It happened again. Another viral video tugs at my
heart ovary strings.
This time, a baby-wearing mama serenades her sweet baby with a song as the incredibly photogenic baby adoringly gazes up at her in awe. I watch it from beginning to end… and then I do it again… and okay, maybe one more time. I think to myself, “Yes. You do want another baby. Let’s do this.”
So, I do what any normal woman who wants to have a serious and life-changing conversation with her husband does, I send a text. “I want another baby.” That text is swiftly acknowledged and responded to with the usual, “We’ll talk about it tonight.”
This exchange has been pretty frequent in my marriage since the birth of our only child. We kind of have the follow up conversation down to a science.
It’s cute and overly ambitious how we think that simply deciding to have another child means we actually can.
Because if it was as simple for me as saying yes or no, I would not be writing this article right now. Hypothetically speaking, I would be running after the three boys I always imagined myself having, only to have them tackle me and cover me in hugs and kisses. However, given my fertility struggles, the decision to have another child really and truly translates to the decision to TRY to have another child.
Let’s back up a bit. I married my husband in 2007 and by 2008, we were ready for a baby. Super long story short, it wasn’t until 2013 (5 years later) that I prematurely gave birth via emergency c-section to a healthy 6 pound baby boy. The road to that very moment is what stops us in our tracks when we have the ever elusive “baby #2 talk.”
It is not just the endometriosis, ovarian cysts, lack of ovulation, and a prior miscarriage that factor into our decision, it’s everything that came along with it.
All the fertility drugs, the hormones, the shots, the pills, the ovulation kits and worse… the negative pregnancy tests and the aftermath of seeing that minus sign for the umpteenth time. My very supportive husband knows firsthand exactly how this journey impacted me, him and us, even now.
So fast forward to now. I’ve had people say that it will be worth it to go through all that again. And when I look at my son, I agree a trillion percent. He was and is worth it. However, at that time, I only had to worry about my husband watching me go through this experience.
Now, there’s a curious, wide-eyed, inquisitive and sensitive 4-year-old who deserves all of me at the very best emotional and physical state I can be in for him.
So, even though I miss baby sounds and baby toes, I remind myself of all the positives in having an only child (in case that’s the path the universe has me on) and there are so many! Positives for him, for me and for our family. We can do more, we can be more, and we can give each other more, physically and emotionally. And isn’t that the whole point of a family? To be there for each other?
But then, here they come… the questions. From friends. From family. From strangers, even!
“But he’ll grow up lonely without siblings!”
“He won’t have any one to play with!”
“He’ll be bored on trips!”
“Don’t you feel guilty for putting the burden solely on him of taking care of you when you’re old?” (I do now. Jeez.)
“Don’t you think you’re being selfish for not trying to give him a sibling?” (Yes, I’ve actually been told this.)
“Mommy and Daddy need to give you a baby brother or sister.” (Yes, even my son isn’t immune!)
Umm… don’t you think these things go through my mind ALL the time without you reminding me of my shortcomings? Yes, of course it would be great. But, it is not just a yes or no answer. As with every other mom and family, it’s much deeper than that, and the factors that sway a decision one way or the other vary from family to family. What works for our family might not work for others, and vice versa.
So, our evening “baby #2 talk” covers all of this (as it usually does), and we wind up where we always wind up with this conversation. “If it happens on it’s own, awesome. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay too.”
Little families are big and perfect in their own little ways.