Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baby fever

One of my jobs as doctor is to hold the head of a spinal cord injured patient while X-rays are being taken with their neck brace off. Nobody else can do this job but the MD. Holding a patient's head in place during X-rays takes all my cumulative eight years of medical knowledge.

My attending is super nice and when I told her I had been doing this yesterday, she commented, "Oh no! But you could be pregnant!"

"Uh, no," I said. "I couldn't."

"Are you sure?"

"Very sure."

She contemplated this for a moment, then asked, "Well, why not?"

I'm not sure why it's so shocking that I wouldn't want to be a resident with two babies. I don't hate sleeping that much. Do I look too relaxed?

During my first few months of motherhood, I couldn't imagine how ANYONE would EVER even consider having a second child. Every time I put on my non-maternity clothes, I cried with joy. But now, almost two years later, I feel the baby fever starting up again. Babiez r cute. So tiny and helpless. And breastfeeding was such a good way to lose weight.

And there's peer pressure. Tremendous peer pressure. Everyone seems to be having their babies two years apart. That way, the babies can be friends? All the women I know who were pregnant when I was are now pregnant again. Now is the time. Everyone is doing it!

My frontal lobe is still in charge for the time being. I love the fact that my daughter sleeps through the night and is more interactive and fun. I love that I still get to have some time to myself. If I had another newborn, my life would get crazy again. They say that a second child quadruples your work. If I were pregnant, I'd probably be too fatigued to be as good a mom as I want to be. And I'm not even 30 yet, so theoretically I've got a little time left on the old biological clock.

In the meantime, I've got to get myself a niece or nephew or something. A newborn that I can cuddle with for a short time then give him back.


  1. I completely relate. My sister and sisters-in-law, along with co-workers, had their children approximately two years apart.

    When my son turned two, we started getting the questions. "So, you guys thinking about having another one?"

    The truth is, I wasn't ready. And it took two more years for me to be ready, since like you, I enjoy sleeping.

  2. I'm so sick of the "two year" rule. My daughter is approaching two years old, she's 20 months, and I'm already sick of the question. I just don't feel like getting into the whole story about why we're choosing to only have one.

  3. I'm as close, perhaps closer, to my brother, 5 years younger, than my sister, 23 months younger.

    As one who just added a second, I can say it is immensely scary and tiring and joyful. If we did this before Son could help dress himself and was fully potty trained, I'd be a disaster.

    At 40, we did a second now (rather than when son was a bit older) because the clock was ticking on fertility AND adoption.

    At 30, you can wait. Wait until you can't take it anymore, until another child is not an option but is a necessity for your family to feel whole. And, preferably, you'll be out of residency.

    Sleep is good, and residents, especially MOMMY residents, don't get any.

  4. I hear you. My kids are 5, 3.5, and 1, and I am to my surprise (and horror?) feeling that little tickle to go again. It rears its head every time my 5 year old tells me "not right now, Mommy, I'm busy" when I try to play with him or when my 3.5 year old runs from my car to join her preschool classmates in line without remembering to get her hug or when my 1 year old has a moment where she looks like a little girl and not like a baby anymore. Your life will be immeasurably complicated and immeasurably richened by the addition of another wanted child to it.

    I agree that residency is not a great time, though, and you are young, so don't rush just because you want to be in the same class as all of your previous prenatal yoga classmates (tongue in cheek, of course). :)

  5. I agree you should wait until ready. Having said that, we have had our 4 in rapid succession (granted the last 2 were twins), ages 4.5y, 3y, and now 5wks. Part of that decision had to do w/ the fact that I knew, once I started sleeping again and getting some "me" time again, it would be very hard to go back to every 2 hour feedings, sleepless nights, diapers, and potty-training. Now, I can comfortably say not only am I physicially done w/ pregnancy, I truly feel my family is complete.

  6. If there's anything I've learned, it's that 2 years apart seems awfully close (even though my mom had 12 kids in an 18 1/2 year span, so growing up that seemed perfectly normal).

    My first two are just over 2 1/2 years apart. I got lucky - my second was an easy baby. My third baby had renal agenesis and lived for 3 hours. That meant a span of nearly 4 years between my 2nd and 4th kids. You know what? I kind of like it. It's nice having bigger helper kids that can dress/potty/feed themselves. I still get baby hungry, and I love to borrow a sweet snuggly little bitty one whenever I get the chance, but a few hours of that usually brings me back to my senses. That, and cleaning the astonishing messes that my 17 month old creates all day long.

    Have another baby when YOU and your hubby feel ready - not when peer pressure dictates it. Babies are fun...but oh so much work.

  7. Hey, there are no rules, so don't feel pressured. My daughter and son are 26 years apart (Yes, that is YEARS not months). It has been a wild ride and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  8. just had my second while out in practice (3 years after our first)and am so thankful for at least that spacing - if our son had not been potty trained and able to at least do some things on his own, not sure I'd still be going :) So, grab someone elses baby to hold off the baby fever a little longer!


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