Lately as I ponder the possibility of two children, I've definitely been worried about changing dynamics. I've been worried about being spread too thin. But mostly I worry that despite my best intentions - creating a lifetime friend for B to enjoy and lean on - that adding another person to this relationship will break more things than it will fix.
I hate it when I see little kid siblings fight, which they seem to do ALL the TIME. How will I handle that? I have this horrible memory of the time I lived with my aunt and uncle and two similar aged boy cousins, and the three of us fought like cats and dogs, until finally one day my aunt sat at the kitchen table, put her head down, and sobbed. We drove her to that! Will that be me in a few years?
I'd like to think you can curtail this sort of thing by simply checking fighting early on in the lives of your kids - adamantly discouraging fighting and encouraging cooperation, etc. But I know that's a little idealistic. Kids fight, it's what they do. Especially when there are two kids and one mommy. There's just not enough of me to go around.
My mother was convinced her parents didn't want her and instead favored her older sister - the taller, prettier, more popular one, the one who got the silver baby cup and spoon, the one who always had boyfriends. My aunt was married for over forty years; my mother married four times and is currently single. Did those early cues about my mother's self esteem contribute to her hodge-podge of a life?
I often think about this potential new baby, boy or girl, and how different our dynamic would be, for better or worse. I for sure would be more practiced and competent (except for the exasperating reality that all babies are different!). But I would also have less time and attention to devote to the new one. I doubt he or she would be as publicly celebrated, either - no big baby shower, no big 1st birthday party. Because I just wouldn't have the energy or wherewithal. Is it better for kids to not be so celebrated and fawned over, to learn to share? The optimist in me says yes.
One of the more disturbing things everyone's always told me is if your first kid is easy and good that the second will be a nightmare. I hate to say it but I think this is true in most two kid families I know. It would be naive of me to assume the other baby would be as chill and easy as Bumpus. I definitely sidestepped a lot of the issues many mothers have to deal with in the first year - reflux, allergies, ear infections, fevers, not gaining weight, breast feeding supply issues, colic, delays. How much harder would this have been if I'd had to deal with any, or all of that?
Still. I don't think anyone enters into having two babies, especially as a single woman, thinking "this will be a snap!" I know it's going to be frickin' hard, way harder, no doubt, than I can even picture. Is that reason enough to not do it? No, not the way I feel right now. But it sure is scary.
Last night I was doing my usual planning and plotting, and was as always dismayed by my lack of decent times during the year to actually have a baby, based on running this event. I know better than to put myself in my third trimester during my event because of the intense stress; now I know to not have a newborn during the event, either. Which cuts out six months of the year. Then there's the crippling nausea I experience the first three months - I already survived one event with that level of sickness and I would never intentionally do that to myself again. So now we're down to three months to conceive. And guess what? Those three months started last month. So if I don't get my cycles back by June at the very latest I pretty much have to wait a whole YEAR to try again (except for one Hail Mary try in September).
So I looked up some information about naturally inducing ovulation and getting your periods back on track, and one name that kept coming up again and again was Vitex, an herbal supplement also known as chasteberry used for "female trouble". I am considering taking it to get things moving along. If anyone has information about this, I'd like to hear it.
In other news, B went down to sleep with the sitter at around nine Sun night, had one wake up at around five, then up for good at 8. Yesterday since we weren't leaving the house all day I had the unpleasant task of trying to get him to nap in his crib, but I did it! And he slept a solid 1 1/2 hours. Encouraged by this I tried to get him to bed before me, at 8:45 pm; screamed hysterically for maybe a minute and then conked out. Awesome. He's still doing this super early wake up thing, though, waking anywhere between 4 and 6, and it's hard to get him back to sleep at that point; sometimes I just bring him into bed to feed him. I have ordered black out blinds for the windows in an effort to make the room darker to maybe keep him sleeping (the room is very bright once the sun starts to come up). I'd like to say I'm getting more rest, but it's not true - I'm plagued by horrible, racing nightmares every night that leave me exhausted. I know this is just part of hormones/changes in sleep patterns, so hopefully this will even out. Still I'm thrilled by the new sleep patterns. Couldn't be more delighted, really.