Heater, Mother of Lance

Go forth and multiply

When my sister was pregnant for the fourth time she gave my mother a frame with places for five pictures as a christmas gift. I was standing directly next to my mother when she opened it, and I noticed before she did that the first three mats in the frame corresponded to my sister’s first three children, and the other two mats indicated that two more were on their way. At first my mother thought that her oldest daughter had miscalculated the size of her own family, and as she was pointing this out the frightening reality hit her like a brick in the face, “But you don’t have . . . THIS DOES NOT MEAN WHAT I THINK IT MEANS.” The frame was my sister’s creative way of saying that she was trying to populate the Earth by herself.

My sister’s house has always been a suburban recreation of Lord of the Flies, except her version has always had a little more cannibalism. When my mother processed the fact that my sister was going to be bringing twin boys into the mix her face became a physical manifestation of The World Ending. It’s not that she wasn’t joyous about the prospective new additions, it’s that she knew one would be hard enough. But two? TWO MORE? JUST IMAGINE THE BLOOD SPATTER.

My sister’s twins are now five years old, and since their birth she has been harassing me to do my part in expanding the family. I always thought I would have three or more kids. I guess it’s because I have two siblings myself, and that’s the kind of family I’ve always wanted. But after the experience I’ve had with this first one, with my precious Screaming Leta, I’m not so sure I’m the type of person who could handle three kids. And that has been hard to accept. I see other mothers who have that many kids, and deep inside I am envious of them simply for the fact that they seem to be handling it even if they think they aren’t handling it at all.

I am frequently asked if Jon and I plan to have any more kids, and the answer to that is long and winding:

I finally feel like I have a handle on the responsibilities of this family, like I know what I’m doing, like the role of Mother makes sense. Finally my instincts have kicked in at the right frequency, and I don’t go around all day thinking what is this creature that runs through my house and why won’t it stop making that noise?

Only recently have I started to have that baby itch again, have I wanted to put the shiny, bald heads of infants in my mouth. I think that’s a good sign because it means I’ve been able to forget a little bit of the sting of those first six months and am now at a point where I would even consider going through it again. I’m the one at the neighborhood party grabbing the babies off their mothers’ laps because the urge to bite their nubbly ears is too overwhelming. Wanting to eat babies is a good indication that I have healed.

But the decision to have another baby is so complicated. What if when we try it doesn’t work? What if when we try I end up like my sister, pregnant with twins? Can we afford to have another child? Because now our insurance is such that we have to cover the cost of the delivery. Is our house big enough? How will I continue working and supporting my family if anything goes wrong?

Add to that my history of postpartum depression and the fact that I am now more likely to to experience it again because I did the first time around. Am I ready for that? Is Jon? Should I even risk putting him or Leta though that again? Should I risk destroying the peaceful home that I’ve spent the last two years building?

I don’t know.

  • MontanaJen

    2006/05/18 at 9:04 am

    Get out of my head, woman.

    The ‘what ifs’ never, ever stop, do they? Sheesh.

    When my husband and I got pregnant for the first time, the what ifs CONSUMED me – couldn’t sleep at night, wondering about college funds and the fact that I didn’t know how to bake bread and by God where I grew up bread making is what mothers DID and HOW am I EXPECTED to be a MOTHER and NOT BAKE BREAD?!?

    Three months later we miscarried. Then we were devastated.

    I realized that the questions will never, ever be answered, but even better – my sainted, bread making mother had the same damn questions. She didn’t answer them either. I’m so freaking happy she didn’t, because having three girls and then a boy in relatively close ages is NOT where the answers would have pointed her.

    You’ll make the decision that’s right for you. Best of luck in your journey there.

    Then I realized that

  • kelliamanda

    2006/05/18 at 9:04 am

    I don’t know if it’s possible for you to stay on meds while pregnant, or if you could, possibly, go on them right after the birth and forego trying to BF this time? A good friend of mine, who battled severe PPD after her first child, decided to stay on Zoloft during her second pregnancy. So far, so good, and hopefully it’ll work out for her, but we won’t know for sure until after the baby. I have no kids & no pregnancies under my belt, but I know depression all too well and, unfortunately, Zoloft didn’t work for me, so that wouldn’t be an option if I were to get pregnant. I’ve seriously debated whether it would be smart for me to try for a baby (at some point) at all, given my history of depression and med-resistance. That said, you do what you have to do. If staying sane & out of the psych ward means no more kids for you, then so be it, and you can shower your (non-depressed!) attention on Leta. But if you decide to go for it again, I’m rooting for you. Hell, I’m rooting for you either way. Best of luck.

  • TerraT

    2006/05/18 at 9:02 am

    Those are such great questions and real concerns, but I for one think that you are definitely one of those moms that doesn’t think they have it together when in fact you do.

    As for, can you handle more than one, let me share a piece of advice my Grandmother gave me when I was first considering being a foster parent (single and with no children) always have two.

    Two children will keep each other company when they are older, sure there will be the squabbles and disagreements, but while they’re busy playing and fighting with eachother you can be sneaking a drink in the kitchen, and that alone makes it worth it.

  • Jennifer

    2006/05/18 at 9:00 am

    Tough questions. Very tough decision. But I’m sure that whatever you do, it will be the right decision.

  • Urs

    2006/05/18 at 9:02 am

    this isn’t meant to be offensive, so please don’t get upset.
    it is because of people like your sister that i am choosing not to have any children.

  • Elle

    2006/05/18 at 9:00 am

    I haven’t even had this one yet and I am asking myself how will I ever want to go through this again? I cried today at work in front of several co-workers who are now looking at me like I really am that poor, crazy pregnant lady I think I am. Everyone says the 2nd trimester is great. I really am banking on that, because as it stands now I don’t think I can handle 6 more months of this.

  • Mack'sMom

    2006/05/18 at 8:59 am

    You are going through EXACTLY what I am going through…and so I relate all too much. My daughter turns two TODAY, and I always said I wanted my children three years apart. I need to get crackin’ this fall.

    We can’t afford it…but we couldn’t afford my daughter and we made it work. Luckily you don’t have to worry about daycare, because that’s what we really can’t afford. So the question is, Do I go part-time? My sanity won’t let me be a SAHM…

    I have the itch, but I don’t think I have the mental stability to add to the craziness around me.

    I say, WAIT until you absolutely can’t handle it….then you’re ready! I want more children, but I don’t want to not enjoy them like I did my daughter.

    You can only try to plan for the big picture, you can’t control it. If the depression comes back, you have experience under your belt. You’ll be able to get help immediately rather than months down the road.

  • smellthejava

    2006/05/18 at 8:58 am

    We’re in the midst of this quandry, too. Some people say just close your eyes and jump in. I dunno, having one great, but a hand full of a kid makes the decision doubly hard. Good luck, whatever you decide.

    And am I really first?!?

  • Lily

    2006/05/18 at 8:58 am

    Totally understandable. There is a lot (A LOT) of pressure for people “multiply.”

    I have one, and I know I am done. He’s almost 8. I love babies… I even love the idea of being pregnant. It’s just EVERYTHING else that I know I don’t want to commit myself to for the next 20 years +.

    Good luck in whatever you and Jon decide.

  • Heather

    2006/05/18 at 10:32 am

    After reading several of the responses, I have to say I think people plan way too much. I’m not saying don’t take any precautions, but all this planning for every single thing in your life is just too much. Let some things happen. I never thought I’d be able to take care of three young kids (except for that time before I had any kids), yet here I am doing it. I learned to go to the grocery store with two or three of them, learned to make one wait when the other one needs me, learned to go to the bathroom with all three of them joining me. You do what you have to do. People need to lighten up. Your kids will probably benefit by learning some patience by being told to wait. It’s not very often easy, but people do not give themselves enough credit.

  • stellalafayette

    2006/05/18 at 10:31 am

    thanks for the great post heather. some of the best blogs i read have been by reading comments to your posts. so thanks for opening up the comments sometimes. you rawk.

    i just wanted to show you the blog of an AMAZING mom. i’m not sure you spend much of your day reading other blogs, but check out this super-mom: http://www.kristyk.org

    and sorry for the no caps… i know it bugs you but i just got up and my left pinky hasn’t had coffee yet.

  • Jessica

    2006/05/18 at 10:30 am

    It frustrates me when people push others to have children. It is a decision each couple (or even individual) has to come to on their own and certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly. It especially frustrates me when the pressure comes from my own family. But I’m sure many can relate to that. =)

  • biodtl

    2006/05/18 at 10:29 am

    I think all parents have been through that difficult decision (even those who haven’t shared your specific struggles) and I defintely think the decisions over subsequent kids is more difficult than that over the first. I always knew I wanted more than one, but it was still hard to say, “ok…now” You’ll definitely handle it. In some ways it will be easier and in others, harder.

    And personally, it’s people like you sister (good, competent, happy moms with beautiful, wonderful, happy children) that make me WANT to have more, because they are proof that it can be done.

  • kookaburra

    2006/05/18 at 10:24 am

    As the proud mother of one 10 month-old energetic girl, I have to say that I’m happy and satisfied with one. Why mess with perfection? I, too, get “go forth and populate pressure.” But, is that a pressure to which we should succumb? When you finally learn how to manage big poopy diapers, running in 6 directions at once and turning on and off every light as you go by the switch, you should ask yourself if you’re fulfilled. I remember pregnancy, and no sleep…so, I love my current life.

  • momma 2 angels

    2006/05/18 at 10:19 am

    What a thoughtful post Heather. As I type this, I am watching Telletubbies and my 3 year old just polished off the last of my diet coke. My 1st kid didn’t exactly have the same experience, but I am a better parent this time I think. More relaxed. Brooke claims she isn’t having PPSD this time either, so she says. Who knows maybe she is snorting Paxil? I believe in a colossal conspiracy that makes people in your situation contemplate that pro8spective twinkle! Because the people with more than one WANT you to have another child because if you didn’t, you’d have loads more free time, money, guaranteed sanity and they’re envious of that. That sad, my daughter has added blah blah blah (good stuff) to our family and my son is exponentially a better human because she is here. Now sit that uterus down and have a real heart to heart! Now Heather I think you should move out here to LA and have an edgy/musicy/family talk show. You need an agent:) Get going!

  • SilverSeraphim

    2006/05/18 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been having the baby-making impulse, too. I remember when I got pregnant with the Small one being terrified I was going to have horrible PPD because I have a history of depression. I did have some (nowhere near yours, Heather), but I got through it, and now I know better about myself.

    Your experiences were horrible, sweetie, but now you and John know what you’re dealing with. You know what to look for, you know how to handle it, and you know when to call in the cavalry.

    And the responses of Leta and Chuck to this little invader will be *priceless* blog material…

  • William

    2006/05/18 at 10:22 am

    I know you only touched on this a little bit, but there is sooo much more to consider. Like chasing a toddler around while you are 8 to 9 months pregnant. My wife is going through that now and that is tough. As well as all the hormonal changes and dealing with a toddler.

  • LeAnne

    2006/05/18 at 10:17 am

    I’m looking to have my fourth, my first with my new husband. My other three are wonderful and although it was hard when they were young (they are close in age) it is so very much easier now. I am kept awake nights wondering if this is something we should do. You are not alone in your thoughts.

  • CharlotteRose

    2006/05/18 at 10:14 am

    I truly believe that when your first baby is difficult/a screamer, your second will be easy/a quiet one! This belief is what enabled me to have a second baby. My first screamed for hours day after day for MONTHS. She was so hard. My second was a boy, and couldn’t have been an easier baby. I swear he practically never cried! It was so much better the second time around. I also had PPD with the first, but not the second. I often wonder if the lack of screaming the second time around, plus the “knowing what to do with a baby” factor helped. This too could happen to you!

  • the niffer

    2006/05/18 at 10:15 am

    I’m with Windy. I’m due in September (partly because of that edible child you have) and the scariest thing for me is not knowing if I’ll poop on my kid. And if I do, will it keep me from having another one?

    I guess you haven’t really considered this an issue. I imagine you’d welcome a good poop, public or not.

    Excellent post, great discussion. Whatever decision you and Jon make will be the best for your family.

  • empresschrys

    2006/05/18 at 10:17 am

    I give you much credit for bravery my dear, opening this up for debate amongst the populace of the blurbodoocery universe is brave indeed! (Or incredibly stupid, not quite sure which yet)

    I have no children yet, but the husband and I decided a few weeks ago to forgo birth control and “let nature take it’s course.” I am scared shitless and totally excited all at the same time.
    Oddly enough, we have already had the “one or more?” discussion. Right now we sit at a firm two and that’s it policy, but I told him I reserved the right to ammend that if having the first one ends up being enough for me.

    I think you are smart to consider it and give the decision a great deal of thought. Whatever your decision I can honestly say I support you and Jon 100%. I think you two should do whatever you decide you want, what all of us in the blogoshpere think is irrelevant. We do not live your life, you do, so do what you want with it.

  • Etack

    2006/05/18 at 10:15 am

    My husband and I have found happiness in one child, though when we started out we thought we’d have more, but as it all progressed, we just knew one was the right number for us. I feel badly when people feel pressure to have more because I think having one is totally underrated. Of course, my sister is also a mother of twins, so this might have something to do with it!

  • lorilynn

    2006/05/18 at 10:16 am

    I have drilled every woman I see with two or more children about the difference between one child and two. They always tell me it is not twice the work–it is one hundred times the work. They tell me after two kids it doesn’t matter how many you have. I have been thinking about this since my son was born five years ago. I have all the same thoughts and questions. I also have a fear something will happen to my son and I will not be able to go on. I feel in my warped head that having another child would keep my from going crazy if I lost my son.

  • kerry

    2006/05/18 at 10:13 am

    i know exactly what you are going through. whenever my extended family gets together, i’m always asked when hubby and i are going to have “more” because my cousin just had her 4th son this time last year.

    i have 2 sons under the age of 5 and, although i used to want 4 or 5 kids, i’m not sure my sanity could handle having any more. not at this point in my life, anyway. maybe if i had started in my early 20’s, when i had butt-loads of energy, but i’m exhausted all the time now.

    and yet, whenever i hear about one of my friends or family being pregnant, i get that itch. my other cousin’s wife is pregnant again. this will be their 2nd. part of me wants to be pregnant, too. but i don’t want to end up in a mental ward.

    it’s a tough decision. i hope you find the answers you need.

  • shellibells

    2006/05/18 at 10:12 am

    I am having the Mama urge as well, one 8 year old is my only child…a daughter. I miss it.

    However, the only way I’m getting pregnant (single) and having any worthy opponent father my child is by chosing the blonde haired blue eyed nerd from the sperm bank…

    Being single sucks! (sometimes)

  • Jamie

    2006/05/18 at 10:10 am

    I have one 8 month old baby boy and I am perfectly happy to have him be my one and only. My husband really wants at least one (or two…) more. I was an only child myself and I can’t imagine having another one. I feel like I’m spread as thin as I can go already, I don’t think it’s fair to my son to have to spread myself even further. It’s a really tricky decision because it’s not one that can ever be changed. Good luck. I know you guys will do the right thing.

  • kerri

    2006/05/18 at 10:10 am

    I really can’t bring any baby-making advice to the table. I can bring the mush and say that from my vantage, you are a great mom. And any child, be it one, or two, or seven, would be lucky and blessed to have you.

  • susud

    2006/05/18 at 10:11 am

    It gets easier! I have 3 children. 13, 11 and 7. The last one was an afterthought, I was 36. I wouldn’t change anything.

  • Heather

    2006/05/18 at 10:09 am

    Hi Heather,

    I love this post. I never had to go through post partum, so I cannot relate completely to the devastating effects that must have had on you and your family. I have, however gone through some very difficult times after having kids and have felt like having anymore would be really hard on me, the hubby, and the kids. I have three kids, the oldest is 6, then comes a 3 year old, and then my 2 year old. I appreciated what you said about moms of three who are handling it even if they don’t think they are. I often wonder if I’m handling it. It is really hard, especially with them so close in age. I am actually relieved to think about the fact that my youngest is two, that I’m not breastfeeding anymore, that if she skips an occasional nap it won’t kill her, or me for that matter. I have actually been pregnant four times, I had a miscarriage with one. I love my family right now and kind of feel like I’m finally getting things right. The stress of another child would be tough. It is such a personal decision. For me, having a second (and subsequently third) child had a huge impact on me. It opened my eyes to the fact that my oldest was not screwed up and difficult because of me (or at least not completely!) but that he was hardwired that way. My daughters showed me that not every child will throw a tantrum when you leave the park after 3 hours of playing.

    I’m not sure where I’m going with all this. I guess just know that another child, while amazingly difficult and tiring while an infant, is such a blessing for the whole family. As crazy as my kids make me when they are bickering and fighting, they equally fill me with pride and joy when I see them stick up for one another or share with each other. Do what is right for you and your family, but don’t think that you can’t handle another child. You are an amazing mom with so muchlove to give. (The baby I miscarried and my third were “surprises”, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world!)

    Thanks for your entertaining and honest blog.

  • vegasandvenice

    2006/05/18 at 10:08 am

    I understand both your desire and your fear and that is all that I can say about this. The rest is yours.

  • JustLinda

    2006/05/18 at 10:09 am

    I’ll tell you what…

    I’d be willing to do something for you. Only for you, though (or for anyone else). You could take a few of MINE for a month or two, just to try it out and see.

    A week?

    A day?

    OK, an hour. You’d do it for an hour, right?

  • Thérèse

    2006/05/18 at 10:05 am

    Err… that’s “no” not “not.”

    Stupid letter t.

  • CharlotteRose

    2006/05/18 at 10:07 am

    I truly believe that when your first baby is difficult/a screamer, your second will be easy/a quiet one! This belief is what enabled me to have a second baby. My first screamed for hours day after day for MONTHS. She was so hard. My second was a boy, and couldn’t have been an easier baby. I swear he practically never cried! It was so much better the second time around. I also had PPD with the first, but not the second. I often wonder if the lack of screaming the second time around, plus the “knowing what to do with a baby” factor helped. This too could happen to you!

  • RDZ

    2006/05/18 at 10:05 am

    Good for you for actually giving it some honest thought before letting the hormones or whatever get the best of you.

    In response to those who are asking if you can really plan a pregnancy, I would say yes and no. I’m starting my 7th month right now and although we’d planned to have this baby, we didn’t plan to get pregnant 3 weeks after we started trying. I guess we’re just very efficient. My holidays were totally ruined. It was the first time in nearly 20 years that I didn’t start the new year with a hangover.

    We are still gestating our first and the husband is talking about getting a vasectomy to rule out others. But what if we have such a great time with this one that we want fifteen more?

    As hard as it is to decide to have one or more, I’m thinking it’s just as difficult to decide NOT to do it.

    Good luck Heather & Jon, whatever you decide to do. Maybe you should start with a second dog and see how that goes. 😉

  • Katie

    2006/05/18 at 10:04 am

    Okay, nobody’s raised the most important question, that being: WWCD (What would Chuck do?)

    Seriously though, you DO have the new sewer pipe to handle anything two children might eventually flush…

    Okay, no really–good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Bake Town

    2006/05/18 at 9:59 am

    I know exactly how you feel. I only have one child and he’s now 16. I wish I had done things differently.

  • Jennifer

    2006/05/18 at 10:03 am

    First, I love your honesty! I am 32 and have three kids (7,5,2). The first two are both girls, born 21 months apart. I handled them fine. The last was a boy and he was born while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan (he’s active duty army). I was alone for the birth and the first 8 months, my husband visited, and then left again for 6 more months. I thought I handled it well too, but after my husband got back I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The pills help a lot.

    I know for a fact that I am done having kids. I love my kids, but I’m pretty stretched. I understand your hesitancy because of your medical stuff, but please know that just because it happened once doesn’t mean it will happen again. Just thank your lucky stars that you understand the warning signs and are not ashamed to get help.

    Leta would be blessed to grow up with a sibling, but just be confident and trust your decision, whatever it may be.

  • anniewaits

    2006/05/18 at 9:58 am

    Leta is incredibly lucky to have such wonderful parents. You have an amazing, loving family.

    I’m getting married later this year and we’ve had a lot of talk lately about starting a family – when, how many, and so on. As an 11-year member of the Anti-Depressants club, I am very worried about the effect pregnancy will have on me, my husband, my family. I sympathize, and I wish your family the best.

    It’s a decision that only you and Jon can make. If you choose not to have another child, don’t let anyone tell you it’s the wrong decision. How can anyone say that? It’s YOUR family.

  • Thérèse

    2006/05/18 at 9:58 am

    You know… there’s not wrong answer to that question, Heather.

    Things happen in life or they don’t, and all we can really do is chase after happiness, whatever that means to each of us. You’ve been through a lot in your life. You can weather whatever comes next, whatever you decide, whenever you decide it. I hope that’s something you know, remember, and take comfort in. It’s obvious from how you write about your family that you love them. To me, that says that anything you do will be out of love.

    Two cents. From one perfect stranger to another. 🙂

  • AndreaBT

    2006/05/18 at 9:58 am

    This is definitely a question only you can answer for yourself. I had a similar experience: high-need screaming baby plus post-partum depression. I decided at a certain point that I thought I was ready, but God apparently thought otherwise, because I conceived four times in a 14-month-period, and miscarried them all. Finally, when my daughter was almost four, I got pregnant again and it stuck. Easy baby. And the MOMENT I felt myself falling into that abyss of depression again, I just went straight on the meds. That’s the good thing about the second time around, you’ll know what to watch for.

    And I truly must be crazy, because I’m now pregnant with our third, due in January. Baby lust is a powerful, powerful thing.

  • kathrynaz

    2006/05/18 at 9:56 am

    amen, sistah. I have a 13 mo. old, and I have just begun fielding that question. Motherhood, especially for “working” moms, is such a fine balance. It takes a HUGE leap of faith to bring in ANY new variable (never mind a screaming, pooping, real live variable) into the family. Right now simply contemplating ditching our couch for a sectional sends me in paroxysms of doubt and anxiety. Change is SCARY.

    But they are so cute and wonderful… hmmmm…. ack!!

  • Jonniker

    2006/05/18 at 9:54 am

    Gah, really, I’d love to say something more substantial, but I’m too busy reeling from the staggering amount of people who actually take the time to comment, not to express support or just a simple, “this is my experience, take it or leave it,” but who actually are taking the time to *tell you what to do* and using words like, “people like your sister,” and “morbid” and “this is what you need to do.” Naturally, some of them are prefaced with the words, “No offense,” which generally means they are about to say something offensive.

    It really boggles my mind that any of us can assume what it’s like to be another person, and actually offer such harsh, completely unsolicited advice. Who, exactly, do any of these people think they are? I tell you, I’m boggled. BOGGLED.

    All I can say is that I’m pretty sure no matter what you decide to do, that you will be able to handle it, and it will be the right choice for you, because I don’t think there *is* a right answer. And you are a capable, smart, thoughtful person, and it all will work out.

    Much love to you.

  • zitsmom

    2006/05/18 at 9:53 am

    #1 was adopted so no PPD, no stretch marks, got the call on Monday, picked him up on Thursday and I was a mom. #2 was the baby from hell from 20 weeks of pregnancy till the birth. Had PPD-(had NO idea what it was and was scared shitless to tell anyone my morose, dark thoughts). We made it through and had an uh-oh#3. ALL THREE OF THEM are amazing young men and I can’t imagine my life without all the craziness that kids bring.Sure there were times I wanted to jump from the roof but those were less frequent than the times I just watched them sleep and said a quiet thankyou for those amazing creatures. Leta would be a GREAT big sis…I imagine her pushing you out of the way to take care of the baby herself. Don’t worry, go with the flow and the right thing will happen. Chris

  • 3togetready

    2006/05/18 at 9:52 am

    It’s a big decision. And I can’t address the PPD issue, which is obviously a huge, very valid concern.

    As far as shaking up the status quo, we had 2 kids and were trying to decide if we wanted 3 when the decision was made for us accidentally. I cried for a week when I found out I was pregnant with #3.

    After she came we had 3 kids in one room and we had to buy a new car because 3 car seats wouldn’t fit across our back seat. And now? Not one of us could live without her.

    It’s exactly the same feeling as you posted about here:

    People always ask me if it was hard having children 2 and 3. To them I say both were NOWHERE NEAR as hard as going from 0 to 1. Economies of scale and all that. Oh yeah, and my husband got a vasectomy about a week after #3 was born. I’m not completely insane.

  • MommyofOne

    2006/05/18 at 9:52 am


    Our original intentions were to have two children (girls), two years apart. Our intentions were smashed when we had our first girl, who will be four years old in three months. I honestly don’t know how people can parent more than one child. They must have an exceptional amount of patience and energy because this parenting thing is much more difficult than I ever imagined. We’ve enjoyed her so much and have only had minimal urges to have another one. Our life is so comfy right now and I don’t want to go through it all again (PPD is one of many reasons). We’re so comfy that my hubby has a vasectomy scheduled next month. I never knew we would choose this road, until we walked down it.

    To each his own. Whatever you decide will be the perfect choice for your family. Just like you can’t imagine life without Leta, you would get to a point where you couldn’t imagine life without any subsequent children. The financial stuff will take care of itself eventually.

  • epiro

    2006/05/18 at 9:46 am

    Have you been talking to Brooke Shields? I swear, you must have, because she was just talking about this very subject on the Today show or some other very public forum. The bad news, yeah, you’re gonna have postpartum depression. The good news? You are so much better prepared for it the next time around!

  • Maria

    2006/05/18 at 9:51 am

    Funny you’re writing about this right now… I’m going through similar feelings, and coincidentally, wrote about it 2 weeks ago.

    I’ve been married for almost 5 years, and we’re only now starting to talk seriously about having our FIRST child. But, if it’s always been a bad time, this is the worst time ever, and for many reasons, my maternal wishes still won’t kick in.

    If I get trough it and do have a baby, I know the decision to have a second child will be infinitely harder.

  • murphy

    2006/05/18 at 9:46 am

    I was struggling w/ the same decision in the fall/winter. Did I want another child or not? The whole situation was triggered by the fact that my family doctor pointed out that I should get off the pill because I had a few risk factors for a stroke, and taking the pill was the only thing I could control. My sister suggested I get my tubes tied and the permanency of that decision really freaked me out. Which caused me to wonder: did I freak out because I really want another child?

    One factor that swayed me against another child was my husband. He has 3 from a previous marriage and he really doesn’t want any more. Lack of partner support is HUGE.

    Another factor that swayed me was when my sister pointed out that while I do truly love my son, dogs are my passion – and another baby would delay dreams and goals I have had had since I was a child.

    Then in January I returned to work. I love my job and my son is doing really, really well in day care – loves it – so my decision has been made. I’m going to get those tubes tied.

    But it’s such a personal decision, so hard to make. No one else is going to experience that PPD. No one else is going to have to carry the baby to term, nurse the baby, put up w/ the 24/7 care a newborn demands. No one else can make this decision for you. But rest assured, I think the whole situation is win/win; ie, there’s no way you can choose incorrectly.

    Thanks for an excellent blog post – this is a great discussion.

  • Tina

    2006/05/18 at 9:45 am

    God — this is the same debate that’s been cycling through my head! I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can look at a baby, snuggle it and threaten to eat it with sincerity, which means that the meds must be working. I keep thinking that it would be great to have another child, but then I think about finances, about post-partum depression, about having to go off medication and the hell that would likely entail. You’re not alone in the dilemma department.

    It’s a rough decision. I think I’m putting my decision-making time off until we get our little girl toilet-trained. There’s just something about multiple household members in diapers that just seems very unappealing.

  • naralius

    2006/05/18 at 9:45 am

    do it for Leta… she’ll have a friend for life

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more