Last night on La La’s Full Court Press, La La Anthony, wife of New York Knicks basketball phenom Carmelo Anthony, spent the whole of the episode in a frantic cloud of unease, insecurity and panic trying to gauge just how ready she is to take the plunge and have a second baby.
Her rush to decide whether to give her 5-year-old son, Kiyan, a sibling was buoyed by a frank conversation from her ob-gyn, who, in telling La La that it was time to replace her intrauterine device—I know, a little T.M.I.—warned her that she needed to figure out if she was going to have another child before age, health and life circumstances took away the option.
Clearly unnerved by the idea of fitting a second pregnancy and child into her already monumentally-busy life—the TV personality and movie star has a new make-up line and, because of her husband’s NBA schedule, raises her son primarily on her own—La La went on a massive polling expedition, grilling her mom and best friends for their opinions on whether it was smart to have another child simply because the clock is ticking and Kiyan wants a little brother.
My Mari was only two when Nick and I decided it was a good idea to add to our brood. But it definitely took a few conversations and considerations to get to the final say: could we afford a second child? Did we have the space for another? Would three years be enough space between our two kids to keep me from feeling like I was juggling two little babies? Would Mari be out of diapers (the thought of changing two wet booties gave me the shakes)? Would I be able to give two children the loving, hands-on attention they deserved while holding down a full-time job and a burgeoning book career that had me touring all across the states? At age 33, did I have the time to wait, or would putting it off put me and my baby at risk for all the pregnancy complications that increase exponentially when a woman gets pregnant after age 35?
Frantic doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt weighing these things in my mind, much less bringing them up to my husband, who, in addition to our baby girl, already had a son from his first marriage.
Thank God, much like La La’s experience on her show, all my questions, concerns and outright fears were quickly allayed with just one conversation with the person who, too, would experience firsthand the changes that come with an expanding family: my husband. La La kicked out her friends, shut off her phone, sent the cameras away and had a private conversation with Carmelo and, together, they decided they were happy to wait a while—that, for now, their family is perfect and happy just the way it is.
We went the totally opposite route and, within a few months of trying, conceived our second baby girl sometime just before the tragedy of 9/11. Our Lila is the bright, beautiful light that emerged from an incredibly dark time for us New Yorkers. For us Americans. And while it has been WORK to raise three kids (Mazi, Nick’s son from his first marriage, came to live with us full-time when he hit his teens), we’ve never once regretted our decision to have another child.
Congrats to La La Anthony and Carmelo Anthony for tuning out the chatter of family and friends, focusing on one another, having the hard conversations and, together, making the decisions that are best for their family.
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.