There are days, stretching into weeks, where I’m flying high and thinking, this mom business? It’s not so bad. It’s almost easy at times. Those moments come about mostly because I still remember how tiring those first few weeks and months were. And inevitably, the follow up to those moments is when I think, I can see why people want more kids. I used to be so confused. WHY would someone do this to themselves more than once? But even in that sleep deprived state, I was able to rationalize to myself that it can’t be that bad or there would be only children in every fam.
But then I come back to the same thought I’ve had before, the thought that it would be almost selfish to have more than one child, that it would be tempting the gods to have a big family. I have one healthy child, for which I am undoubtedly thankful. Is it greedy to want more? Is it pushing my luck?
As a parent, I have really come to appreciate the smallest of things. Yes I want the world for Baby Ollie, but if you asked me what I wish for him, it would just be that he’s happy and healthy. And that healthy part? I never thought much of that before. I used to tell my parents all these things I wanted in my life and my mom would say to me, “Just remember to take care of your self. Nothing is as important as you being healthy.” I never understood that.
But when we were waiting for the pregnancy test results for down syndrome and other birth defects, I remember thinking, please just be healthy. That fear, though short lived, was very real and very scary. Being a parent, it feels like it means to never stop worrying. The concerns don’t stop, they just change.
Are we ever going to get pregnant?… And after getting pregnant, it becomes — Will he have all his fingers and toes?… Will the birth defect tests catch something if it’s really there? … And now that he’s born, the possibility of other disorders is still there. CS was telling me that your child can seem totally normal and fine and the next thing you know, they stop talking. Did you know that it is very difficult to diagnose autism before they turn two?
I will love Baby Ollie no matter what. That I know. But these are the things that keep me up at night. So when I think about additions to the family, that desire to want the simplest of things– that they be healthy– is a significant concern.
But I think about how lonely it is to be an only child and how much I loved having my brothers to grow up with, and well, I come full circle again.
I used to want five children. If I now “only” want to have two or three, that’s not being too greedy right? I hope so…