a bit that I’m no longer in the normal weight category, but well into the overweight category.  So there are probably some subtle effects of being overweight, but if I keep waiting to get back to a normal weight, then it’s never going to happen.

It almost makes one wonder if it’s all worth it.  Ultimately, it would be nice for WZW not to be an only child.  There is nothing wrong with deciding on one child, and my husband and I are very grateful to have one healthy child.  But having grown up with siblings, we’ve always envisioned having a second.  I thankfully have a good relationship with my brother, probably more so now that he has twins and we can relate about parenting stuff.  I would love for that to be the case with my children.  I also wonder if I would inadvertently put more expectations/pressure on WZW if he’s an only child.

Beyond two, I don’t know how we would handle it.  I mean, we’ve talked about wanting a dog, but even that I’m not sure I can handle.  Given how challenging I find one child to be, I truly find it a bit difficult to understand how some people want like 4 kids.  I just can’t imagine staying sane, especially if they’re all close in age.

It’s funny, because despite all of the above fears, I’m also scared of the other possibility- what if it’s not so easy to get pregnant with #2?  Since I’m not keeping up with the Paleo lifestyle these days, and I’m a little older, what if I have trouble this time?  One of my friends was maybe 37 when she was trying for baby #2 and ended up needing to do IVF due to age-related infertility.

In any case, I can’t keep worrying about all the what ifs.  We’ll deal with what happens as it comes, right?

 

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2 thoughts on “Thinking About Baby #2

  1. Meg March 8, 2017 / 2:47 am

    Hi POB,

    Long time no speak. I had to comment on this one though. As has happened a few times in the past this post is like you typing up what I was thinking. We are also thinking about #2 and about the best time to conceive. We are planning this for the next cycle, but that may not work out as hubby will be travelling quite a bit mid-cycle so might be pushed another month. Anyway, let’s see.

    I too have mentally wrestled with the same things you talk about here. Toddler-hood is tiring (not that babyhood wasn’t!!). I still go through bouts of thinking ‘maybe one child is enough’ and then worrying that when we (hubby and I) die he’ll be kind of alone. It’s a special thing having a sibling – they’re the only other people in the world who can truly know your childhood environment and life and parents.

    Anyway, I am also still about 8kgs (about 18 pounds) above my pre-pregnancy weight and it’s not like I’m not trying to lose it! Little J doesn’t sleep super well and is a highly highly active child who needs a lot of stimulation and supervision. So with disrupted sleep and super duper busy days it’s not easy for me to focus on my body or fitness, no matter how much I want to before the next pregnancy. There is some history of diabetes in my family including gestational diabetes. Now I was fine in the last pregnancy but was younger and in much better shape so am worried that in my current state this might become more of a risk next time around.

    Then sometimes I oscillate to the other end and worry that getting pregnant may not be as easy as it was last time. Over the past couple of years a lot of women I know, about my age, have struggled to get pregnant. I think the only reason I hear their stories is that we seem to bond over the struggles of motherhood. Before pregnancy though i don’t think I would’ve heard how hard it is for some women. Way more women struggle than I expected at younger ages than I expected. That’s another reason I don’t want to delay baby #2 anymore – just in case it takes us a year or more.

    We also have other factors to consider when thinking about baby #2. We are living somewhere exotic at the moment for my husband’s job, where I can’t work. This was ok so far with baby and maternity leave (up to a year where we’re from) but I’m pushing it a little now re my CV. Having baby #2 now might actually work out better so I get all my maternity leave out of the way before applying for jobs in the west.

    I keep telling myself people manage it somehow, a toddler and a little baby. Very often, in fact. We’ll deal with it too when we have to. Let’s focus for now on a) getting pregnant b) having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

    Re the food – we muddle through and cook as best as we can. I’ve come to rely a lot on our pressure cooker. Throw a bunch of ingredients, including veggies in and forget about it.

    Like

    • Paleo OB March 11, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Always great to hear from you, Meg. It’s amazing how even though you’re on the other side of the world, you can totally relate, and the Internet can make the world feel smaller. I feel you on the challenges of having a toddler. On the one hand, my days at work have been really busy and I miss my little guy tons. But on the days that I’m at home all day alone with him, it’s also really exhausting in a different way because those toddlers are nonstop. At this point, I’m just taking it one day at a time, and seeing how it goes with trying for baby #2. And then depending on what happens, we’ll just go from there.

      Like

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