Courtney family

Baby Number Two?

Now that we have one baby, all anybody wants to know is when we’re having the second.

Aurelia is walking and talking and I have zero idea where the past fifteen months have gone. She knows baby sign language, including “more” and “all done.” She loves to read, sleeps like she’s getting paid for it, and if you ask her “Que dit le chien?” she’ll bark, and then moo in response to “Que dit la vache?”

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that my daughter is perfect, a genius, and the most wonderful mini-person on the planet. Obviously.

When your first is so easy, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and roll the dice again. Several of my mom friends are already pregnant with their second, and if Erik and I don’t get this show on the road (and fast!), I worry that the mom support system I’ve spent a year building might move on without me.

Becoming a first-time mom taught me how valuable it is to have people around you who are going through the same things at the same time. When all my mom friends are suddenly dealing with “two under two” and the endless new challenges that brings, I worry that we’re going to feel as disconnected from each other as I feel now from many of my child-free friends and acquaintances.

It turns out, the great divider is not whether your friends are married, it’s whether or not they have children. When one of my friends is pissed at me for not reaching out more enthusiastically to plan a drinks date, what she doesn’t get is that I’ll need a babysitter (and a shot of espresso.) And that going out means the loss of precious, already non-existent quiet time.

It’s the same reason I duck every time I see a work contact who is aggressively trying to schedule an after-hours phone call or a coffee to talk about a project that I have minimal time and (to be honest) interest for. I worry about not being social, but Erik consoles me with our twin mantras of “They don’t get it…and they never will.” or “They don’t get it…but they will someday!” ::cue evil cackle::

Quite frankly, being a parent involves a lot of worrying. One thing that I don’t worry about is the decision we made to preserve Aurelia’s newborn stem cells. Erik and I both agreed to do that before she was born. We wanted to give her the best opportunity to overcome some of the medical situations she might have to face throughout her life. Situations even like the one that took my mother (lymphoma). Stem cells have an important place in medicine. The stem cells in her cord blood can restore the blood and immune cells —kind of like a “refresh” button. And when I found out that Aurelia’s newborn stem cells may open the door to future potential stem cell treatments for her siblings? Well if (or when) we do decide to jump in the deep end with baby number two, I can feel good that I preserved what may help their future health.

And even if Aurelia wanted to give some of her newborn stem cells to her brother or sister in the future, there’s up to a 75% chance that her newborn stem cells could at least be a partial match for the second child (we might have). Siblings or parents may have access to newborn stem cells for use in the treatment of certain cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, and metabolic disorders.

There are a lot of companies you can choose from. I ended up choosing CBR because I felt they really cared about how my child could benefit from preserving her newborn stem cells. They have genetic counselors I can talk to when I have a question about our family health and how it might relate to potential stem cell treatments. CBR is helping to discover new potential ways to use newborn stem cells. They help families with a qualifying medical need have access to their newborn stem cells. And I like being included with a bunch of other CBR moms who want to know when and how my child may personally benefit from her newborn stem cells.

(For more on our decision to preserve Aurelia’s stem cells, read here. And if you’re interested in preserving your newborn’s stem cells, check out the option we used here.)

I’m happy to report that I did manage to have drinks with one of those childless friends a couple months back. But there I was, confessing that I feel anxiety after having Aurelia. Everything was just so damn wonderful, I said. I was finally happy beyond my wildest dreams. So happy that I worried something would come to take it all away. Sure, work wasn’t perfect. And yeah, this or that silly thing was wrong. But on the whole, to experience so much happiness in my personal life and for such a long, extended period of time felt weird. In short: I worried…about being happy!

You know what my friend said? “If you’re feeling anxiety, you can take medication for that.”

Of course, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for. Spilling my emotions like that is part of how I work. Being a neurotic, writerly type, I analyze a situation from top to bottom. I mull it over, take it apart, try to understand it from the inside out, and then finally let go, satisfied that I’m mentally prepared for the various outcomes.

So here’s where I am now. I don’t know whether we’ll have a second child, whether we even can have a second child, and when we’ll have a second child if that’s what we do decide. Right now, I honestly don’t care and I can put off that anxiety for another day. Because, for the time being, we have THIS child…and she’s happy, and she’s healthy, and I’ve done what I can to help protect her future health. Truth is, Aurelia is the light of our lives and she is, simply, perfect.

Disclosure: While all opinions here are my own, Cord Blood Registry provided me with my first year of banking for free in exchange for a post and social media support. I reached out to them and made arrangements with them last year, well in advance of my decision to stop writing any new Sponsored Posts.

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