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How soon is too soon?

I am not ashamed to say that I am a Planny Type. I like to know what's going on. I like to know what's coming up next. I like to be able to say to myself, "Three months from now, I can expect THIS to happen!" Of course, when you are a Planny Type, you are constantly having to wrangle the universe back into your orderly straight lines, but when has that ever discouraged a Planny Type? This makes Planny Types try even HARDER.

I am not ashamed to say that I am a Planny Type. I like to know what's going on. I like to know what's coming up next. I like to be able to say to myself, "Three months from now, I can expect THIS to happen!" Of course, when you are a Planny Type, you are constantly having to wrangle the universe back into your orderly straight lines, but when has that ever discouraged a Planny Type? This makes Planny Types try even HARDER.

So! Let's talk child spacing, shall we? For a Planny Type I have a shocking amount of ambivalence concerning child spacing, but it's ambivalence that only showed up after my son was born. Before we had the baby, I assumed I'd do exactly what my parents had done: have a large number of kids in a relatively short period of time. (Five kids in five years, if you must know. My mother is being beatified as I type.)

Then, you know, I came to my senses and thought, "Maybe not THAT many kids. Maybe not THAT close together." But see, I would like to have a lot of kids. My husband says no more than three, but I say at least three. When you come from a family of five closely spaced children, three sounds downright boring. And while I can't say we got along perfectly growing up, or even got along at all, now that we're adults every family get together is a PARTY. I love it! My husband is a youngest/only child (his brother is eight years older) and while it's nice winding down in the peace and quiet of his parents' house, I want a little more excitement in my own. Even if it's the yelling and screaming sort of excitement.

We went ahead and had the first kid and oh, I loved it. For whatever reason, the universe smiled on my first few months with Jackson. Possibly this was because I'd read the entire internet before his birth and was absolutely certain no less than three dozen Horrible Things would be lying in wait as soon as I brought the baby home from the hospital, including, but not limited to: postpartum depression, mastitis, colic, projectile barfing and all-night-long inexplicable screaming. Strangely enough, none of these things happened to me and I spent the first couple months of Jackson's life marveling at my good fortune. And of course my easy baby made it much easier to think about my next baby. "This is so great!" I kept thinking to myself. "I can't wait to do this AGAIN!"

I know. There is something dreadfully wrong with me. I knew this too, which is why I never said anything regarding Baby Number Two to my husband. I wanted to stay married to him after all.

But a few months ago we thought we might be pregnant. Oops! I couldn't decide what I was hoping for. If I was pregnant, we'd have another baby! Again! Soon! Yay! If I wasn't pregnant, then I wouldn't have to be pregnant again. Double Yay! I was thisclose to losing the rest of the baby weight and I was looking forward to at least a few months of having my body back. Not only that, I felt like I was getting the hang of this baby thing. Why not let myself stay in this nice planned-out space for a while?

We weren't pregnant and there was relief all around. Whew! But we did have to have the Baby Number Two conversation. One of us wanted another baby fairly soon, one of us wanted to pay off the mortgage and get a bigger car and secure that promotion and discuss college funds with the financial advisor before even considering Baby Number Two. You guess who is who! Eventually we decided we'd wait at LEAST until Jack's first birthday.

So what do you think? Is there an ideal when it comes to spacing your babies? Is there a mathematical formula for figuring this out? Something that quantifies happiness and quality time? I tend to think spacing kids is just an exercise for Planny Types, because how many of us really have that much control over this sort of thing anyway? Which is my way of saying that the month AFTER we decided to wait until Jack turns one, we got pregnant. OOPS! I am eleven weeks along and looking at exactly sixteen months between my two kids. We are thrilled but wondering what, exactly, we have got ourselves into. This is where you say, ""You have got yourself into something WONDERFUL! And also, that exhaustion from morning sickness and chasing your kid around the house looks fabulous on you."

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