A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks; or, Planning the Unplannable

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.

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. It's a tough thing to think about. People keep saying to us, "With your first adoption..." and in my head I'm thinking, "With (likely) our only adoption..." Because I have to be realistic. After spending $25,000, this will probably be it for us. I don't know if we can afford to buy a second chance at parenthood. So, when the time comes, I just plan on doing my best to cherish our baby. Because there's a good chance it will be our only.

  2. I am so, so glad that Smudgie is yours now. But still, to have to reconstruct your idea of what a family--your family--is, that's tough stuff. We're even farther from thinking about subsequent children than you and LG are, but the idea of maybe having only one when we've always talked about and dreamed and imagined two...not easy to wrap the head around. As you said, keep stroking that beautiful little head for now. Have a magical holiday. xoxo

  3. My husband and I were just talking about this exact thing. I'm hormonal and crazy sad lately and still have a month to go with this pregnancy, and already I'm thinking (1) I don't know if I want to do this again - sadly, I am just not one of those people that likes being pregnant, and yes, I get how awful that sounds as an IFer, but I just don't, and (2) as much as we'd both love to adopt, I don't feasibly see us coming up with $25k+ to do that. However, I don't want an only child though, so...!

    Who knows...so much can change, but I definitely feel like this will be a "decision" we make - whether to pay for ART or adoption or stop with 1...it just doesn't feel real that we could even have a chance to conceive #2 naturally.

    I hate IF. I am beyond grateful that we are getting 1, but I hate that IF will always be a part of how I think.

  4. I imagine all these conversations will be tough. I hope that Smudgie won't be your only baby, but if he is I know you will have cherished every moment with him.
    You don't have to answer if it is too personal, but I'm curious if you are going to use birth control while Smudgie is tiny. I've wondered what I will decide if I ever have a baby.

  5. You are so not alone in this conversation. I think it's normal to not want to go through what you went through for #1 for #2. I do think it's funny that normally it's the men that are hesitant where as we women are more willing even though we were the ones who did the heavy lifting so to speak. Whatever you decide will be right.

  6. I agree with nurslouisa. We haven't had the conversation yet but I see it on the horizon. Like you, I don't want to wish any of it away, even the tough moments. Like you ii'm ternally thankful.

  7. I also don't want only one child, but as Katie said, after spending a fortune we may not be able to have another. It sucks. ((hugs)) and have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. I feel ya. Tabling those topics for now sounds like a good idea. I'm sure LG loves Smudgie to pieces, but when he's bigger and doing more, LG might feel more connected and be more willing to do whatever it takes for a second child.

  9. I feel ya. Tabling those topics for now sounds like a good idea. I'm sure LG loves Smudgie to pieces, but when he's bigger and doing more, LG might feel more connected and be more willing to do whatever it takes for a second child.

  10. I hear that the second one comes easier. Maybe that's an old wives' tale, but I'm clinging to it fiercely! :) Or at least, trying to stay as naively hopeful as possible.