My wife and I often have differing opinions. We don’t agree on art. We don’t agree on music. We don’t even agree on how to prepare Top Ramen. For that reason, I’m pretty surprised that we agree on the subject of whether or not we want another child. That is, if you can count a mutual, “I dunno” as agreement.
Every single day of my pregnancy, I told myself that I never wanted to do this again. From the progesterone injections that left excruciating welts on my back side to the desperate sadness of losing one of our babies to the constipation and the overwhelming discomfort, I hated pregnancy. Never mind GETTING pregnant. And I feel much the same about childbirth. I hated it all. It was miserable and uncomfortable and I was basically terrified for 40 weeks and 6 days.
But it brought me Charlotte. My amazing baby girl. And now all those weeks of misery just seem so absolutely secondary to the wonderment of being this little girl’s mother. For her, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
But that’s the thing. I already have her. Doing it all again would bring me another child. A different one. And in my head, there is this voice that wonders how I could ever possibly love another child as much as I love this one. I can’t even imagine it.
And even if I did love another child as much as I love my Charlotte, what would that mean for our precious firstborn? Less attention. Moms who are spread even more thin. How could I do that to her? Knowing that everything we have to give is barely enough for her right now, how could I even fathom doing something that would give her less?
But then I see pictures on Facebook. Siblings holding hands. An older sibling kissing the top of the newborn sibling’s head. “Share this if your sister is your best friend.” And I watch Catch with her sister–leaving silly messages and commiserating about their parents. Sharing in each others’ lives… and it makes me wonder if less in the short term is worth it for more in the long term.
That’s where I get stuck, though… because I have a half-brother and a half-sister and neither of them are speaking to me. I worshiped them from the day they were born. They were my baby brother and sister. But now… well, now they’re pain in the ass young adults who need to grow up and figure their shit out. That’s not exactly the kind of more that I want for Charlotte.
There’s a huge part of me that would LOVE the chance to have a newborn again just so I can have a do over. So I could go into it with the knowledge, comfort and experience that I have now. So maybe I can enjoy it more. But of course, that in itself is not enough of a reason to have a child… we all know how fleeting the newborn stage is.
I don’t really know what to make of it all. I don’t have all of the answers right now. What I have is 5 embryos still frozen in a lab 5 miles away and a biological clock that is ticking away. I hope that in time I will have the answers, but for now I am perfectly content to have one little pair of crawling hands and knees to chase after.