The year off

Lucky me, I got to spend some time at the doctor’s office yesterday. However, it wasn’t for Tad (who has not vomited in over 24 hours, but his diarrhea continues on). It was my annual exam at my OB/GYN’s office.

I got the general thumbs-up on my health, a brief chat about kid #3’s timing, and a prescription for a year’s worth of birth control pills. Ahhh, yes. Magic pills.

After having the Munchkin and Tad closer together than we had intended, the Webmaster and I had a serious conversation about kid #3. Yes, we definitely want a third child. Since we have such ease in getting pregnant, it’s not so much about anything else but when do we want to have the next baby. Fertility is apparently not an issue in my family, and the Webmaster doesn’t seem to have any problems, either, considering our track record. Hence, the year off plan.

I didn’t get much time in between the kids to NOT be pregnant or a walking food-mobile. I stopped nursing the Munchkin a week before her first birthday because I had just discovered that I was pregnant with Tad. When I finally stopped nursing Tad in September, it was the first time in over three years that my body actually belonged solely to myself, and I wasn’t providing housing or food to one of my children. I had totally forgotten what it was like. While I enjoyed being pregnant at different times (the first trimester and continual sickness not being one of them, nor being heavily pregnant in late summer) and I cherished my ability to breastfeed, the novelty of being “alone” was stunning. More than that, it was liberating. And now that I’m back on the pill, I know that so long as I am good about taking it, the likelihood of a surprise baby is almost nil.

I just need some time. I really felt robbed in some ways when I discovered that I was pregnant with Tad. I wanted to spend more time with the Munchkin just by herself. I wanted her to be a little older when she got a sibling. But, God’s timing in giving us Tad was perfect (as always), and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. And now that Tad is nearly 15 months, I just shake my head at the idea that I could have been pregnant again, that soon, just like before.

So, the year off is just a break. It’s good for a number of reasons. First, I need my sanity. I have two children under the age of three, and only one of them is potty trained. And it took a good long while to get here. I was going through cloth diapers at an amazing rate, and I did more laundry than I care to remember.

Second, I want to enjoy my kids, not stress out about the next one. I’m incredibly blessed to have a girl and a boy. There’s no pressure on us to “produce” a baby to break a gender deadlock. They are young and I want to have fun with them for a while without worrying about my physical state.

Third, we have to determine the housing issue. Our house is a great starter home. But add another child into the mix and there will be a space shortage. I have nothing against kids sharing rooms, but the bedrooms in this house are really not large enough to reasonably fit two children in. Necessity being the mother of invention, we could make it work if we had to. The year off means that when kid #3 arrives, we will be prepared to deal with the question of “where will this kid sleep?” and, of course, the whole single-bathroom deal.

Finally, I want to get back to Disneyland before I’m pregnant again. I don’t want to be newly pregnant and sick and on vacation, or heavily pregnant and unable to go on the big rides. I want to take the kids and enjoy myself. I have wanted to go back ever since the Webmaster and I spent our honeymoon there. The kids are getting older, and they would have a blast. Tentatively, we’re looking at early summer of 2008. This, of course, means that the year off gets extended. Frankly, I don’t mind waiting a little longer for the right timing. After having 2 kids in the last six months of the year, I would prefer to have one in the first six months of the year. The Munchkin’s late December birthday, while it guaranteed us that child tax credit, is proving to be a real dilemma as far as school goes. I have resigned myself to knowing that she will always be one of the oldest kids in her class, but right now, it’s hard to make her wait for certain things simply because her birthday falls at the wrong time of year to meet certain deadlines. And the quandry we’re in with Tad is almost worse. His mid-August birthday meets the cut-off requirements for school, but that would make him one of the youngest in his class, putting him only one year behind the Munchkin in school, and the fact that he is a boy does play into this equation. While it’s far too early to make any kind of determination about him, I would like to not have this internal debate with the next child. Having a baby within the first half of the year would pretty much settle that. And if I tried to get pregnant as soon as the year off plus the obligatory 3 month waiting period was over, I’m looking at yet another late fall/early winter baby, if I got pregnant on the first try. And since we’ve empirically proven that I can, it’s just safer to not take that bet.

This is all very personal stuff, isn’t it? Oh well, it’s not like anyone actually reads this blog. Only half-kidding. I can count the number of people who have left comments in the last six months who are 1) not related to me, or 2) don’t know me personally, on one hand. So, my personal fertility laundry is all safe here, right?

So, I am going to rejoice in my daughter and son, spend time relishing each stage of their lives right now, and when I have a need for a baby fix… then I’m calling up Carter’s Mom and Handy Girl to satiate my cravings. I’ll even baby-sit. But for now, this womb is closed and the bar is dry. Check back in a year or so to see if a new occupant was able to get a lease.

2 Responses to “The year off”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    November 2nd, 2006 07:41

    Not to announce anything, but I think I’ll probably have another before you do. Also, am I weird because I cried for twenty minutes and was still very upset when I fell asleep the first night I did not nurse Little Cousin anymore? A part of me still misses it. I guess I’m a bigger sap.

  2. Linda
    November 2nd, 2006 08:40

    Deanna, I applaud all of the choices you and [Webmaster] have made!
    You have such a beautiful family and it will only be better in the future! And, Disneyland! Oh such fun for all of you! I love our memories of taking Cassondra and enjoying all the excitement and adventures! Can hardly wait to be a Grandma and do the same with them!
    And, I truly enjoy your Blogging, very personal or about the kids!
    hugs and love to all!