At my six week post partum doctor's appointment, I was presented by my doctor with this question:
"So, what are you thinking in terms of baby space?"
And my response: "S'nuh?"
Doctor: "You know, baby space, the length of time you want to have between babies...?"
*Apparently I wasn't up on the lingo, because I thought she was asking me about our nursery decor or something. Which goes to show what a state my brain was in at six weeks post partum. Now it's clear to me that this line of questioning was meant to be the opener for "the birth control conversation."
Me: "Oh, um, I don't know, I haven't really thought about it since Lilah was born, but I guess we always thought about two years?"
Since then, I have fielded this question in some form or another several times, and more frequently since Lilah turned one. And I have to say that my expectations have changed. If we wanted another child to arrive around the time that Lilah turns two, we'd have to get cracking... ummmm.... yesterday. And it's about the furthest thing from my mind at the moment. I really can't imagine dealing with the exhaustion and nausea that accompanied my first trimester all over again while also chasing an extremely active and needy toddler around! How do people do it? Not to mention then having a newborn and a toddler. I guess I have a longer memory than many moms, because I still remember quite clearly how difficult those early days with Lilah were; how stressed and sleep-deprived I was, and how difficult I found it to ask for help. The memories are not yet hazy and I haven't yet managed to romanticize the newborn days. Those were some challenging times, and neither the Hubs nor I are ready to re-live any of that. Yet.
**I do realize that I am in an extremely fortunate position to have the luxury of assuming that a second child would come along roughly when we want, and according to our plans. I also know it's not outside the realm of possibility that we could experience challenges in the future. Having experienced a loss in the past, I know better than to count my babies before they are hatched. But we are talking ideal baby space, people.
And if I'm being completely honest - and isn't that what oversharing on the internet is all about?- I still have days that make me question my ability to properly raise one child - what makes me think I could handle two? I'm sure this is my inner control freak talking, but I don't think I'm so on top of things that I could imagine upping the ante to that extent, essentially going all in on a total bluff.
I do hope that my attitude will change sometime in the next couple of years, since we hope to one day add one more to our brood (and of course the Hubs has his fingers tightly crossed for some boy bits, or "twig and berries," as he sometimes refers to them, somewhere in our future). But at the moment I'm settling back into work, Lilah is getting accustomed to daycare, she's still nursing a few times a day, and I'm still trying to find some kind of life balance.
What's your ideal "baby space?" Please share your thoughts!