The Tragic Optimist

fertile thoughts

The snow is finally starting to melt, after light rains yesterday and today.  I dislike this time of year, it’s too early for any green here, but what snow is left is dirty and grey, and everything just looks grungy and ugly.  But on our drive home from work I noticed the snow on the farm fields was mostly gone and underneath was the black, black Minnesota soil.  That soil is the first thing I remember noticing when I came to visit Minnesota for the first time, and it still catches me by surprise.  I’ve never seen such rich, dark soil.  Such lovely, fertile soil.

Later this evening, I was talking with a friend about houses.  She asked me if more kids were in our future.  Why is this such a hard question?  Why can’t I simply give the (correct) three little answer, “I don’t know”?  Instead, I always ramble on about how we’re thinking about it, but we haven’t decided, we’re still a little overwhelmed with this parenting thing, and we’d probably want to space our kids out by about 3 years, and oh yeah, ittookalongtimetogetpregnantthefirsttimeandIdon’tknowifIwanttofacethatagain.  Breath.  I wonder sometimes if we’d have the same uncertainty of whether or not to have more kids if we hadn’t had the fertility problems.  I’m sure that if there wasn’t the infertility, I wouldn’t have this looming sense of needing to decide soon, even though I don’t want to be pregnant or even start trying again right away.  I know that there are women who had trouble conceiving their first and then go on to conceive a second easily.  But I haven’t gotten my period again since getting pregnant.  I have no idea whether my body will decide to cooperate or not.  I feel pretty out of touch with how my reproductive bits are doing right now.

This has added to my decision to try to wean Zoe next month.  That will be 18 months of nursing – when Zoe was first born, I had planned on nursing a year and had no context for what it might mean to continue nursing past that point.  I’m glad we’ve continued, though we’re down to just nighttime and morning nursings now.  I’m proud of our nursing relationship, and that we’ve gone so far, but I’ve never felt the love for breastfeeding that some women talk about.  Still, I already know that I’ll miss our nursing sessions a lot and I’m not really looking forward to the weaning.  (But getting to wear normal bras again?  That will rock).


  1. Sounds like you guys have a lot to think about! I can imagine the scariness and fear that goes along with thinking about a 2nd child when concieveing the first was so difficult. You’ll know when your family is ready for another and who knows maybe you’ll be one of those women who concieves the second easily! Heres hoping.

  2. People wear normal bras again after they stop nursing? Hmm. Why is it that now only my nursing bras fit the best? 🙂 No matter how you’ve felt about nursing, I think it’s wonderful that you made it 18 months. That’s amazing.

    As for the question of another baby, I can completely feel you on that one. I found it very hard to answer that question, also, even though we came upon the decision to try again relatively quickly. I felt like once we figured out that Clomid worked for us, it was only a matter of time before it *wouldn’t* work and we needed to get our family completed within a few years. As it turns out, I was right about that one. I’m not sure Clomid would work now, because we were one step away from stims/IUI when we finally conceived Kaelyn.

    That unease always made it hard to answer that question. I think it was because if you say, “Yes,” then if it takes a while again people would ask what the deal was and you’d find yourself in yet another awkward situation. Eventually “We’re thinking about it” became a somewhat comfortable answer for me. It leaves room for the answer of another baby to go either way – if it doesn’t happen or it takes a while people will just assume that you chose not to have another child, and if you do get pregnant, then people obviously know you made that choice. Of course, I’d say “We’re thinking about it,” then change the subject as quickly as possible so as to hedge off other questions or comments.

  3. Nick

    I suppose it says volumes about both who I am and my current stage in life (and, I suppose, the seasons) that I found the bit about the soil and the transition from winter to spring to be the part of your post that spoke the most to me. Not that it’s the important part – I’m not quite so obtuse – but it’s about the only part I can relate to.

    But in a few months, we can talk about gardening, and I’ll have something to say again, yes?

  4. Mmm, gardening – just reading the word makes me smile a bit. Spring will come, right? And it’ll feel good to be growing things again (or at least trying to). I suppose you’ll be mostly starting from scratch for much of your gardening after the remodeling, yes?

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