Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Doctor...Mine This Time...

This morning I had my annual visit to the OB/GYN. It was funny not having been there in a long time. Ever since my pregnancy ended, any visits there have felt that way. After going there once a month, then every couple weeks, then every week, it has felt odd to stay away for so long. I think I was there for a six week followup, and then maybe once for a post-pregnancy issue, and then once more for last year's annual visit, and that's been about it. That place was practically a second home during my pregnancy, and although I usually had different doctors each visit (they want you to meet them all so you're good with whoever is on call for your delivery), I got to know the nurses and just feel a heck of a lot more comfortable than I ever thought I would at that kind of a doctor.

Going back there generally brings up favorable associations and memories. While I was pregnant I always went there with anticipation. I could hear the baby's heartbeat, or better yet, see an ultrasound, and just generally make sure that I was progressing normally. The uncomfortable appointments didn't come until the end, and even then, I was always eager to check in and see if I was progressing. Sitting in the waiting room today there were a couple pregnant women. One was with her "baby daddy" and the other was this cute pregnant woman wearing a classic but decidedly non-maternity coat over a bulging belly. I couldn't help but smile looking at both of them, knowing I'd been there before and am now on the other side. Still, I couldn't help but be a little jealous, knowing that they were there for a much more "fun" reason than I was. In fact, today's visit was a bit of a downer because all of a sudden they're making me be more proactive about my health in general. I need to go get a cholesterol test (just to check) and I'm supposed to start taking a calcium supplement. Oh, and I should probably work out more than once a week. So, what...now that I'm 31 I've reached the point where my body will start falling apart without careful maintenance? Yikes. Good to know, but when did I get old?

Once I was in to see the nurse practioner (my doctor is hard to get an appointment with...one of these days perhaps I'll change to another one in the same practice), she asked when I thought we'd be trying again. I gave her our desired timeline but then lamented the fact that we weren't sure it would be possible because we're just not sure how we'd afford two kids in daycare. I suppose in the midst of all of this house stuff, the question would be, can you really afford to move? Well, the increase in our mortgage is a drop in the bucket compared to another round of daycare, and even if we stayed in our house we'd have to do quite a bit of work in the next few years anyway. So if we're going to spend that money one way or another, it might as well be on a nicer house that will fit us for years to come. But another round of daycare is like a third mortgage, and I'm just not sure where that money would come from unless one or both of us get a substantial raise. And the fact that that's the biggest barrier to having another baby is such a sad thing. Back in the days of my Amerks' career with my terribly low salary, I knew that having kids would pretty much mean that I'd be just as well off staying home with kids, because I'd pretty much be working to pay for daycare. While two kids would get me much closer to that scenario in my current job, we'd still be down a significant amount if I stopped working...an amount too large to be made up simply by curbing spending, using more coupons, not eating out, etc. But another round of daycare would put us in the red as well. I never wanted money to be the reason we didn't have a baby, but shaky finances are a scary prospect. Timing is tough, as well, between not wanting to feel too old by baby #2 or being so past the baby phase that we're too spoiled to go back to that. I always said that if we had one we'd have two, because I didn't want an only child. And now that we have Jacob he's amazing and keeps us occupied on his own, but I still don't think I would consider our family "complete" without a sibling. I look forward to seeing him react to and interact with a sibling. Seeing him around other babies has definitely reinforced that desire, and as he gets older I think that feeling will continue to strengthen.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things go...with work, with the house, with Jacob. Going to the doctor today certainly intensified the itch, if only momentarily. I remember all too well many of the negatives that went with pregnancy and early parenthood, and am constantly reminded how hard it all is each day with Jacob. But I also get the smiles and laughs from him that tell me that I do want to do it again at some point. All in God's perfect timing, I guess. So now we just have to wait and see.

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