(Photo credit: Becca Gutierrez with Rusty Metals Photography // @RustyMetalsPhotography)
I’ve written about this question a couple times. First I wondered when we should start thinking about a second baby, and then I went on a whole ramble about second baby questions and concerns. The reality is, that there is no right answer. I know that some people dream of having large families while others never want kids. Some people fall into second pregnancies while others struggle to conceive once. We were going to wait until Harley was three to even have the conversation, but I sorta jumped the gun with Dean, which ended up being a good thing.
I promise I’ll share more with you below, but the main thing that I took away from the conversation and reaching a conclusion about it is realizing how big the topic was becoming in my head. Did I want another baby? If so, when? And what about all the worries and concerns? Even when I was busy with other tasks, I’d find myself thinking about a baby, or not a baby, or the impact it would have on our family, and how much time did I have left, and what impact it would have on my body. Well, now we have a decision, and it feels like a weight has been lifted.
A couple weeks back, I jumped the gun and asked Dean if we could talk about a potential baby number 2. I wanted to know if he even wanted another kid. I know this is something that can lead to serious marital issues, which is why open communication is so vital.
As he pointed out in a surprisingly sweet and gentle way, as much as I went THROUGH what I went through with the eclampsia, he was the one who remembers it all and was conscious for it all. I don’t remember having two seizures, but he remembers waking up next to me coughing up blood because of biting my tongue so much. I don’t remember the hours between him getting me to the hospital and me going in for an emergency c-section, but he remembers talking to the doctor about my chances of dying on the table. And if I died during a second bout of preeclampsia, he would be the one who would have to raise the baby who killed his wife, the one who would have to tell Harley that mommy isn’t coming home.
Yes, I know that most people who get preeclampsia with their first kid don’t get it again. Yes, I know that there are ways to monitor a pregnancy to ensure that I’m properly treated from the very first signs. There are plenty of women out there who have near-death experiences with their first pregnancies and go on to have healthy second and third pregnancies.
But we’ve decided that we don’t want to risk it. We’ve decided that we will not opt for a second pregnancy. In fact, I’ve already started looking into options for Dean to get snipped so that we don’t have to think about birth control.
This doesn’t necessarily close the door on second kid options, though. We’ve agreed that if we decide that we want another kid, we will do so via foster or adoption. This isn’t a fallback plan or a second choice. There are so many kids out there in need of great homes and so many homes out there in need of great kids. There are pros and cons to this, like anything, but it’s the route that we’ve decided we’ll look at if or when we want to add to our family.
Not only does the pure fact of making a decision make me feel about a million times better, this decision, in particular, feels like a big burden off my shoulders. I no longer need to consider my age as part of this equation. Perhaps we will wait until Harley is 5 and then try to adopt a 2-3-year-old. Maybe we will adopt an older kid somewhere along the line. Or we might just end up as a family of 3, without ever opting to add more kids to our home.
Whatever we end up doing, it feels good to have made a decision. Having a kid is hard, and I’d imagine adding to the tribe makes things both easier and harder at the same time. For now, Harley is amazing and fun and exhausting, and more than enough work. But at least I now know our path forward if or when we’re interested.
Have you had this discussion with your partner? Where did you land and what factors were most important for you?