As mentioned previously, hubby and I have decided it is time to add to our brood and are going to have another baby. We are officially ‘trying’.
What this means is that I now spend every waking moment thinking about, reading about and obsessively Googling ‘conceiving a second child’. ‘Trying’ indeed.
Before I got pregnant the first time I wasn’t in any particular rush, I didn’t have a specific timescale in mind so for this reason was very relaxed. I had no point of reference to what it was like to have a child or to really want a child. I had no idea of how long it might take and at that point it didn’t matter; I had time, lots of it.
Other than both hubby and I wanting children at some point, planning didn’t really come into it.
The second time is a whole different story. Especially if you’re me.
Not long after having my son I began thinking about when I might have baby number 2. I had always envisaged a two year age gap. It meant my children would be close in age and hopefully closer to each other in life. It also meant I wouldn’t be too long out of the baby stage. In so many ways, life gets a lot easier the older they get, and I think the temptation to stop after one would have been quite strong. I’m definitely a ‘have-it-as-hard-as-possible-for-a-few-years-in-the-hope–life-will-be-easier-in-the-long-run’ type person.
As it got nearer to January (the month I would have to be pregnant to ensure a 2-year gap) for various reasons, I wasn’t ready. My son was older and sleeping well and hubby and felt that we were in a position where we were able to start enjoying a bit of us time again. I also had a few big events coming up and decided to wait a while. Two years six months became the new desirable age gap. The main reason for waiting a few months was that I didn’t want to rush. My baby boy felt so little that I wanted more time with just him and me. I wasn’t ready to break that little twosome just yet.
It doesn’t mean I didn’t constantly think about it though. I often worried about whether it might take longer the second time or whether I would be able to have another child. Post breastfeeding my periods were often irregular by weeks, not days. The days my app told me I was ‘most fertile’ was incorrect because my cycle was all over the bloody place. Plus, most unhelpfully, if you Google ‘conceiving a second child’ the top story is a Daily Mail article about ‘why a second child can be so hard to conceive’. The article describes a condition called ‘Secondary Infertility’. Effing Daily Mail, according to that I was going to find it impossible to have another child. Plus there is probably no point in trying as post the age of 35 all my eggs will have dried up, and my tits will fall off’.
The month we decided to start trying turned out not to be the ideal time for various reasons.
The app was doing it’s thing, but I had no idea if it was accurate as Aunty Flo was turning up whenever she felt like it and not sticking to my very strict schedule. Because of this I had started using ovulation sticks to maximise the chances.
These are horrible, and I became obsessed with them. The first batch I bought were crap, and I could never tell if there was a ‘pink line’ or not. I then ended up buying Boots own which were expensive. Especially once I started using them twice a day after I read you should in case you miss your ‘window’. I literally spent my life pissing on a stick.
Eventually I saw a line telling me I was ovulating, but it didn’t work that month. I was not in any way surprised. I also did a pregnancy test way to early and seeing the ‘not pregnant’ was more disappointing than I ever thought possible.
Even though I knew I wouldn’t have got pregnant in the first month, by now, I had the nagging voice in my head telling me ‘it happened straight away the first time’. Back to Google and back to the Daily Mail and back to ‘Secondary Infertility’.
The second month proved as much of a disaster, due to ridiculously long cycles and missing the ‘window. By now I also had to contemplate taking out a second mortgage to pay for my ovulation stick habit. Every time I came home with a Boots bag I could see the look of panic in hubby’s eyes as he mentally calculated the numbers.
The next month I was leaving nothing to chance. I went back to the basics of biology and decided there was no other way it was going to happen unless hubby and I had sex every day for 31 days. Extreme? Maybe, but this is how babies are made. Bugger this ‘every other day’, I was not missing my ‘window’, and I was not having another month of utter disappointment.
This is a great plan in theory, but a month is a long time. A month when you’re shattered, you have another child, and you really can’t be bothered is even longer. Hubby looked exhausted as I manically announced my plan to turn us into clinical baby-making robots starring on our own Channel 4 sex documentary.
Whether we managed it or not, I can’t say. Hubby won’t let me be that honest. But I no longer need to buy shares in ovulation sticks. We’re having anther baby….