I found myself laying in bed the other night, trying to rearrange in my head the furniture in Natalie's room in such a way as to accomodate a 2nd child in there. Basically, I think the changing table has to go and we can do it, provided there is either a daybed with big draws a la Ikea's pretty white one, or bunk beds with ample room for under bed storage boxes. This whole nesting episode got me thinking, "Am I really ready to get pregnant again?" The first time around wasn't so great - although we did come out the other side with the greatest little girl ever. For all the reasons I can think of not to get pregnant again, I can think of a myriad of ways that certain situations would be better this time around.
Weight - I am at an unhealthy weight as it is right now, and getting pregnant at this weight would not be optimal. However...I see a psychologist who specializes in womens issues and would help work out a nutritial plan for me and would keep me accountable. And I know the first trimester, if anything like pregnancy #1, will be horrid, and I will only be able to stomach saltines and ginger ale and the occasional plain bagel, lest I eat anything more substantial (or flavorful) and just barf it up.
Depression - There were some VERY blue periods during PG#1, not to mention the lovely PPD afterwards. However...this time around, we know how I react to certain anti-depressant medications, so medicating during pregnancy might not be out of the question if things get bad. Plus my psychologist would be prepared for this, and my therapist, and I have such a good support group in my mommy friends, friends that I would not feel ashamed or nervous about asking for help during any dark times. And, tying back into weight, I would know not to self-medicate during the 3rd trimest with a nightly bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
Breastfeeding - Sucked the first 6 weeks of Natalie's life, so much so that I barely remember her during that time, only the constant struggle of nursing around the clock. Now I know I have low supply, and I know that the second #2 is out of me either vaginally or via c-section, she's going on my breast and staying there the entirety of our hospital stay. Not to mention feeding with an eye dropper or a nursing supplementer or whatever to keep the jaundice and sleepies away. And I'll have Marie, our local La Leche leader on speed dial, and I know she'd come visit in the hospital if I asked.
Exercise - I pooped out around month 4 and couldn't last more than 15 minutes to walk on the treadmill. Probably contributed to the 60lbs I gained. This time, I have a Y membership instead, and that means INDOOR POOL. I will haul my giant pregnant ass over there, drop Natalie off with the Bollywood loving child care ladies, and dunk myself in the pool with a kickboard, maybe even some flippers, and just kick back and forth in the water, giant belly all afloat, it may not be much, but it will burn some calories and feel great. That's during the winter. Once it's warm out, I can still drop Natalie off and go do the same thing in the outdoor pool.
Jim - The chance of Jim getting laid off from this job, one he's been at for 2 years now, are slim to none. The job he was at when Natalie was born laid him off when she was 7 weeks old and he had only been there 90 days. Cause of lay off was totally office politics started before he was hired. His current job is more normal, hard working intelligent people, and his bosses wouldn't lay someone off with out warning. And he'd be able to take a week or two off guilt free unlike last time, where he took a whole 3 days off and then was back to work at 75% for a week and full time the next week. Not a good thing to leave your PPD wife home alone during that time. He was also a clueless idiot. Now he's just clueless, having somewhat dropped the idiot part.
Probably the biggest challenge facing a second baby in our family would be finances. I don't know if I could keep up the amount of work I do (although I know I can type while breastfeeding). And if I could keep up, I don't know if I could do it without some sort of serious, once or twice a week scheduled help. I barely do it now with my sporadic once a week or once every two weeks help. But my therapist reminded me of last time, how Jim had taken this new, better paying, job, how I was trying to coordinate part-time from home work that wasn't working out, only to have Jim's job disappear, and to actually be thankful that I had a full time position I could go back to for 4 months in order to keep us from forclosing on our home or living only on ramen noodles. Then lo-and-behold, Jim gets a job even better by 10 times than the one he was laid off from, and my part-time from home proposal was approved with nary a question. This is because it was God's plan, and his plan was better than our plan. I think remembering that, and not trying to over plan financially and what not for #2 and just keeping it all in prayer to Him is the way to go. We are faithful Christians, we tithe, we pray, we believe - and part of that belief system is trusting that God takes care of his people. So why bother trying to over plan for everything and every possible scenario before fictional child #2 arrives? We'll make sure we have a little extra money in the savings account, get our leave time approved in advance, and have faith that God will be there to pull all the other little bits into place and that afterwards, we can look back and see his Hand in it all.
Afterall, this is all assuming we get pregnant again. Natalie was a fluke, we can't explain it, the doctors can't explain it. I have PCOS and yet I got pregnant without trying. I see my gyno in another month for my yearly and I'm going off birth control. I went on it because I was bleeding for weeks at a time 8 months post partum. So we'll see what happens. We'll do our part, and hope that if it's meant for us to have another child, God will somehow make sure that happens one way or another.