Back in those heady days of first trying to conceive, before we knew what epic problems and failures lied ahead of us, Mr. X and I were both comfortable with the idea of having two children. It seemed so complimentary, so even, so symmetrical. I am an only child so the thought of having a child with a sibling appealed to me, even though I never wanted a sibling growing up (I think my precise words to my dad when he asked if I wanted a sibling was, “And what? Have to share?”). They could grow up together, love each other, blah, blah, blah.
Within 24 hours of having Rex, I knew pretty much unequivocally that I was done. Six months later, I’m still pretty much unequivocal about being done with one. The main reason is that I don’t want to do the baby thing again. Ever again.
I’ve taken to motherhood like a fish to a bicycle, that is to say, I’ve adapted, but very slowly and painfully. This has nothing to do with Rex, either. He is a WONDERFUL baby. We know how fabulously lucky we are that he inherited most of his daddy’s laid back temperment with a pinch of his momma’s fiesty-ness.
It’s that I now realize that in my fantasizing about being a mom, I never had dreams of holding babies and playing with infants. My dreams were always of taking a three year old to the zoo, talking to an earnest 6 year old and reading books to him. It was never about changing diapers and preparing bottles for me.
These past few weeks have cemented this – Rex has been home with us due to illness and weekends and while I’m managing just fine, I am 99.9% certain that one infant in my lifetime is enough.
That is how it is that I turned to Mr. X at lunch the other day and told him out of the blue, “I can’t do this again.” He knew exactly what I was talking about and gave me one of his gorgeous smiles. He said he understood and accepted my decision, even though I know that he was interested in giving Rex a sibling. I have never loved him so much as I did when he accepted my wish with such grace and ease.
This decision also allows me to avoid the angst of secondary infertility – and there would be angst, even though we both decided that we would not take any heroic measures to have number two that we took to have Rex. I know myself well enough that it would be very possible that I would spiral right back into the pain of infertility non-gratification that would get worse and worse each month. I gave five years of my life to it and I really regret that now. I don’t want to spend the rest of my 30s like that. I want to enjoy Rex at all of his stages both because of him and because I would know unequivocally that this was it.