I recently learned some health-related news that requires us to make some important decisions regarding whether we want to try to expand our family to four, or keep our cozy threesome, as is. In talking to C, we came up with a semi-sort-of-quasi plan, which would be to aim to get pregnant by the end of 2012. We both agree that it would be amazing for Emmy to have a lifetime companion and playmate in a sibling. In watching her play, hold dolls, and interact with other children, it is clear she has a nurturing soul that would make her a great older sister, and that she would also really enjoy having someone else to share life's experiences with.
Of course, saying it is one thing, and making pregnancy happen is a whole other ball o' wax. We have at least A FEW challenges to overcome on our path to carrying a second child:
1) Emmy is still breast-feeding. She is now fourteen months and doesn't show many (read: ANY) signs of giving up on feedings. She still night feeds at least three or four times a night, and requests (read: DEMANDS) a morning feeding, an after-work feeding, and a pre-bedtime feeding. I can't put the blame on her, entirely, though. I see our feeding sessions as true mommy-daughter bonding moments, and am also somewhat reluctant to let go of them. I WOULD like to night-wean her a bit, and we will be focusing on cutting back those feedings over the upcoming months, but if I am completely honest, I need those after-work feedings just as much as she does.
I did read online that once a mother stops round-the-clock breastfeeding, it becomes quite a bit easier to get pregnant, so I am hoping that our slightly dwindling feeding schedule will give my reproductive system a little boost. The hope is to have Emmy weaned almost entirely by this June/July, which would give C and me a good six months of breastfeeding-free time to "get our groove on".
2) Speaking of getting our groove on, WHEN??? Emmy is still in bed with us for most of the night (another pattern we have to modify), and is a light sleeper. This definitely makes us a little hesitant to start the "bowm chick a bowm bowm", even if she is asleep in her crib. We do make a point of going out on a "date night" at least once a month, but.. I mean, ONCE A MONTH. From what I hear, that frequency of our one-on-one time does NOT work in our favor.
We have to get out more. And by getting out more, I really mean staying in more, but without Emmy anywhere nearby :).
I think I should also invest in one of those basal body temperature doohickys, so that I can gauge my fertile cycle more easily, and make sure mom is available for sitting on my "ripe for picking" nights. I keep on meaning to make a trip to CVS.
3) I have a weirdo uterus. I had to have an unplanned C-section to get Emmy out, because apparently my uterus in heart-shaped (septed), which means it is basically divided in two sections. This made it very challenging for Emmy to get into position for a natural birth (I tell Emmy that my body just didn't want to let go of her). Apparently, my weirdo uterus also makes it more challenging for a pregnancy to survive, which I am none too thrilled about. On a positive note, this makes Emmy's birth even that much more special. But on the downside, it means that the prospect of having another child is not as great as if I had, say, a non-weirdo uterus.
I can get an operation to have my uterus un-septed. Not sure if my health insurance would cover the procedure though, and I am not financially equipped to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for an operation. Must look into this more thoroughly.
4) I am no spring chicken. But there are lots of older chickens out there having babies, so although my age automatically puts me in the "high risk pregnancy zone", I am going to ignore those terms and think of myself in peak form for being preggers.
If I had another 5 years (or even 3!) to overcome all these obstacles and get pregnant, I think I would be a lot more optimistic. I don't think we will be terribly crushed if we are not "with child" by the end of 2012, but we sure would be THRILLED if we were.