Making the Decision...
By Lorie Gant Leitner
hen I walked down the aisle on my wedding day, I knew having a baby was not in my immediate future. I still felt like a kid myself and wasn’t ready to give up my lifestyle of spontaneous road trips, late night cocktails, and shopping sprees. People asked me, “Are you going to have a baby?” and I consistently replied, “I enjoy being selfish too much to do THAT.” I loved the shock value.
Years later that answer became less of the truth and more of an excuse. I was scared. As the first in my circle of friends to be married, I already felt my 24
actions were judged differently. Would the title of “Mom” make it hard for them to relate to me? As time went on my husband, Jeremy, made it clear he was ready to welcome a baby. I focused on my 29th birthday, telling myself by then Jeremy and I would be ready financially and emotionally. However, as the day neared, my anxiety built. How could I be responsible enough for another human, keeping it safe, nurtured, and well-rounded? It took me another year to convince myself that I would be a good Mom. Prepping for Baby #1 was exciting. I loved swapping pregnancy stories with my friends and decorating the nursery. Jeremy and I soaked up information at classes offered by the hospital. My Mom and I developed a deeper bond. Immediately after having my first son, Noah, people asked, “Are you having another?” That question exhausted me. All I cared about was enjoying time with my newborn. After waiting years for him, I wasn’t ready to crowd the picture. I thought, “Besides, how exciting could it be? Been there, done that.” I also questioned if it was possible to love another baby as much as I loved Noah. At 4 years old, Noah noticed many of his friends had siblings. He began to talk about his “little sister” and was so convincing that strangers thought she was real. The vision of Noah as a big brother warmed my heart. Mentally, this time I
was ready for Baby #2, but the decision was affected by financial worry. Like so many families, we were touched by the sour economy. I questioned if I could cover essentials. Another year passed. Life stabilized and soon I was sharing exciting news of our expanding family. However, the preparation had a different focus. I felt a great responsibility to take care of Noah. I worried he would be blindsided, not understanding why he couldn’t have our full attention. Jeremy and I concentrated on making those months special: from buying a “big boy” bed to visiting Disney World. We involved Noah at the doctor whenever possible, letting him hear the baby’s heartbeat and witness the ultrasound. The night before checking into the hospital I prayed we were ready. I knew my angels had listened when I witnessed Noah holding his little brother’s hand and saying, “Hello Lucas. It’s me, Noah.” Bringing Lucas home created a sense of peace in our home. It was as if our family represented a puzzle and someone had filled in the final corner. It’s true what people say. There’s never an ideal time for a baby. Both times I wished we had more money, time, and patience. But each time was special and brought out the best in my family. That’s close enough to perfection for me. Lorie Gant Leitner lives in Louisville with her husband Jeremy and sons Noah (6) and Lucas (1). She is a frequent contributor to Today’s Family.
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