I always thought I would, but right now…
My colleagues are delivering their first babies left and right. It’s a regular boom. I look at the newborns and think… man I’m glad that’s not me.
The plan was to have one before tenure, and then one after my tenure packet was in. DC would be old enough to help and over a lot of those issues that 2-4 year olds tend to have when presented with new competition.
My tenure packet is coming due this summer. But I’m not feeling it.
Getting pregnant is very difficult for me. It took well over a year and a half (not counting the 9 months of pregnancy that followed) of eating perfectly (no brownies! ), taking insulin-sensitizing medications, not drinking, no sushi, having my legs up in straddle position in one specialist office after another, drugs, desperation, vomit…
The pregnancy itself… tiredness, anemia, a few months of the complete inability to keep literally any food down other than fruit and fizzy water (thank Goodness we figured out that fruit stayed down), a well-trod path between my office and the bathroom (will I make it now that the nearest restroom is farther away and there’s often a line?), trying to find a prenatal vitamin I could keep down, the hypoglycemic mood swings, sudden need for food… and, what’s worse, the constant fear of loss during pregnancy that lasts long after the birth.
Then even our perfect baby destroyed our sleep and made us sick. Baby boot camp is only two weeks long, but I can’t imagine going through it again. And it is unlikely that #2 will be as “easy” as #1, just because of regression to the mean. (Did I mention there’s no maternity leave at my school?)
The plan was to go to the doctor in March and get a prescription for metformin, then ramp up to 1500ml over the course of a couple of months. First you take 500ml. Then you wait until you stop throwing up. Then you take 1000ml. Another week and a half of throwing up. Then 1500 ml. If you eat anything too greasy, you throw up. If you eat anything you’re not supposed to be eating you go hypoglycemic. Metformin is the ultimate commitment device. I’m a size 6 when I’m trying to get pregnant. But if I don’t do metformin, my chance of early miscarriage skyrockets.
We love our kid more than life. (S)He brings us daily joy. But (s)he’s also very time-intensive. Always going, always interacting, never napping. Do we want to introduce another? Do we want to keep pouring all our time into this one? Maybe just a little longer to watch every moment (outside of daycare, of course) of hir growing up. We kind of like the routines we’ve settled into. And we’re not sure we could take more time away from work.
Will I want one after tenure?
My mom said she waited until I was old enough to help out and had started asking for a sibling. DC doesn’t seem interested just yet. Hir friends are getting siblings but ze seems happy to be an only.
Trying for #1 was obvious… I *HAD* to have a baby. My need greatly outweighed any rational considerations. I had baby fever, which I hear is something that folks who don’t generally like kids often get. Mother nature’s way of getting us to reproduce.
I’m not ready now. Will I ever be? Will baby fever hit me when it is too late to do anything about? Maybe recently there have been some little twinges. I’m not sure. But there’s nothing obvious going on and I’m leery of getting started. But maybe I’ll go to the doctor and get a prescription and see where that goes. Or maybe I’ll just keep putting it off.
DC has actually weighed in on this issue… hir friends are gaining little brothers and sisters right and left, and ze is bemused by the entire process. Hir current stance is that someday ze would like a little sibling, and is confident that ze would make an excellent older sibling, but not right now (or really any time soon). Luckily 9 months is an eternity in the life of a preschooler, if we do decide to go for it.
How did you know you were ready or not ready for #2? (Or not ready for a #1!)