Our Infertility Journey: The Decision for Baby #2

Have you ever had a passion or interest that was so important to you that it became part of your identity? And then did you ever just not identify with that thing anymore and have an existential crisis? Did you ask yourself, “Who am I without X in my life?” I’ve experienced this twice in my life.

The first time it was more humorous than serious. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Cafe Rio (a delicious Mexican restaurant). They even sent me a facemask in the beginning of the pandemic because they saw just how obsessed I am. When serving an 18 month church mission in Denmark, I would joke that the only things that made me homesick were my dog and Cafe Rio. In my first week home, I ate Cafe Rio FIVE times. My grandpa says you can only love people and animals and NOT things, but I really did love Cafe Rio. And then, when I was pregnant with Calvin, I didn’t.

In fact, I couldn’t eat more than three bites before getting sick. My mom would want to spoil me and order what she thought my pregnancy cravings would/should be and it literally pained me every time to turn her down. I know it’s cheesy, but because it was such a big part of my personality, it was weird that it was missing. I honestly didn’t feel completely like myself. While this obviously wasn’t a full mid-life crisis type of event and I have so many other facets to my personality, it was still strange not being able to resonate with that part of me.

The second time was a little more serious (though I recognize that my examples aren’t as drastic as faith transitions, career changes, etc. This is simply a descriptive way to explain my feelings).

Both Garret and I are roughly two years a part from our siblings and we grew up the best friends. I’m not saying that you automatically are close due to small age gaps or that you can’t be close to siblings with larger age gaps (after all, the gap “shrinks” the older you get), but for us, we felt that it played a large factor.

We felt that there was something special about going to the same school, carpooling and eating lunch together, being on the same rec leagues/teams (due to similar size/skill), that bonded us. If you’ve been following our story, you know Garret and I became friends because our brothers were friends first and, like any younger sibling, we tagged along when they hung out because they were our best friends.

With this upbringing, it’s no wonder we both very much wanted our kids to be roughly two years a part. It was such a large part of our family planning. We’ve decided that from the beginning; it was no question. It was always the plan (though you know how well our plans have worked out for us so far).

However, I remember in the “fourth trimester” (the first three months postpartum), doing the “pregnancy math” and thinking there’s no way I’ll be ready to have kids two years apart. Pregnancy math is what I call the “If I get pregnant now, then I’ll have the baby in August” (or whatever 40 weeks is from the day in question). So the pregnancy math on that day was, “Well I got pregnant in October and had a baby in July, so if I want my kids exactly two years apart, then I need to get pregnant in October (after Calvin’s first birthday) again. But it might take a few tries, so I’ll need to start around Calvin’s first birthday. Which means I need to start trying in ten months.”

As a new mom, this seemed impossible. “How do people ever have kids that close together?!” All of our plans for growing our family felt rocky. What I had once been so sure about, felt like nothing more than a hazy “in a perfect world” scenario. I couldn’t fathom getting pregnant so soon again and I felt this way all the way until Calvin was about ten months old.

And then, motherhood clicked. 

I joke with my friends that it took me ten months to learn how to be a mom. I acknowledge that I’m never done learning new things about parenting, but at ten months, I felt like I had experienced so much with Calvin, that I was seasoned enough to add a second baby to our family.

For the first time I not only thought, “I can survive with two kids,” but also, “I can thrive with two kids.” And so we began trying for baby #2 in June 2020.

After overcoming my temporary existential crisis, we were optimistic about growing our family. Little did we know just how long it would take (19 months and counting!). Again, we’ve had to adjust our life expectations, but life is a journey for us all. And we’re glad you’re with us on ours.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

We'd love to hear your story of struggle and how you found hope when it seemed all hope was lost. #HopeDay

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One Response

  1. This post is so insightful! You are a beautiful mother. It’s a treat to watch you with Calvin. Hang in there! There is a plan for you and your sweet family. And it should definitely include some Cafe Rio…unless pregnancy #2 has the same aversions.

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