When Noah was about 3 months old we were driving to Sedgefield to visit his great-grandparents and I was happily chatting away to my sort-of mother-in-law about having a second baby. At the time I was convinced that the trauma of my pregnancy and prem birth would subside quickly (it didn’t) and that I’d be ready to produce a second child with a reasonable 2 year gap between them. Obviously, we needed to have two kids. Or four. As long as it wasn’t three! (I remained convinced at that time that an even number of family members was ideal)
“I hope we have another boy,” I said to my other mom. “We could call him Isaac. Don’t you think that’s a gorgeous name? Or Violet if it’s a girl.”
My (now) ex turned to me and with more scorn than I knew he was capable of and said “We’re not having another kid and anyway it would be my turn to choose a name.”
That pretty much set the tone for what was left of our relationship. And after he left the hateful shrew and her hypothetical dream baby, Isaac, the chances of Noah ever having a sibling kind of walked out of the door with him. Because you can’t have a two-year gap between your kids when you’re not in a relationship anymore. Not on purpose at least. “Hi, I know we barely know each other but would you mind impregnating me in a timely manner so that my son can have a sibling to play with?” (I did briefly consider going the donor route, but financial stability was an issue)
Of course in the meantime other life happened. I married someone else and we are a family of five. I do have three children now. And since I’m the one who bosses everyone around the most I guess it is safe to say I am definitely one of their parents!
So Noah does have siblings (for as long as I stay married to his step father at least) but what about a biological sibling? After placing so much importance on that 2 year age gap, a ten year gap seems insane…
I like my life as it is. It works. We work. And it took a lot of work to get to this part where we work. Upsetting the status quo seems like a ridiculous thing to do.
And sharing kids with other people means we get more breaks than most parents. A break I rely on heavily.
And we’re traveling a bit which you can’t do with a baby.
And I’m so friggen old.
And sleepless nights sound closer to hell than they used to.
And my body is so freaking tired and broken that the idea of asking this mess to actually create another human life just seems so unreasonable.
But the broodiness is strong. The biological clock is ticking pretty loudly. And as content as I am with my exceptional relationship with my son, as much as he feels like he is 100% enough, there is always that ever-looming question that likes to present itself at every possible turn….
What if I regret it..?
And the worst part is that the question has so many edges. Because as much as it is possible to regret not having another child while you are still young(ish) and capable(ish) there is also the very real possibility that actually having another child might turn out to be regrettable.
So how do you decide what to do? With Noah I was lucky. He was given to me without me ever having to make any choices about whether or not I would like him to exist. To this day I don’t know how couples go “Ok let’s have a baby now” and not slip into a hole of existential dread at all the choiciness of it.
I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to decide.
I’m really bloody good at letting the topic plague me though.
Because my kid is the best thing I ever did. Which is such a cliché but also true.
Would it be so bad to have that again?
Or would the next one just end up being the spawn of Satan for the sake of cosmic balance?