Stop Asking Me When I’m Getting Pregnant Again

As soon as my daughter turned 1, the questions started rolling in about when I planned on getting pregnant again. I am not really sure why anyone thinks this is an appropriate thing to ask. Ever. There are so many answers that are far beyond the limits of casual conversation. What if we were trying, and were having a hard time? What if, for health or financial reasons, we knew we’d be unable to have more? Or what if something simpler but still private was keeping us from having another baby just yet, like the plain old sleeplessness and stress of new parenthood? My reason is a bit selfish, but I’ve started telling the truth when asked: I’m just not ready to be pregnant again right now. Sound horrible? Sorry!

Listen, bringing my daughter into the world was by far the most exciting and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. (I say “I” here because we’re talking about pregnancy, but yes, her father had quite a bit to do with the process!) As much as I sometimes miss those sweet flutters from deep within — and the ability to wear skin-tight tops over a round middle and have it look cute — I’m just not there yet. Give me another year or so and maybe I’ll warm up to the concept, but I’m avoiding getting pregnant again right now for these 15 reasons:

1. I had morning all-day sickness. Until month seven, with absolutely no regard for where I was or what I was doing. I’m certain I saw a few staffers at my local Target clear a path when I walked in the door around 20 weeks, as I’d already been forced to puke right in the garbage can at the front of the store more than once by then.

2. The awkward fat stage hung around forever. What about all those cute bump outfits I’d been saving on Pinterest before we even conceived? All around me, pregnant women seemed to look like maternity clothing models, but I was soft in the middle until I popped to the point of no return.

3. My body is still not my own. I’ve finally reached my pre-pregnancy weight, and it was a struggle to get there. I’m also still breastfeeding and would like a little breather once I’ve weaned my daughter. You know, maybe a tiny window of time during which I am not giving life to another human. It’s been almost two years since that was the case.

4. Rude comments from strangers suck. Whether it was on the size and/or shape of my bump, or a demand to know whether my morning cup of coffee was decaffeinated, the whole unwanted bump-chat scene was a nightmare for me. Sometimes I nodded and smiled, but more often than I’d like to admit, I was pretty rude right back. Ugh.

5. The lack of wine also sucks. Okay, say what you will about me but I missed my wine.

6. Not having sushi, soft cheese, lunch meat, and diet soda in my life sucks, too. Pretty much everything I craved (salt, sweets) had to be enjoyed in small doses. But of course, whenever I did indulge in safe foods, I was sure to wind up with a mean bout of heartburn.

7. Heartburn! The agony. My pregnancy heartburn gave me tons of empathy for those who experience this hideous symptom in real life. As soon as I no longer had a long-legged nine-pounder’s feet up in my rib cage, eating finally felt good again.

8. My emotions were out of control. I’m a pretty sappy gal to begin with, but when I was pregnant? Forget it. Everything made me cry. The new-mom haze left behind a pretty weepy period as well, and I’m finally starting to feel normal again. I definitely still cry more than the average person, but I can make it through a car commercial or even a tough conversation without having a total meltdown these days.

9. Peeing. So much peeing. As much fun as it was to wake up multiple times a night to pee, hold in laughter in public for fear of an accident, and generally just camp out by public restrooms for nine months, I’m really happy to have a more normally functioning bladder.

10. I had permeating fatigue. Please don’t misunderstand — I’m plenty tired after chasing a toddler around all day, but the thought of piling pregnancy exhaustion on top of that in this moment sounds terrifying beyond belief.

11. Pregnancy brain was not a joke in this house. It went far beyond putting my keys in the fridge or leaving my cell phone in gas station bathrooms (though I did all that, too). When I was pregnant, I had to write myself anywhere between 10 to 20 e-mails a day just to get through normal life tasks and complete basic work assignments. I couldn’t remember what kind of food our dog ate and rarely bothered trying to follow a conversation.

12. I am not into pregnancy sex, and (sorry, honey!) neither is my husband. We tried, we really did. But in the beginning I was so nauseous and uncomfortable, I could rarely get in the mood. By the end, the constant kicks kind of freaked him out. It’s nice to have found our rhythm again, even if life with a baby means less frequent opportunities to get busy.

13. The swollen feet and ankles are miserable. Mine got so bad I was sure I was dying of a blood clot, and drove myself to the hospital to demand a sonogram of the area. By 36 weeks, there was exactly one pair of shoes in our home that I could wear — my husband’s Crocs that were too big even for him. I gave birth at the end of November, so imagine how fun these hole-covered shoes were when I was walking around in the cold trying to go into labor.

14. Labor: Yeah, that. Not ready. No way. I ended up needed an emergency C-section, but I had several hours of painful contractions at the front end, and a pretty scary sequence of events that led to the C. In the end, all of the pain and drama were more than worth it, but I’m not going there again right now.

15. I already have a baby. Yes, she’s walking and talking, but my little is still in the stage where it’s Mommy all the time. I want another child more than I can explain, but this is just not our moment. I don’t know how I’ll know when she’s ready, but for now I’m soaking up every last minute I can with this one before moving on to kid #2.

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