That's the question we get asked a lot now that Mo is a year old. And the answer is simple: Yes. If we are lucky enough to do so, then yes, we'd like a second.
The more difficult question, and the one we ask ourselves all the time is: When? That answer is much more complicated.
When Mo was born, well right after she was born it was too overwhelming to even contemplate doing that craziness again! But after awhile we started to talk about it, and we thought the ideal scenario would be for me to get pregnant around Mo's second birthday, so January 2015. But it's not that simple for a lot of reasons.
It wasn't exactly easy to get pregnant the first time. It took a year and some minor interventions (Clomid for ovulation) to get pregnant, and then it was ectopic. It took another round of Clomid to get pregnant again, which fortunately resulted in a beautiful, healthy pregnancy, birth and baby. There is just no guarantee I'll get pregnant again, and in fact there is reason to believe I may not, or at least that it will not be easy. I always try to remember to use the dislaimer "IF we have a second child..."
Daycare is killer, man. We just cannot figure it out. It is our second largest monthly expense after our mortgage. A second child would essentially double that, making it our largest monthly expense by a long shot. I've been hoping and waiting for a miracle that would allow us to afford child care for two children, and it just isn't happening.
One major thing did happen which could lead to a miracle: Mike's mom is hoping to retire later this year. She has offered to watch Mo twice a week. This is an unbelievable blessing. I know many people that have help from their family, and I've always been outrageously jealous. And now here it is. I've hesitated to say anything or to make any plans in that direction because we have had a few promising possibilities before that have fallen through disasterously. But it's at the point now where I need to start considering what this might look like.
Here's the thing. Our current daycare does not offer part-time pricing. It's the same weekly rate no matter how much you bring your kid, so that would do nothing so save us money. We need to find something else. I've been asking everyone I know, again (remember I did this over a year ago when we were searching for Mo), and it still blows my mind that nobody I know can give me a recommendation. Everyone suggests a daycare center, which we cannot afford (part-time rates are more than what we pay for full-time care), or they suggest the state child care database, which is great but incredibly overwhelming. So far I've gotten one recommendation for an in-home provider, and that person has no openings. How do I not know ANYBODY that uses daycare in this area?!?!
Anyway, my hope is to find a place to send Mo three days a week that will save us enough money to make it even remotely possible to rearrange our budget to allow for child care for another baby.
The other part of this is that we need to cut costs in other ways, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Here's what we have so far:
1. Try to pay off our car loan within a year to free up that amount by the time a baby is born. Pray that neither vehicle needs to be replaced before Mo starts kindergarten (and therefore frees up the amount spent on her child care)!
2. Switch to a low cost, no contract mobile provider as soon as our Verizon contract is up. We'll be sacrificing some quality in coverage, but we spend a ridiculous amount right now.
3. Find Mike a higher paying job. I already made an important career move last year, so it's his turn. We really need for him to make more money, but the job search has lead to nothing but dead ends and disappointments. We're no longer relying on this to happen, but it sure would be nice.
We already pay as little as possible on student loans, and we can't do much about our mortgage. We've worked with a financial coach to get on a realistic budget, and we're not big spenders to begin with. But I'm open to any other suggestions that have worked for you to cut costs!
I'm ready now. If you took away the complications and the cost concerns and the fear (see #4), and you told me I'd have a wonderful pregnancy and birth and baby, I'm ready now. I'm trying really hard to be responsible, to get our ducks in a row first, to consider all the possible outcomes, but part of me wants to forget all that and just go for it. I have major baby fever. Watching so many people around me get pregnant and have babies is really making want another. If I were to get pregnant now, Mo would be almost 2 when she became a big sister, and I think that's perfect.
But my heart and her age are not the only things to consider, so we are waiting to even try.
I'm scared. Not of having two children, although I know that won't be easy. I'm scared of all the things that can go wrong. My best friend lost her baby in a very complicated and devestating way when she was less than 24 weeks pregnant. Another person I know lost her child after just a month due to the baby's heartbreaking health complications. So many of my friends have had miscarriages or pregnancy complications. I, myself, had an ectopic pregnancy.
I read a blog recently about someone who discovered at birth that her daughter had Down syndrome, and although it all turned out wonderfully, the way she wrote about how much it rocked her world filled me with fear.
It seems like I'm surrounded by stories of all the things that can go wrong, and I often think that I have my miracle, I have my blessing. I've already been unbelievably lucky once, how can I possibly expect to be so again? How can I even think about taking that risk? Shouldn't I just leave well enough alone?
I really am full of fear about this. Sometimes I lay awake at night, consumed by these thoughts, wondering if I should even think about tempting fate for the selfish desire to have another baby.
So yes, we want a second child. But it's so much more complicated than that.
Isn't she going to (hopefully someday) make a great big sister?