Babysitting for our Sweet Nephew and Rethinking Baby Number 2

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take a WEEK off of work, pack up myself and my kid, leave my husband in the Tucson dust, and head up to the Phoenix dust to babysit our (then) 3mo nephew, King, for 4 mornings... 
I wish the pictures weren't so blurry. Technical difficulties transferring to computer
& can't seem to get the original quality back. Boo! Still, cutest babies ever!
I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing time I had cuddling, cooing, and bonding with my nephew in the peaceful environment of his own home, just the 3 of us (me, King, Otto) and one day just the 2 of us (me, King). This is something that never really happens as most visits involve multi generations and many many people, which is wonderful, but doesn't lend itself to the quiet, peaceful bonding that happens on a morning of babysitting...

Tummy time... haha, oh boy, tummy time! Meanwhile...

Otto actually had a pretty difficult time adjusting to "sharing" his mommy with King each day. What can I say - he's an only child and he's used to being the center of my universe, so it threw him a little that I wasn't at his instant beck and call. I know, I know, this is a lesson he'll have to learn eventually, yada yada, but please shut up, because honestly, it broke my heart to see the way he was looking at me like, "what's going on, Mommy?" ... He didn't understand why he'd lost a part of my attention. I started to panic - what would a supermom do? How could I handle this without Otto getting upset or acting out? I found myself balancing the needs of both boys and just knew that the amount of attention either was getting wasn't the 100% they deserved. Obviously that's math, 1 person can't give 100% to 2 babies, but I felt like I should have been. And I wondered how moms of more than 1 child do it!

Otto actually handled it like a champ, but by the end of each morning he was whining, throwing little tantrums, and demanding a "paci" . Well, in our house he is only allowed to have a "paci" during naptime so I made a special nap spot on the couch for him and told him that whenever he wanted his "paci" he would need to rest on the napping couch. This was my compromise - what do you think? It was all I could come up with on the fly. So, he opted to do this fake-napping a LOT. For little 3 minute intervals over and over again. Yeah, it's cute the way he puts his feet up and reads, but it still made me sad. He never throws fits for a "paci" ... he rarely throws fits at all. 

From 2004-2008, when we were going through our infertility crap, I told myself that I would be happy with one child or ten. Some of the injections we were taking increased our chances of multiples and I was totally on board with that. I would say, "three is better than zero, pump me full of whatever you got!" Then when Otto was conceived I was just... I was joy. Like I equalled joy. That was it, me = joy.

And since they never really figured out what made us infertile in the first place... there were quite a few mentions of the possibility that this pregnancy could kick start us into Normalsville and we might conceive naturally from then on. So I got all enthusiastic about that idea. I stopped breastfeeding Otto right at a year in hopes of conceiving a sibling for him. And so that was 10 months ago and it's starting to look like Rob and I may be back to Infertilityville and here's the funny thing - I'm ok with that.

Otto tries on his Aunt Kari's kicks.
She's the coach for ASU's gymnastics team
and so her sneakers are like extra cute & sporty looking!
It's not like babysitting was this horrific experience by any means. Just the opposite - I loved it! But it also put all of these thoughts into my head about balancing parenting Otto with parenting some new little being and I think I realized I'm not entirely joyous at the thought of it. I don't know what this means; it's not a fully formed thought. But I do know it means that Rob and I won't be heading back down the road of fertility treatment. I think I came to an understanding about myself and it's that I am not going to go through that again. It was too much, too hard, too miserable, and too disappointing for too long, in order to go through that again while I'm busy trying to be the best parent I can be to Otto. This isn't a judgment, no mean replies please, but for me, I'm just saying that I think I've made my decision.

If we get pregnant again naturally (which I honestly kind of doubt is going to happen) but if we do... I'll be thrilled! Shocked and thrilled! But if we don't, I really don't think I'll be disappointed - not at all. I love being Otto's mom and he's perfect and social and well-adjusted. I don't think "not trying" is doing him a disservice.

And then the longer blog post that I don't think I can write right now because this is getting pretty wordy already - well, that one is about how in three years or so I think I might look back into adoption. That's a ball that we just barely started rolling right before Otto was conceived and we didn't pursue it any further. But I think we might, someday, when Otto is older and we can have the conversation with him about a sibling. And then I think it might be nice to adopt a slightly older child. 

I'd love to hear what you think. I know I babbled but it all kind of goes together. And it feels good to put it all down and kind of digest it. Hmmmm, and thanks for lending an ear! 

Be sure to tell me how freaking cute my nephew is! And Otto, too, of course!



Alana said...

First off, Otto=So adorable.
King= CUTE baby!

I commend you for being honest about maybe not being able to give all your time and attention to more than one child. How very UNselfish of you.
I didn't know about your fertility issues, and I am so sorry you had to go down that road. I have many friends who have gone down the same path you have and it just isn't working for them, and are told it probably never will. I can't imagine being told that. I breaks my heart for them. I don't think any woman should ever have to have those words spoken to them. The fact that you have a beautiful boy that is healthy, happy and has 2 amazing parents is truly a gift to you. Sure another baby might be nice, but you were blessed with one and one that is fantastic!
My mom was adopted and I have always considered the process, as well. I am still open to it even if I have another of my own. I know, I am nuts! I want 3 kids!
You are an amazing mom, wife, friend and I am so glad that we have found each other via Twitter! I don't know what I would do with out you!

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, Otto and King - cuteness squared.
We've been 'looking' at adoption for the past few years. We research, scratch that, I research, ponder, think about what it means for our family now, about the moral dilemmas that are embedded in adoption, only children, siblings. I'm more confused than I was three years ago.

Sweet Harper said...

Those boyz are the CUTEST ever! You are such a great mama, and I felt the same way when I was pregnant with #2...I cried [several times] over the huge change that was about to topple #1's world as he knew it. BUT, this is our family, and I love the way it has turned out. So I can definitely understand where you're coming from. Whether or not you add another child to your family, I cannot really help with that...but I do know that you are one rockstar mom!

OT and ET said...

Thank you guys. You are all amazing moms; your words mean more to me than you know. I look up to each of you!

Alana - I don't think 3 is crazy at all! 3 sounds perfect! I can't wait to hear that D has a baby bro/sis on the way (soon?) <3 <3 I love that we found each other and I just know that any baby who comes your way will be so so lucky to have you as their mama! Of course the downside is that D is soooo cute any future babies will have a hard time competing with that extreme cuteness!

Rachel - especially now as you're transitioning into more time at home, more time "momming" I feel like having just the one little sweetpea will allow you two to bond so deeply! I am so excited for you! But at the same time I don't know if I see too many drawbacks to the adoption scenario. I'd love to speak with you more about that. Because I do think that is something Rob and I will pursue once he is closer to done with his school.

Tracy - I wondered what your take would be and so appreciate your openness! I think if I do ever get pregnant again there will be so many tears, of course of joy, but many like the ones you describe! But then honestly, when I see your gorgeous kiddos it makes me wish so hard that I could provide a sweet sibling for Otto asap! There would be no regrets!

xo, ladies, you warm my heart :)

kristina said...

I am going through the same exact thing right now! SO confusing! I have one daughter, Gabby, and she is the light of my life. I too went through a period of infertility stuff and not sure I want to go down that road again. In 4 years it hasn't just happened for us so it seems that is our only choice. I'd love for Gabby to have a sibling so it's a very hard decision. I just pray that we're all happy whether out family stays just the 3 of us or if we are blessed with another little soul. :)

joey handbags said...

Aww my dear sister! First off, thank you thank you thank you for taking the time out of your life to come and babysit for me. It was so much fun to see you and my dear Ott everyday! I miss that little boy, and he's just way too much fun (and you are too of course)! I can't wait for him to teach Kingston all sorts of his shenanigans!

I'm having a hard time even imagining having a second baby. As you know, it took us forever to have Kingston as well, and I kinda think I'd be ok with just one babe. King and Ott would always have eachother for that sibling-type relationship, right?! Just a thought. I just love King so much, it's hard to imagine having enough love/time/energy/attention/(guilt while leaving them while I go to work) for another baby, not to mention still keeping a healthy relationship with Emerson!

One last note...Infertility sucks, and I don't blame you for not wanting to go through it again. We were both blessed with amazing and healthy little boys. If another bundle of joy is in your future or mine I know we would both be just ecstatic! Can you imagine a little girl Otto??!

Another last note, I love you and your blog!

Unknown said...

What a lovely post! Otto and baby King are both such cuties.

I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through the infertility saga. We tried for 10 months to get pregnant with Lil J and I thought that if I don't get pregnant after a year of trying that we should both get tested just in case. Apparently, 10 months is the norm for conceiving.

Which may be good for us now because I can't imagine the thought of having another newborn right now! But I can't wait to start trying again! Does that make sense? Recently, I've been having weird dreams (I will create a post about that one) and a few of my friends are pregnant with their second. I have so many questions in my head...!

You'll figure it out mama! We always do :)


OT and ET said...

Good luck to you Kristina! Dealing with infertility makes all of these questions/doubts that much more magnified. It is such a difficult path to launch yourself through - only for the strongest of heart! But a family of 3 is also a happy happy blessing. So no matter what happens I just hope you are happy!

Kari - I love you so much. And Otto and King will be "bros" no matter if you have another baby or if I have a little Ottina or whatever happens! They will be the closest of cousins! Enough said - love you - xoxo!

@SwankMama (haha, that is how I think of you - Twitter and its nicknames) you and Alana are in similar situations with your babies' ages and beginning to think of trying for number 2. Well all I have to say is you are both amazing mamas with incredibly good looking offspring so of course you should have as many as you can want or handle! The world needs more gorgeous geniuses! I look forward to hearing the news that #2 is on the way for you! And to reading the post on your weird dreams. And you're so right, we mamas always figure it out. We make the best of anything. xo!

TheSweetOne said...

Just found your blog from bloggy moms... Kudos for laying it out there. It's tough to talk about such a personal decision. More than one is tough especially for those first few years and while I love both and would never change a thing, I realize now how much I did miss of No. 1 being 2 years old. Making a firm decision to not have a third lightened my spirit and has allowed me to enjoy both kids and not agonize over what I should/shouldn't/will/won't do.

Your son looks adorable. Enjoy him!

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