My One and Only

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.

image: thelouishe

7 thoughts on “My One and Only

  1. While some might believe we ended up in two very different places, this sentiment in your post really resonated with me:

    “I gave five years of my life to it [IF] and I really regret that now. I don’t want to spend the rest of my 30s like that. I want to enjoy…”

    We actually are in the same state of mind: finding enjoyment with what we have. Happy for us both!

  2. You know, most people I talk to have the opposite train of though. Instead of imagining a young child to take to the zoo & read to, they don’t imagine past the cuddly infant stage. I could imagine both until I actually had a babe-in-arms…then I kept thinking This Phase will Never End!

    I’m glad things are so clear for you & Mr.X is so supportive. So many couples struggle with this issue.

  3. I cannot tell a lie- I hate the newborn stage. And i love the toddler stage- still cuddly, but much more independent and sleeping through the night.I am 98.5% sure this one is it for us too.

  4. Oh, I can really relate to much of this post. I really, really, really did not like the newborn and infant phases, and it’s primarily for that reason that I’ve really wondered if I’ll ever have another (probably–but it’s taken me 4 years to get to the point of wanting to do it again). Now we’re in the preschool phase and I just ADORE it.

    Also wanted to let you know I’m highlighting you this week in my weekly round-up. Thanks for letting me know about your fabulous blog!!!

  5. (Catching up on my reading & commenting, post-vacation)(again…!) My former boss had absolutely no use for infants, but once her two boys got to school age, she found them completely absorbing. Everyone’s mileage varies!

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