The “magic” number.

January 4, 2009 at 10:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments


That seems to be the magic number of months your kid has to be when you start thinking about trying for number two.

Or at least when people start asking if you are thinking about expanding your family.

And this is what I want to know.

Why 12?

Maybe because people want kids close in age so they can be playmates. Maybe it’s because they feel like they’re on top of the parenting thing at that point. And, well. So many of my friends have multiple kids, that it’s hard for me not to think about the ifs of whether or not we want Baby O to have a sibling. Because, in THEORY, I want Baby O to grow up with a sibling.

But truthfully?

I’m not sure I want to go through the rigamarole to have another.

I mean, there’s the IF to contend with. Any sibling for Baby O will require doctor visits. And tests, since at this point we’ll have to repeat them since it’s been so long since our last treatment. And shots. And medication. And the transfers. And the 2ww. And the betas. And…

… ugh. Even though the pain and fear of IF has diminished in the past year and a half, the idea of going through all that again makes me want to vomit.

And then, there are those moments. Usually when I’m rocking Baby O to sleep, or feeding him his bottle in the early morning, when I look down and see my perfect, beautiful, wonderful son. Where I think to myself “I don’t DESERVE him.” Every day, every moment I spend with him makes me want to be a better person. Because he has an absolute and unconditional love for me. And I want to be the kind of person who deserves that sort of love.

See, there’s a part of me who thinks we cheated somehow to bring him home with us. Why did we get lucky when so many haven’t?

Thinking about adding a sibling makes me feel like we’re tempting fate. Like we can’t just be happy with the one amazing little boy we have.

I mean, obviously I’m not ready for another right now. THAT much is clear. And I don’t expect that I’ll magically be ready in the next two and a half months*.

It’s just something I’ve been thinking about, that’s all.

I wonder what my magic number will be.

* I do acknowledge that it COULD. I doubt it, but maybe.



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  1. My kids are 19 months apart, and while it’s good *now* that they are so close in age, in the early days it was just plain hard, because my older son was still very much a baby when I had to deal with a new baby. I know you’ve got a lot more going on in trying to conceive than I do; but if you “need” permission to wait or not try, you now have it. 🙂 Yes, children who are close in age can play with each other; they can also fight like cats and dogs and tease the you-know-what out of each other, and you, the mom, will have to referee the unending fights.

  2. I’ve been wondering this myself a lot lately. I had a mc about two months ago and while it was heartbreaking it was also a bit of a blessing because it was so hard being KU with a 6 month old.
    Now I hae no idea when I want to try again.
    My sister tells me it’s when you feel like you did when TTC with #1. She says that when you stop thinking “well it would be nice but…” and start thinking “all I want is another baby, I just want to be pregnant again etc” that you are ready.
    Not sure but it sounds nice.

  3. 12 was a magic number for me. I think because it took me a full year to ‘recover’ from having a baby. A full year for my hormones to settle, until I felt more like my old self again.
    And while I often feel very undeserving and unworthy of my lovely children, I always felt like having another baby was very much for them, for the siblings and the family that I thought THEY deserved.

  4. I am going through the same thing. I know I want another, but I feel selfish for wanting it.

    Although, we don’t plan on trying for a couple of years.. I still deal with the guilt.

  5. Yeah, yeah, close together can be a hard thing. I think for us, it’s been wondering when, not as much if….esp since we have the frozens to do yet and want to use them…and then after that it’ll be the at-home version for a bit likely.

    You just have to do it when it feels right for you….I really think that my rear lies with a me vs them issue with my kids…if I have these two reeeeeaally close and then one with a LOT of distance, will it be that kid against these? Will he or she be included?

    BUT I think that in singles, it’s a lot different, and in the end, as adults, a 2 yr or 4 year difference will be a lot the same. So don’t worry too much about what the “right” spacing is….just go with it.

    I hear you on all the treatments and blah blah blah…who wants to do THAT again?? Add to it the responsibilities of a child/children and….oy.

    Good luck!

  6. I hope when you do decide to try for # 2, it is nothing like the journey you went through for Baby O.

  7. Wow. We are thinking and feeling so many of the same things. I can especially relate to what you said about tempting fate.

    Oh, and this:

    “Every day, every moment I spend with him makes me want to be a better person. Because he has an absolute and unconditional love for me. And I want to be the kind of person who deserves that sort of love.”

    Wow. This really sums it up for me.

    Thank you for a lovely post (as always!).

  8. Its hard to know when and if you want another one. I did not have a tough time having my first, so I thought I could actually “space them out”. I waited 3 years and then took another 6 years of infertility, etc. I regret I waited. But, I do not regret having her.

    I do regret fretting about it and about the comments of others. Its an individual choice and since you have much more information than I had–I wish you well when the time comes to face that challenge. Until then, enjoy every second with him (I know you do).

  9. Before Bo was born I thought I would try again when he was 6 months old. But then I decided to breastfeed for a year and I couldn’t take the medications for IVF while breastfeeding. That is why we waited until the magic “12” number.

    I still don’t know for sure if I’m ready — and I’ve been on Lupron for this cycle for over a week. I just know that I want Bo to have a sibling and we have two tries left with our current insurance. I want to use up those IVF cycles and put an end to the infertility roller coaster — once and for all. I hope to have a baby. I hope to get pregnant — even though I know it will be difficult to have two so close together, my hope is that the rewards will outway the costs. But at the same time, I feel so blessed to have Bo – to have one healthy baby – that if it doesn’t work out, I think (hope) that this time, I’ll be able to move on.

  10. I think the 12 month thing because at a year baby care really shifts and you kind of get to breathe again. Therefore have the space to think of adding another knowing the most intense part generally has an end and so you make the decision of whether or not you can do that year again. For me, it took me three years to even consider doing it again. Then quite a while to get pregnant and hold onto it. So my kids are almost 5 years apart. I alternate between being sad that they are not going to be friends growing up in the same way they may if they were close together, and being thankful that my oldest is so independent so the physical parenting of an infant isn’t on top of the physical parenting of a toddler.

    Whatever you choose will be right for you. There are a lot of happy and well adjusted only children as well as those with siblings. In time it will become clearer what is right for your family. In a way it is like marriage. People say you will just know when it is right and it sort of applies to adding kids I think (I guess surprise pregnancies are a whole other issue for those who end up adding to their brood that way).

  11. Aaron and I just talked about this on a long drive this weekend. He is funny – he says he can’t even think of having another baby now… but will ‘revisit’ when cameron turns a year old. I’m not sure I’d have to go through everything again – my IF is unexplained – but I’m certainly not sure that I’m willing to do it. It’s a lot. I have my body back for the first time in ages…

    At the same point – I was an only child – and it sucked. Aaron is one of three, and he kind of thinks it would be cool to be an only child.

    All i know is I have three embryos that I’ll need to make some sort of decision in 2 years on. Good times!

  12. Ah yes. I could have almost written this post. Except Madelyn is 2 and everyone and their mother is asking when we’re having another. And really? I think our family is complete. It’s not that I don’t want her to have a sibling. For me, it’s a few things.
    1. Obviously it would require IVF again. And I’m not sure I am up for it.
    2. What if I were up for it and we had twins? Yes, it would be a blessing– but one that might put me over the edge.
    3. What if we did get pregnant and had left over embryos? Morally, we’d have to use them. Neither of us would be able to throw them away/donate them. Freeze them? Sure…but we’d have to use them. And really 2 is my limit (though I think one might even be my limit) so having any more kids than that sends me into a panic attack.
    4. Madelyn is one more than we ever thought we’d have. M’s men– only 50% of them carry all of the DNA. So…what if we really lucked out by getting a healthy baby…and next time we wouldn’t be so lucky?

    I could go on and on with my what ifs. I’m an only child so I don’t know any different…so I don’t really see it as an issue. Would I like her to have a sibling? Yes…I think. But do I want another child? Not necessarily.

  13. My husband and I had discussed that because we wanted a large family (5 children) that we should have them close together in age, max 2 years apart. That way we could get all the diapers and b/f and early mornings/late nights out of the way and once they were older would all be going through similar issues at the same time – so it would be more convenient for us. Plus they would get to grow up being close friends (well that was the hope anyway!).

    So what we had planned and what actually happened was two very different things. We started trying when Isys was about 10 months old, thinking that it might take a few months to conceive, then 9 months of pregnancy, we thought that would be ideal – timing wise. 2 years later we were still without a baby, had been diagnosed with pcos and on clomid. Lucky for us (very lucky) it only took two cycles on the clomid for us to conceive. But the end result is that there is nearly 3.5 years between Isys and Khaldun. And you know what, while it was not what we wanted or planned, I am so thankful it worked out that way. Isys is at an age now where she is fairly independant and can manage a lot of stuff without assisstance – feeding, packing up, dressing etc – and she understands so much more at this age and is very happy to help out with her 12 week old brother. Had she been younger, I don’t think I’d have the energy to be writing this right now!

    Still, it hasn’t been easy. I had no idea that raising two children would be so much harder. We had had our routines and everything was easy before my little man was born. And while I love him as much as I do Isys, in the very early days I found it harder to connect with him than I did with her – so there is the guilt over that i have to deal with also. And now I don’t want 5 kids. For a while after Khaldun was born I didnt want any more at all. Maybe it was the hormones at the time, and my pregnancy was quite difficult, so there is the fear of going through that again, but I’ve been thinking about it again recently and while I KNOW i don’t want another any time soon, I’m open to having another at some stage.

    I guess there is never going to be a perfect time to add to your family. There will always be pro’s and con’s at any age gap. I suppose all you can do is muddle your way through. If you feel you’re not ready, so be it. Just enjoy your time with Baby O. You will know when it’s an option for you.

    wow my reply is almost as long as your post!!

  14. At least people waited 12 months with you. I started hearing about number 2 when Baby L was six months.

    I’m exhausted thinking about getting pregnant again, possibly having to do infertility treatments again, and having to deal with a newborn again. I ask my husband all the time if he is sure he wants two.

    Right now, the only thing pushing me in favor of two is that I think it’d be good for Baby L to have a sibling and grow up with someone else in the house. But getting to that point… seems very unappealing right now. Unfortunately, with 40 not so far off, I just don’t have much more time to wait it out.

  15. Wow, did u cut open my head to peer into my brain and write this for me? DD is only 9 months old, but I’m 34 and got the time ticking in my head and DH’s too. I’m actually going to wean from b-feeding soon so I can get AF and start to try not to try if you know what I mean. I feel so greedy even thinking about #2 and get lightheaded about getting sucked into the vortext of TTC!! Thanks for putting words to my thoughts!

  16. How can you possibly think that you don’t deserve what you have with Baby O? Serenity, you are very deserving of his love and the love of any potential children. Are you deserving of the love from J? Your family? Your friends? Absolutely. You GIVE out a lot of love hon, you absolutely deserve love back.
    It doesn’t matter how our children come into the world, they desrve us and we deserve them.

    As for #2… I read one of those bullet articles and one of then said, “Why do we want to try for another when there is one almost out of diapers?”. Funny, but at the same time, pretty true. I guess, for me, I realized that I wanted a second when K started to become a real little person. Talking, walking, playing jokes on us, etc. I realized that I wanted her to have the companionship of a sibling. Of someone to have fun with, complain to, and be with. I mean, P and I are great, but we are never going to be to her what a sibling (and now we know sister) will be to her.

    Going through treatments for me is FAR different than it was for you. I never had to go beyond inj/IUI. However, the appts, the stress, all worth it. Once I finally felt ok with things with this pgcy I wondered how I could love someone else as much as I love K.

    I’ve asked that question to eveybody with more than 1. The answer is always the same: You just do. Your heart has the capacity to love that much. Crazy to think about, but, awfully true.

  17. Hey Serenity, I wonder if 3 is your magic number! As in, when baby O turns 3!! Since you got him after “three surgeries, three fresh cycles of IVF, three failed FETs, and more than three years of struggling with IF”. I kinda like the symmetry of that!
    L (from yahoo) :o)

  18. We weren’t ready at a year. A lot of friends were starting then but we wanted to enjoy Kallie more before we split our focus. We said we’d revisit it at for 18 months and we were ready then. And we did that when we concieved number 3 as well. 18 months…they seem so much older than a year and knowing there are 9 months on top of that…our kids were the right age for them to be siblings and us to be ready for them.

    Now obviously ours were concieved naturally and we were blessed enough that we had it happen when we were ready. If you are concerned about how long it might take you, then I guess its a choice of if you’re willing to wait longer between babies if it takes you a few tries, or risk having your babies closer than you planned. If we’d gotten pregnant before Kallie was 18 months old we would have been perfectly okay and thrilled, but since we had a “choice” we preferred to wait. If you need to do IVF again, assuming you can afford it, and are ready for the hormonal rollercoater then you might want to give it a shot starting sooner. “worse” you get a baby even sooner to love…and thats a pretty wonderful outcome!!! And Baby O will be just fine with a sibling thats closer in age. Don’t worry about him…its you and your husband that have to be ready. And if you aren’t, then take your time until it feels right 🙂

  19. Seems to be going around, I recently wrote a post on this too. I think we are pretty set against going the medical route and might just leave it all up to fate but who knows what I’ll be thinking in 5 more months!

  20. well first, no one deserves Baby O more than you!!!! I know what you went through to have him and he’s a miracle and a gift, so enough of that (easy for me to say ..right?? 🙂 )

    next, I admit that there are times that I am so am so selfishly happy that I have the two little boys looking at me, growing up together and making my “family picture” look complete, sure people still tell us that “we have to try for the girl” but those people don’t know us, people who know us, know that we are D.O.N.E. and happy that we are. I feel LOTS of survivor guilt about that, I really really do. I got to do it all at once and often I am certain that God did it that way because of how horrible my pregnancy was, that HE knew that I would never (in a million years) think about doing it again and He blessed me and on my purely lucid days I am delirious with happiness that He did. I don’t have to have the conversation about “when should we try”, “should I make an appt” etc.

    I feel for you, because I know that it would still hurt, it would still make me feel IF to know that I would have to start all over again, but this time I have all these emotions and a little toddler, the emotions and time I would need to deal with them would have to take a back seat to my child and the life that I have there. It’s not easy.

    yet, Serenity, I know you will be ok. Whenever it’s time to talk about it and go about it, you’re going to be awesome. You are one of the strongest women I know, so I also know that you will do this, If and when you want to. Enjoying Baby O right now is a good thing, it’s the right thing to do and when that magic number comes up, you’re going to be just fine. No one said that everyone else’s timetable has to be yours… will be time…when it is.


  21. I’m kind of surprised that people are just now asking you about having more kids, because I have been asked this so many times already in just 8 weeks of motherhood (including twice on Saturday). It’s downright obnoxious. Maybe there’s something about twins, especially same-sex twins, that makes others think we need one more kid *immediately*.

    Among IF bloggers and IRL IF pals, it seems pretty common to start TTC again around the baby’s 12- or 18-month mark. I think the right time is whatever time feels right to you and your husband.

    And I agree with the others: You ABSOLUTELY deserve your little boy. Don’t dare tell yourself otherwise. : )

  22. I’m here from the blog roundup, very well written post, and I feel the exact same way. I so want more kids but don’t know if I have it in me to go through all the IF garbage again, and I feel guility because I was so blessed with twins and is it ‘greedy’ to want to have another baby when so many are still struggling to bring one baby home!!

    And I think in general the 12-18 month mark is so popular for getting pg again b/c its such a ‘fun’ stage between the sleep deprivation of an infant and the stress of the terrible twos!!

  23. […] Serenity mentioned that the magic number appeared to be 12. Mine was six. […]

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