The other day on Facebook I posted a link to an article/video about a baby being born and when the baby was held up for the mother to see, the baby grabbed on to the mother’s face and held on for dear life. The video made me tear up.
A friend commented on the post and said that it made her want another baby. I immediately replied with “me too!”
That is the first time I said it out loud or admitted it so definitively.
Ever since Madeline was born, I mean almost literally from the day she was born, people have been asking me if I want another baby. And in response Todd and I have always kind of hemmed and hawed and been vague. In part, I’m sure, due to the fact that we genuinely did not know the answer to that question.
Maddie was born in the winter time and as the weather started improving, we started taking her for walks. Many of those walks were filled with talks of what if and should we and can we and do we want to.
On the one hand, when we first started talking about having children together, back in the innocently naive days of having no idea how many years, needles, losses, tears and heartbreak it would take to have just one, we decided that two would be the perfect number of children for us.
I never wanted just one because I was raised as an only child (I have a step-sister and a half-sister but they didn’t come into my life until I was a teenager) and it felt lonely at times. I wanted two children so that no matter what, they would always have each other. And we didn’t want three because that was more of a financial strain and we didn’t want to be outnumbered. Two kids was the perfect number for our family, the family we hoped we would one day become.
But, now we find ourselves many years down the road from those original conversations and we are faced with the reality and knowledge of what it would take to have another baby.
Sure, I’ve heard the stories, and many are quick to tell me of friends of friends, or acquaintances who tried for years, then either adopted or had a baby through IVF only to then get pregnant naturally on their own. It seems like everyone knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who has experienced this. Listen, that would be a lovely miracle. But, it’s not a likely scenario.
We won’t do IVF again because (aside from the physical and emotional demads) now spending $12,000 feels like I am taking money away from Madeline. So, we’re at the place of if it happens, it happens. But, we were in that place for a long time, and it didn’t happen.
A friend of mine on Facebook asked me if it bothered me for her to talk to me about her tentative plans to try for a third child. I thought that was incredibly sensitive and insightful of her. Most people assume that now that I have the miracle that is Madeline Kaylea Lipps, I am unaffected by talks of people getting pregnant.
I wish I could tell you that was true. And while I certainly don’t feel like I’ve been sucker punched when I hear of someone being pregnant, I do feel something. I don’t know how to describe it. But it’s there.
Last year, I wrote about how it feels to hear that news. And last week I found out that the co-worker I mentioned in last year’s post is now pregnant again. So no, hearing it last week wasn’t as painful as hearing it last year, but there is still something there.
I hate that it’s not my choice how big I want my family to be, that it’s not in my control. I hate that Madeline will be an only child.