Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Having another baby

Today someone asked me, "So are you two going to have any more kids?"

No matter how close of a family member you are, that's a little invasive, don't you think?

Yet, it's a question that strangers often ask parents.

Somehow, some things are softer coming from strangers. Maybe it's because the answer doesn't really matter to them, whereas from a family member it's as though they've asked whether you're going to give them any more gifts or not.

Since you asked, No, we're not planning on having any more kids.

For one thing, Ella is our miracle baby and we dare not ask for more. It was five years from our miscarriage to her birth, and a year or so before that--so sixish years of hoping and a lifetime of dreaming--before she was born.

At 36, we don't have that kind of time to make another baby.

For another thing, I don't think we necessarily want another baby. Sure, I always thought I'd have two kids, but having Ella feels like enough to me. I've heard it said that people know when their family is complete. I feel like my family is complete, just the three of us.

And, Ella is only 10 months old. Everything is still brand new, and I can't imagine having anything more to do than take care of her.

So, No, we're not planning on having any more kids.

Why do I sound offended at the question? Maybe because I am still sensitive about fertility and birth and death and chance/hope/luck/whatever it is. It's nobody's business how many children a woman plans to carry. And even though my miscarriage was early, I still know that I have had two pregnancies (I mean, really, they ask on forms at the doctor's office how many pregnancies you've had, how many children you have--they know the numbers don't necessarily line up in present tense.). Ella could have had a big brother or sister.

Ella could have had a big brother or sister.

Is it crazy that I'm still sad sometimes, all these five years later, that I lost a baby?

I don't think so. For those women I know, for whom this kind of loss is new, all I can say is that it becomes less all consuming. I didn't think it would happen, but I don't think of it all the time anymore, though it's still true and there--I lost a baby.

Maybe that's the other reason we don't want any more children. Having experienced loss makes us so consciously grateful for every moment we have with Ella, and sometimes I feel so nervous that we might lose her, I can't imagine going through this again with another human being; the nine months of fear that meld into a different kind of holding-your-breath life.

Don't get me wrong; I don't live in a constant state of despair or fear; I just don't think I have it in me to do it again.

Plus, Ella is so wonderful, our miracle baby--what more could we want?

1 comment:

OakMonster said...

HUGS! God has a plan for you and Ella is meant to be a part of that, to complete your family.

Olaina, I too could've had 3 older brothers instead of 2. (Well, dad and mom both believed it would've been a boy.) Actually, there might not have been room for me if my mom didn't lose her first one.