Is your family complete?
How do you decide?
Babies! Soft, cuddly, adorable little additions to your growing family! Most little girls dream of the day that they get to be a Mommy, not me! I was never that teenager that was looking forward to being a Mom, it actually wasn’t on my radar until my mid- 20s. I loved kids, but I was never really around any babies growing up and I was SCARED to death.
How do you hold them?
Why do they cry all the time?
Doesn’t it hurt to have a baby?
For my generation (I’m a 1979 baby), we partied our way through our 20s and focused our time being independent. We all got great jobs and started our career paths. By the time any of us married, we were almost 30! By the time I landed a man and said “I do”, I was 30. After just 6 months of marriage, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “well I guess we need to start a family.” We knew by being older our time as “just the two of us” was going to be cut short. Little did I know, it took 6 more months of active trying to conceive before we found out we were expecting.
Fast forward to 2018: I have two amazing little boys ages 3 and 5. When my youngest turned two, my husband and I had a hard time agreeing whether or not we should “try for the girl.” It’s a sentence that everyone with two boys has ever said and believe me, I knew deep down it would just be another boy! We argued for days and finally sat down and faced the reality of the situation.
Now before I hand out advice, I have to tell you that I’m a scientist. I have been working in cancer research for over 12 years and my job is based on FACTS and the real truth. Nothing sugar coated, just the “brain” portion of this situation giving you fact- based knowledge. Now whether your heart feels the same way, that’s a different story.
Disclosure: I am not here to take political or religious sides, but rather present the data Ask yourself these simple questions:
Can you financially afford another baby?
If you are a working Mom, most likely you will have to put your baby in daycare of hire a nanny. The average cost of daycare for 2017 in the Charlotte area was $800-1000 a month! That’s not even the cost of diapers, wipes, formula, etc. Now while everyone loves babies they do eventually grow up! The US Department of Education reports that the average annual cost of public school education increases by 6.5% each year. If this statistic holds true, by 2030 it will cost your child $44,047 to attend a public college for 1 year; that’s $205,000 for a 4 year degree! For more information on stashing away money for college, look into a 529 savings accounts. Here’s a quick link with lots of info that’s easy to understand.
What is your current family dynamic?
Do any of your current children have special needs? Do your children play well together? Are you married to a man who has kids from a previous marriage? The CDC reported in 2017 that “blended” families where one spouse already has children and then decide to have a baby together, have a 70% chance of getting divorced. The divorce rate in the US is almost 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce! The number one reason for divorce is the result of disagreements regarding FINANCES! Do you have a strong support system? It helps to have that Nana close by to help with a sick kid or have friends that can offer advice and loan out baby clothes, bedding, equipment, etc. It’s more common for spouses to want to extend their families if they have someone nearby to “relieve” you.
How was your previous pregnancy?
High risk, genetic panel, length of gestation, etc. Your doctor will always touch on these topics individually with you during office visits. It’s important to know of any previous conditions you may have. For both of my boys I had easy pregnancies but both were emergency deliveries. With my age and previous delivery history, I am at a very high risk for having complications. In the US alone, about 1 in 3 births happen by C-section. That alone is reason to worry. Having a C-section means under going a surgery which means you could have anesthesia reactions, loss of blood, throw a clot… this is not the natural way our bodies were made to give birth. That being said, it’s not always up to us!
Do you really want that BOY or that GIRL?
The US population consists of 51% males and 49% females. From an anatomical standpoint, the sperm carrying the “Y” chromosome is very hearty. We call these fellas the “sprinters”, very fast but lose energy more quickly. The sperm carrying the “X” chromosome are referred to as the “long distance” runners (slow and steady wins the race). Temperatures outside can also affect sperm production. In warmer months, females are conceived at a higher rate than during winter months when more males are conceived. Each time you have a baby, the chances of having the same sex as your first are slightly higher than having a second baby of the opposite sex. Some say that is because overall, if you look at the general population (male being 51%) you can statistically say that you are more likely to have a boy than a girl. Genetics also play a role. My father in law is 1 of 2 boys, my husband is 1 of 2 boys and guess what… I had 2 boys!
Are you willing to go back?
Now that you’ve gotten a full nights sleep again, finished breast feeding, and moved on to pull-ups are you sure you want to go back to the restless nights and zombie feedings? It is a very difficult time and although it only lasts for just 9-12 months, the average mother who experiences postpartum depression is 1 in 7. Over 3 million women in the US experience severe postpartum depression. Having to take care of a newborn is one thing, but having to take care of a toddler at the same time, puts a lot of extra weight on you. Your husband has to be 100% on board and honestly has to become the primary caretaker of the older sibling. Trying to nurse a baby with a toddler hanging all over you is not easy!
I know this is rather lengthy but I hope it can offer some insight into your decision. For my husband and I it just wasn’t something we wanted to “plan” for again but if we were to become pregnant by accident, we would be deliriously happy. Things always have a way of working out!