Monday, March 31, 2014

I knew the day would come, but I hadn't really prepared myself as actively as I'd wanted (mostly because I didn't know they were trying)... my sister is having another baby.

She called a couple weeks ago to tell me she was 12w along, and all I could say, over and over again, is "You are so lucky."  She kept saying, "I know, I know."

I cried off and on the rest of the day.  Alot of people I know are having their second (or third, etc) babies now, but this is my sister.  My nephew gets to be a big brother.  Meanwhile, M has to pretend her dolls are her sisters.  (Which she has started to do, without my prompting- one is her sister and one is my sister, and they are also sisters (haha), and she takes them everywhere...)

Mr. A is so solidly unmoved by families adding more kids to themselves, it's a lifesaver.  He ran down the list of reasons why it is great to have (and/or be) and only child, and I would repeat them to myself dozens of times in the next 2 days.  Many are materialistic, like being able to give her really nice toys and clothes, send her to a private school with excellent standing in the community, and pay for her college, etc... but subconsciously those are difficult for me because they are why my mom crucified families with only one kid- when I was younger, she would say "they just had one kid so they could take fancy vacations", "how selfish of them to just have one child so they can live in a bigger house", "too bad they didn't give their child a sibling".

After some journaling and praying, because feeling the weight of being left behind/infertile, when clearly we've been given M already, brings up guilt and confusion all its own, I came up with this: I am not longing for another baby for myself.  M is 100% enough for us- we prayed for a child to fill the hole in our family, and she has filled the hole a hundred times over and more.  I think at this point, after seeing my friends' kids "get" a sibling, I would love another baby for M.  I would love for her to have a ready-made playmate, instead of standing at the front door willing the neighbor kids to come bursting out of their door.  I don't want her to be lonely.  I want her to be able to say "this is my sister (or brother)" and see the proud smile on her face and see an actual sister or brother and not her doll.

Of course for as many people who are super close to their siblings (me), there are those who are not close or even at distinct odds with their siblings, so my assumption that M and a hypothetical sibling would have the kind of relationship I have with my sibs is definitely not a certainty.

I wrote in my journal for her: "You are more than enough for us; I hope we are enough for you."

Fast forward a few days, and I was a couple days past my usual new-cycle day.  It is interesting how you can rationalize with yourself and convince yourself of varying situations, because when I realized I was late-ish (of course any giddy-ness about being a couple days late is long gone by this point in time!!), I started thinking, well how are we going to save as much for two college educations?... we'll have to start full time childcare all over again...and on!  I laughed because only days before, I had had to convince myself of the glory in easily saving for M's college and being on our last leg of childcare!!

And of course, I had nothing to worry about because obviously I wouldn't be pregnant (CD 6 today), and I am grateful to genuinely feel happy and content with M as our only lovebug.  I pray that God will bless our relationship so that we can do, and enjoy together, really cool mother-daughter things that maybe we wouldn't be able to do if He'd given me a new baby every 2 years.

I am sure that my sister have another baby will bring the questions from M about where is her sister, etc., but I'm just praying God will give me grace in that moment to respond to her without losing it myself.  I am grateful for the family He has created for us, and hey, Jesus turned out okay with no siblings, right?  ;-)


Praying for Hope said...

With or without sibling g s, she will be fine. Her childhood is what you help her to make of it. My dear husband is an only. Five of our neighbors have online. A co-worker has an only. Baby girl will be an only. They're all doing alright. Keep trying for number two if you can, but always, always focus on the positives of having one. Our biggest: baby girl gets all of our attention when she needs it and then some. She has her parent's focus always. I can take the time to spend an hour for bath time with her without distraction. Or I can play house, or read, or take a walk, etc. It's the thing I love about having an only.

Melissa said...

Hugs! I know M knows how much she is loved and that Yes! you are both enough :)
I do pray that God continues to bless you all!

Maegan said...

I know you're a Christian too so I hope you'll trust that I'm not trying to pacify you with an annoying pat answer... but if God's will is for M to be an only, then you WILL be enough for her... And her friends, and your extended family, and your church family, will be enough too. I'm realizing that moms with lots of kids don't have to divide their love, but they sure do have to divide their time. I feel constant guilt having two now. I miss spending so much one on one time with William... And I also know that the amount of time I've spent one on one with Barrett is a tiny fraction of the time I spent with Will when he was a baby. My parents always commented on how they had so much time to read to me, the oldest, and my youngest sister hardly had anything read to her by my parents. I always thought that was sad, but inevitable, I guess. I have to just trust that God puts children in certain birth order for a reason. Sometimes I think, I hope having a sibling is enough to make up for the time I can't spend with you. I hope I'm not offending anyone... I'm not trying to compare situations... but just to say how I struggle with wondering if the present situation is going to be enough for my children. And that, like you, I will have to just trust the Lord.

Mrs. F said...

Just happened on to your blog. I to am struggling with secondary infertility after primary infertility. I understand completely your conflicting thoughts. The desire to provide a sibling for your little one and to experience the joy of parenthood a second time is so strong, but knowingly embarking on the familiar journey and heartache of infertility brings all the sadness and feelings of failure right back. I hope you find peace in your family's journey no matter the outcome.

I have a private blog. Email me if you would like to follow.

TeeJay said...

It's really, really hard to be lapped sometimes. I've been lapped more times than I care to count. Now that Baby Girl is more independent and so much a "baby" I'm finding that I'm jealous again...I'm jealous of all the cute sibling pictures on FB and even on other blogs I read. I have also struggled with the guilt of not being able to provide a sibling for my child. Someone to be close to when she feels she can't be close to me/us. Someone to play with and fight with and have great adventures with. IF is SO, SO hard on so many levels. Of course we are happy and grateful for what we have...but the fact that we can't have more of what we love so much makes it all the more frustrating. And then I look at my friend that struggles with 2 little ones and how much harder things are on her and her husband to care for them both and make sure they get enough time with each of them and I think, "well, at least I know that Baby Girl will not have to compete for my attention like that." Now I'm rambling, sorry. I just want you to know that you are not alone in your feelings. Having an only child is awesome but at the same time ONLY being able to have one child sort of sucks. (((hugs)))