Last night, my wife and I were out shopping for groceries since payday had finally arrived. We essentially live paycheck-to-paycheck, but not "really": a fixed amount of each check goes into our "spending account", and the rest goes into the "bills account", so it forms a sort of enforced budget for us. This means we still tend to get low on money each month before the 15th and the 30th, but it serves as a nice, concrete barrier keeping all the monthly obligations separate from the things that are more flexible.
Anyways, as we were walking, I remarked that if we wanted children that are around two years apart, we really should be trying right now for a second kid. She shocked me somewhat by replying that she thought about that every day. Our daughter will be eighteen months old as of tomorrow, and we both have talked off and on about having another child, but the immediacy of the whole thing really hit me like a sack of bricks. My siblings and I are all somewhere between two and three years apart, so that sort of spacing is very familiar to me, but there's this part of me that's saying "holy cow, where did all the time go?"
Somehow, this decision is more difficult than our initial decision to have a child. Maybe it is because we've been through all of it once, and know what to expect. This paradoxically makes it easier and harder at the same time. We know that we were able to get through it, but at the same time we also think of how relieved those earlier days are behind us.
And then there's the pregnancy to think of. The first one wasn't easy on my wife. Constant nausea made her precipitously lose weight, to the point where her doctor prescribed her weight-gain formulas -- a very unusual situation indeed for my wife, who has generally fought to lose weight all her life. With the pregnancy came an ovarian cyst which did not shrink and interfered with the birth, requiring a C-section after many, many hours of unproductive labor. Of course, given the last birth, I suppose we could just opt for C-section from the very beginning this time.
Meanwhile, there's the cost. We're still paying off the last birth, thanks to an insurance mixup that caused our Ob/Gyn to be outside of our network for three months despite her insistence that this wasn't the case. Would we really want to trust this doctor again? I don't, after that crap.
Our house is small and constantly falling apart. The economy is in total shambles, and very shaky right now. My brother-in-law still rents out our basement, further reducing our living space (though increasing our income quite a bit). My wife just started feeling truly happy for the first time in ages, and I'm afraid of jeopardizing that. I can think of a dozen reasons not to have another kid right now, and only one major reason to do so: we want our daughter to have a brother or sister.
Luckily, it's not something we need to decide this instant. We could easily go another year and still have kids that are 3.5 years apart; I have no problem with that. After debating, we both agreed that now is not quite the time. But it was an interesting turning point: for the first time, I think the question was not if we would have another kid, but when.
By the way, for anybody who followed the old domain name daylogs I posted earlier: the whole thing just sort of faded away. Which is fine for now; we still have the name, and now the guy's going to pay through the nose if he wants it.