Tuesday 5 August 2014

Number Two

My "baby" has now reached that slightly awkward toddler age when well-meaning friends are starting to wonder if we are "thinking about Number Two" yet.  I introduce The Boy to new acquaintances and their gaze sometimes turns towards my (suspicously rather bloated) mum-tum.  It's bad enough that I can't seem to shift the baby weight (let alone the Olanzapine pounds) but now strangers automatically think I may be pregnant with our Number Two.  

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.


  1. For the record, you're beautiful. No one can blame you for not launching into having a second child - you have much to consider. Your attitude towards counting your blessings and leaving it up to the universe is lovely. I hope you are blesses with whatever you wish for. Lots of love xxx

  2. Lovely to hear that you're focussing on the here and now - life's too short to worry about what if's. It's definitely the way to live life as a parent. Especially when there's a child who demands and deserves all the love he receives.

  3. This was the first of your posts I read Kathryn and it struck a real chord with me. I should add I have now devoured the rest of bumps and grind like a best selling novel!! You have a real talent for writing and I admire your openness hugely. It is fantastic and inspiring to read of all the work you've done.
    Lots of love,
    Cousin Mel

  4. Great post. How can you ever really know? I'm pretty sure we want more children but I'm not sure I want to go through the pregnancy / birth again. Also as amazing as the newborn stage is, it definitely is not my favourite! I think we'll be thinking seriously about adoption in a few years, which is really scary and exciting :)

  5. Great post. Lovely to focus on your little one, as a Mum of twins who came along 13 months after my first born I can say there isn't a lot of time for No1,2 or 3. Your posts are lovely and honest to read.