Monday, June 14, 2010

Damn you, Facebook!!!

I'm not a huge fan of Facebook. I have an account because everyone I know has an account and I didn't want to be completely left out. I have something along the lines of 100 friends, most of whom friended me first (I swear!). I have never played Farmville and I don't even know what it is, beyond that I think it has something to do with, like, building a farm?

My main use for Facebook is finding out which of my (former) friends and classmates are getting married or having babies. That's pretty much it. And I don't even have to friend someone to do that! Because as we all know, the first thing a woman does when she's in a serious relationship is to put the guy in her profile photo. And as soon as she has a baby, the guy is removed and now the baby is in the profile photo (+/- the actual woman).

So I've got a long list of friends who now have husbands and/or babies featured in their profile photos. But lately I've been noticing a small but growing trend: TWO babies.

It all started a few weeks ago. Facebook suggested a friend for me and I noticed from her profile photo that she was holding two babies (both of whom were younger than mine). When I knew her in med school, she had zero babies. She had deleted "pediatrician" from her employment and written "stay at home mom."

And then yesterday, I noticed that yet another former classmate had added a second baby to her profile photo. And this woman was going to be a freaking SURGEON, not exactly the type who pops out lots of babies. In fact, she's probably just about finished with her surgery residency (or not, considering she broke it up with two babies).

I couldn't help but notice that both of this woman's babies were also younger than my three year old. And suddenly, I felt an immense pressure. Women don't have one child and wait a long time to have a second. They bang 'em out fast: baby, another baby, another baby, bam, bam, bam. Every single woman I know who was pregnant at the same time as me or shortly after now has another baby or is pregnant. All the kids in my daughter's daycare have siblings and she wants a brother or sister. I feel like everyone is looking at me and wondering, "Where is #2?"

I've written about this on here before. I obsess over it unhealthily. It's awful.

But the thing is, I don't want a second child right now. I know I don't. I think about how sick I was when I was pregnant and I don't want that right now. I think about how newborns wake up to cry all the time and I don't want that. We have no diapers in our home right now and I love it. I finally have time to read fiction, exercise (a little), and cook dinner every night. I like not having to hand my salary over to a nanny. I'm starting a new job soon and I want to be at my best, not vomiting and exhausted like I was when I started residency. I don't want my first year on the job to contain a maternity leave. I miss breastfeeding, but I don't miss feeling chained to that awful pump. Yes, I find newborns cute, but not achingly so. When I hold them, I usually want to give them back pretty quickly. I find my preschooler much more fun and interesting than a newborn. And she's such an easy kid, who gets sweeter and more fun every day. (Our latest game is competing who loves who more. She loves me a thousand million. I love her a million billion, which she swears is less than a thousand million.)

I do want another child. But not now.

Yet I feel like I'm on a clock. I don't want my kids to be too far apart in age. Four years is good, five is okay, six is pushing it, seven and they'll never be friends. And then I worry that they won't want to do any of the same activities because they'll be too far apart. Also, I don't want to wait until I'm too old and at risk for infertility. (I'm 30. Well, almost 31. Damn birthdays just keep coming.)

Sigh. Why do I have such stupid worries? Why can I never just sit back and enjoy life?

18 comments:

  1. Dear Fizzy,

    Your neuroses are insignificant compared with mine. This weekend I had a nightmare in which my husband and I actually decided to *try* to have a baby. In my dream we woke up the next morning and decided I should go to CVS for the morning after pill.

    See -- I'm so crazy and obsessed about this baby thing that I even dream about freaking out about it.

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  2. I guess I'm forgetting that the pressure to have #2 is less than the pressure to have #1, probably because I actually really *wanted* a baby back then too and it was internship that was keeping it from me.

    One piece of progress though: I recently dreamed I was pregnant, and although I wasn't happy about it, I wasn't absolutely horrified either.

    Why don't men obsess like this?

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  3. OMG I could hv written this I am 30 going on 31 in Jan and the pressure is intense I am so scared abt the mode of delivery my pregnancy was wonderful but the c section was awful my two friends at work who delivered after me had there second kid thanks for sharing fizzy

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  4. F -- I think they obsess about different things. Take my husband, for instance. This weekend he dreamed that Lord Voldemort was trying to destroy his company. He was Harry Potter, and the future of [his company] depended on him.

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  5. Fizzy, this is wonderfully hilarious. I had a clock - physician husband, girl then boy two years apart during residency - and completely ignored all the problems I was creating for myself with my insane schedule. Life is finally getting good for me, after 7 years and an almost mental breakdown.

    Ignore the pressure. Enjoy your child (John and I compete too - I love him more than the moon and stars and he loves me more than the whole planet). Create your own plan. One of my best friends has a 12 year old and a 5 year old. It has been amazing watching the relationship between the older (boy) and the younger (girl) - he is well on the road to becoming a better dad than many men in their twenties (and thirties and forties). Mom counts on him for help, and he pitches in.

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  6. Old MD Girl - that is hilarious.

    Fizzy - I COMPLETELY agree with you, except it's about having a 3rd baby. My husband wants a third, I can't stand the thought of the nausea, pumping, packing your house up when you travel, etc etc. And other than not having enough hours in the day with the kids, would otherwise consider having a 3rd.

    I think we'll get a dog.

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  7. Gizabeth: You hit the nail on the head. I don't want to have a nervous breakdown. Yet, I see all these other women doing the medicine and two small children combo, so I think I must be weak or hate kids cuz I don't want to do it.

    Kelly: I used to think I wanted 3 kids, but now that I have one, I think 2 is more than enough for me. My husband still isn't sure, but that's too damn bad! He can have a cat.

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  8. Am I the only doctor mom who actually WANTS a third baby while my physician husband does not? Does this make me irresponsible? I want to do it all.

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  9. Aww Fizzy, I kind of feel your pain (actually, I feel your pain a lot!). I’m 27, and I’ll be applying for medical school next year. I’m single with no kids! Blah! So I’m definitely under pressure and I constantly hear: When are you going to medical school? When are you going to have a baby? When are you going to get married? This is something that I stress about constantly because I still have 4 years of school and 3-6 years (depending if I want to specialize) of residency ahead of me. I constantly agonize about how I am going to fit all of this in without being to the point where I absolutely have to have a bambino and can’t wait any longer. But the good news is you’re still young (yes you’re still young!) and you have time to think about whether this is something you want to do. Have you considered adoption? It seems as though adopting a child takes just as long as trying to conceive sometimes, but I think it’s an idea worth visiting. Best of luck!

    Shannon

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  10. I'm one of the people that wants a 3rd! But I feel like no one else does. Everyone asks me if we are done, and I say "for now" but really, I'm thinking about how to reorganize my life to have another baby. Especially since my current "baby" is turning four this summer. I don't know how to make everything work out and most the time, the idea of how much stress it would involve is enough to squash my baby hunger.

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  11. Fizzy, my two boys are 6 yrs apart, I wouldn't have it any other way, but I obsess over having a 3rd baby. Like you I don't miss the never ending nausea followed by bed rest in the last trimester. Also, in another freakish bout of worry, I fret over how my youngest child would adjust to being a middle child and whether or not I would be able to provide enough attention, love, support, etc. to 3 children with the crazy life we lead... I recently came home to stay with my parents for a few weeks and have run into old friends from grammar school, 2 of the have FIVE children each. Sheesh! Now I really feel inadequate! Not that I have the desire to have 5 children EVER.

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  12. There is zero real information about the impact of spacing on how siblings get along, or don't. Close or distant in age is much less important than temperament. Just fyi

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  13. I have 3 girls aged 7,5, and 1. In a weak moment I agreed to have our third in spite of our crazy busy lives. Don't get me wrong, #3 is a joy but I nearly had a breakdown this week. A rundown of my day yesterday is the reason why: 5A wake up and exercise then make breakfast and lunch. Get my school age girls ready and then the baby. Nanny arrives @7A
    I have 8A lecture to med students then 9-12 clinic. Mandatory Grand rounds(got a teaching award)1-4P 3 committee meetings then finish notes.5P Faculty meeting 6P train home 6:30 take everyone to Tai kwon do(nanny gave them dinner,whew)
    7:30P home: homework,baths, dance parctice, reading
    8:30P baby wants extra attention before bed and does not chill out til 9:30P work on protocol for submission and review credentials of faculty recruit I am interviewing today. Oh did I mention my husband is in Europe? He travels 3-4 days a week.You can do it but just be prepared for some hairy days when you feel stretched.

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  14. Okay, so, I'm 31 and have four children, a moderately successful out of hospital midwifery practice, a husband who works full time plus one weekend a month for the USAF reserves, AND I just decided that I want to go to med school, so I'm now a full time student getting all of my med school pre-reqs. I say all of this so you'll take anything I say with the knowledge that I'm completely off my rocker and I'm probably in the category of FB pages that would put pressure on you.

    Still, I've gotta say: 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years...all different dynamics. Yes, there are some advantages and disadvantages to all of them, but none of them are catastrophic. I had a friend growing up who was an only child for 13 years and then wasn't! My first and third have a seven year gap and they both love each other to pieces and will most likely be friends one day. Do what works for you and don't let society pressure you into anything.

    Also (and I know you know this) every pregnancy and newborn are different. Just because you were sick with your first doesn't guarantee a rough pregnancy with your next. And just because your first newborn cried at night doesn't mean your second won't sleep 12 hours every night starting at 8 weeks.

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  15. During my first pregnancy I was working and feeling so crappy I vowed I would not be working during my eventual second one. Fast forward five years and I am now not working and pregnant, like planned. Well, this pregnancy has been much easier than my first... at least so far. I agree though, preschoolers are much more fun to be around with.

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  16. My big sis and I are 8 years apart and we're best friends. We weren't very close growing up but now we're inseparable. Don't feel rushed, wait until you're truly ready that way you can really enjoy the pregnancy.

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  17. It doesn't end. At least for me. I am 31 and about to start my 2nd year of medical school and I am trying to figure out when I will be able to have my 5th child. And my 6th child.

    I have not ruled out IVF as a future option and hoping for twins. At least those two can be playmates.

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  18. Old entry, sorry for bring it back up. But just wanted to add that age gaps don't always come out as you would expect. There's three years between me and my first brother, and we don't talk much. Six years between my sister and I, and we're very close. And finally, a whopping ten years between me and my youngest brother, and we get on like a house on fire, although obviously there are some things we can't do together. So don't stress it... I'm sure if you have good dynamics and plenty of love in your house, things will work out fine, no matter when you have any future kiddos.

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