It's way too early for us to be thinking about second (or later) children. And yet it's also only natural to say things like, "We'll do x/y/z when we have another one" or "In my next pregnancy I'll [blank]."
We still qualify with the infertile if. "If we have another child." "If I'm pregnant again." People must think that we're undecided about having more kids, when really we are (or I am) just careful after learning in a hard school not to count chickens. Don't want the universe to suspect we're making assumptions. No good ever comes of that.
But I did assume. I assumed we'd approach the task of giving Smudgie a sibling with the same dedication we went after parenthood in the first place: everything on the table and all our chips in. Now, after a brief, preliminary, and by no means definitive conversation with Lawyer Guy, I don't know anymore.
He wants a second child (and is possibly open to considering a third) but perhaps there are limits to what he'll do to have one, limits that didn't apply in the same way to the first. He suspects he wouldn't want to adopt. Or at least not to blithely assume it's a possibility for us without giving it serious thought. IVF also is a question mark.
I want Smudgie to have a brother or sister. I also love my husband and need him to be comfortable with any family-building method we choose. We've tabled these conversations until we actually need to have them (i.e., not for at least another year and likely even longer). But for the first time, I'm considering that Smudgie could wind up an only child, a scary proposition to someone with three siblings.
I feel angry that IF and loss are still rearing their heads in our lives, angry that we can't plan out our family with the railway timetable precision that so many of our family and friends can apply. I feel worried and a little sad that I may never have the family of my dreams. I feel tired at the thought of more ART and the tough conversations it inspires. I feel hopeful that we wont have to fight as hard this time, that we'll conceive again on our own and this time it will stick.
Mostly, though, I feel grateful for my son. I held him this weekend and stroked his unbelievably soft little velvety head. And I thought back to that conversation with LG when Smudgie woke me for an unexpected third time last night. Because this might be it. This might be my one shot at mommyhood, my one time with a newborn, and I don't want to miss or wish away a single moment of it.
I guess that's true for everyone. Maybe I should also feel grateful that I, at least, know it.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago