Having a baby changes EVERYTHING! Literally. Every aspect of your daily routine now has to work around including a baby. You can no longer head out the door in a rush. Every outing needs to be planned and timed accordingly because now it’s not about you anymore. You’re showered and ready to go? Good! Guess who else needs to be bathed? Ding ding ding! Baby! Need your purse? No no no. Put that purse down and grab that diaper bag. While you’re at it, you better make sure it’s fully stocked! I’m talkin’ diapers, wipes, at least a few outfit changes, a blanket, burp cloths, extra pacifiers, anything you’d need to make a bottle, a nursing cover… the list goes on and on! All of this is not to say that a baby is not life changing in all of the best ways. You now have somebody to love unconditionally with the purest form of love. I’m telling you, I did not know a love like this existed until I had my little guy! So, yeah, it may take some time to get the swing of things, but once you get into a routine that works for you and baby, it’s basically a breeze.
But when is it time for baby #2? Obviously, every answer will be different, but I knew from the get-go that I wanted my babies to be close in age. I had stated earlier on that I wanted to be pregnant again at least by the time my son turned two. Everyone who knows me knew I felt this way, so now I’ve got my 15-month-old, and I am asked on a weekly (I’d say daily, but I might be exaggerating a bit) basis, “when is the next one coming?” To which I usually respond, “I don’t know!”
First of all, it is typically recommended that you wait at least 18 months postpartum before becoming pregnant again so that your body has time to heal both physically and emotionally. This is not to say that pregnancies that occur before the 18-month postpartum mark won’t be completely healthy, it is just a recommendation. Having hit 15 months postpartum, I do have to say, I totally support giving your body time to heal. You’ve gotta flush all of those hormones out before you can begin to feel normal again. I can’t tell you the number of mood swings and manic modes I’m willing to admit to. It’s a lot. And that’s not even counting the ones I’m not owning up to!
Second, things are finally slowing down for us. Raising a baby is a lot of work. And the first year of their life is so busy and full of exciting developments, constantly! I thought about it a lot, and I suffered from major mom guilt for even considering having another baby so soon. I mean, how dare I!? If I was busy being pregnant, I’d miss out on all my first baby’s firsts! I’d be so consumed with doctor appointments, and so tired from growing one little human while raising another. It would be selfish to put my desires to be pregnant again and have another baby before my first baby got all of the isolated love and attention he deserved! Obviously, in retrospect, I know I definitely would not have missed out of all of my first baby’s firsts! And I 100% without a doubt have enough love in my heart for more that one baby! And yeah, I may be a little more tired than normal, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t have the ability to continue being the totally awesome mom that I am!
With that said, there are still so many other factors that contribute to the timing of baby number two. For me, two huge ones are cosleeping and breastfeeding! We have practiced cosleeping with our son since he was born and he continues to sleep in our bed until this day. It was extremely convenient in the early months of his life, but now, I worry about how the transition from our bed to his crib will be and I put it off constantly. One thing I absolutely refuse to do is have two babies in bed with me and my husband. We’d never get to sleep (or do anything else) again!
As far as breastfeeding goes, I exclusively breastfed my baby boy until he was introduced to solid foods at 6 months and I have just started weaning him from his daytime feedings, but continue to nurse him at night. When you exclusively breastfeed, the hormones you produce act as a sort of natural birth control for many women. It can be as effective as other hormonal contraceptives when practiced perfectly but is only reliable for about the first 6 months postpartum or until your period returns. I haven’t taken any hormonal contraceptives since giving birth and mine returned at 8 months postpartum. I have had regular cycles since.
Now that I’ve talked about all of the reasons why we’ve been waiting, let me say, “I’m ready!” My husband and I have talked about timing for baby number two many times, and we came to the mutual agreement that we won’t actively “try” to conceive, but we also won’t “not try”. We came to this agreement after trying for a few months and being disappointed at the lack of success. At this point in my life, I have never felt surer that I am ready. We are ready. And we are currently trying (but not admitting to it.) So wish us luck!