When we decided it was a good time to try to get pregnant the first time, I was 29 and the thought of long term family planning (‘how many, when, what spacing’) seemed like questions far too optimistic for two women who had not yet been pregnant. Who knew if our first attempts would work? And I always knew I wanted two kids if possible, so it wasn’t really on my radar that I might be about to turn 34, happily caring for two strong-willed, funny, capable, strong, smart, and energetic children and asking these very questions. I never really considered that I would become one of those people who thinks about timing children in relation to what my body might be capable of doing. But here I am, to spite myself.
I should probably start with this: we don’t know if we’ll try to grow our family more. Many of my readers know first or second hand that even if we choose to try, it might not happen, with no connection to age. I have a whole list of blog topics that I’ve been thinking about surrounding growing our family, including but not limited to: Are we ridiculous to think about more children while I’m working full time, my wife is in her PhD program, and we already have two small children who are eating us one nibble at a time? Is the stress of ttc really worth it with two little ones?My mother and the guilt of increasing her carbon footprint. The effect on our sweet toddler who is already jealous of the sister who doesn’t get to nurse with me. The effect on the little peanut who has recently discovered ‘mamama’ can also mean ‘mine!’ Will it matter when the Cascadia fault brings down the entire west side of Oregon? Climate change. Evil orange 45 and trying to pay for Healthcare. Nuclear holocaust. Basically in that order.
But today, I’m thinking about my ability to have kids, and my body and mind as I get older. We don’t want to have large age gaps between kids. 22 months is nice. They are old enough now that they have started playing together. They are also old enough now that we had started trying for Linnea when Darwin was Linnea’s age. I wish we were ready now, but yeah no. So the question becomes, when would we be ready? Will the choice be made for us by simply…timing out? Darwin still doesn’t sleep through the night (well, sometimes by the 5 hours definition of it, but that’s some next label bullshit right there). If and when she starts, could I really see starting over with a nurseling? If my mother’s experience is to be expanded to my own offspring, I would need to get pregnant before Darwin turns 4. That seems like a reasonable goal. A year from now I could see possibly being in a good position to try.
I would be 35. ‘Geriatric’ under the ob definition of pregnancy. My midwife wouldn’t label anything so poorly. If it was another low risk pregnancy I could certainly plan another homebirth. This also pushes back the possibility of a fourth, Leah would be 36 or 37 before we would be ready again. So that complicates things. I wish I could say ‘one thing at a time’ but with us it is really two. Three if you count Leah’s dissertation. Because that’s it’s own baby.
Are we totally crazy to even be thinking about this? Probably. But the world needs more gaybies. Someone has to do it, right?