Sunday, May 4, 2008

Family Planning

Updated to include more information on baby bunching, and link to the original baby bunching post!

So, apparently, Nelson and I are on the cutting edge of a new trend called "baby bunching." Baby bunching, as defined by Linda Kerr who's co-authoring a book on the topic, is the spacing of children less than two years apart, and it seems that it is all the rage.

There are several reasons for baby bunching: women are having children later, and hence having them in rapid succession to increase fertility; two under two is also a good reason for one parent to take a few years off to raise the kids due to the high costs of child care; you only have to baby proof once; after a year or two your kids have a built-in playmate.

I have middle of the night panic attacks when I think about the fact that my first two kids will only be 17-18 months apart (depending on when Sprout arrives.) That's a lot of diapers, a lot of breastfeeding, a lot of baby weight, and a lot of sleepless nights right on top of each other. I mean, I'm still breastfeeding Oscar. I think I would have liked to have my body back for a little while, but it'll be someone else home/feed bag for the next year and a half at least. That's pretty overwhelming.

When we were planning for Oscar, we were going to start trying in the Spring of 2006. Then, I just didn't feel ready and we pushed it to the Summer of 2006. Then, I didn't feel like Nelson was ready, so we further pushed it to the Fall of 2006, September to be exact. Oscar arrived ten months later.

Since about February, I've been thinking a lot about our next baby, and we were thinking we'd start trying again around December and have kids a little more than two years apart.

Then, something happened. Or, rather, didn't happen.

The prophylactic pause.

Now, the Sprout is on it's way. We were surprised and not surprised. I knew immediately I was pregnant again and told Nelson the next morning, the morning after the missed pause. I began taking my pre-natals and went off coffee. I peed on a thousand sticks until the tell tale pink line made itself known as I knew it would.

And here we are with a pregnancy that was not exactly planned, but not exactly unplanned either. We certainly weren't doing anything to prevent it. We want this baby, have wanted this baby, and are excited that it's coming. But my pregnancy this time is so different - pregnancy was all consuming when I was carrying Oscar, but now Oscar is so all consuming in his very presence that I have little time to sit and ponder my pregnancy, scrutinize my symptoms, count my daily calcium intake, obsess over every cramp and twinge.

However, I still sleep with my hands tucked into my waste band, pressed on my lower abdomen as I did with Oscar. I'm still anxiously awaiting that first flutter that lets me know s/he's swimming around in there. But these days I think more about when I'm going to ween Oscar, or will I tandem breastfeed? When are we moving Oscar in to his new room? Who's going to take care of him while I'm in labor? How will he react to this new baby? Will he ever forgive me for cutting our Mommy and Oscar days short?

I thought it would be much easier the second time around. I know what to expect - I've done this all before. And still I'm filled with worries and fears of inadequacy. I wonder if this gets easier with number three?


Susanica said...

Hi Jenni. I know a really great place where Oscar can play with Danny while you and Nelson are busy welcoming the new baby in December. It's called our house! ;-) Just one less thing to worry about right? Decmeber is such a fun time of year too. Ho, ho, ho!!! -Monica

Linda said...

I really do appreciate the shout out for 'baby bunching.' It most certainly is a trend. One that will pay off in a few years after you've answered over and over 'no they are not twins!' So fun to see the term being use. Yay!!!