Oh Number Two, dear Number Two. I've thought of you nearly constantly for months now. Every time I see a toddler with a pregnant mummy, or I hear an NCT friend has given birth again, I think and I wonder when, if, you might come along. If wishing made it so, you would be here already.
But it's not that simple - physically or emotionally.
Physically, the lead consultant obstetrician who debriefed us several months after The Boy's birth gave me the "all clear", for future pregnancies. But I'm not so sure. He glanced over the details, but our C Section was not straightforward and required a much longer and more L-shaped internal incision than usual. My insides were pushed and pulled, and then pummelled into submission to stop the subsequent haemorrhage. I wonder if perhaps my uterus lining is not quite as it should be? There is no way of knowing, without further investigations which I am keen to avoid.
Emotionally, whew - where do I start?! I have no idea if I (or indeed we as a family) are at all ready for another baby. Do I crave a newborn in order to reclaim the time I lost to postpartum psychosis? With a 50% risk of relapse, am I putting the entire family unnecessarily at risk? How could I bear to be separated from The Boy if I had to be readmitted? How could I do that to him? To us? I have only recently started a course of psychotherapy to deal with these (and other) issues - how can I even be thinking of bringing a new baby into our equation?
Life is good as a threesome. We fit perfectly: into our little house, our little car. Around one end of our kitchen table. Snuggled on our sofa. Walking hand-in-hand down the street, The Boy swinging between us like a pendulum. Where would Number Two even fit in? Practically speaking, we are fulfilled and complete - and I have read many articles on the subject of only children, none of which cause me any concern for The Boy's sibling-free future. His future will be filled with friends, cousins, travels, experiences... and two parents, his little family, who will love him above all else.
Babies are gifts. Little bundles of cells and matter into which God/the Universe/Karma (whatever spiritual force you believe in) has breathed life into. I count my blessing, every day. One child is infinitely more (in my eyes) than no child, and I know how lucky we are to have him here in the world, safe and sound in my arms.
I'm not so sure we can ever "decide" to have a child, and we certainly can't plan the exact size of our eventual family. Whether you are blessed with one or more children is often outside our own control. So I've decided not to decide, and to leave the "decision" (such as it is) up to God. Taking this whole matter out of my hands is a huge relief, and leaves me free to enjoy our family as it is: complete.