The question 'When are you going to have another?' is one I've been asked and continue to be asked. My family and close friends, however, have stopped asking. They know that question is wearing thin and that I'm set on my answer.
What you don't know is that I could have had another by now, it would be 6 weeks old. But don't feel sad or sorry because you don't know the story, all you need to know is that it wasn't meant to be. I don't dwell on it, I'm happy. My life right now is how I want it to be.
I have a friend who has only one child too, hers is the same age as Lilian. She doesn't want anymore either, having one child works for her. We had a conversation about more babies yesterday and funnily enough when I sat down to catch up on yesterdays supplements, what was on the front? This.
It made me smile. So I wasn't the only one who was certain I wouldn't be having another. The woman on the cover is Lauren Sandler and she has written a book about having only one child, 'One and Only'. In the article published yesterday in The Weekend supplement of The Times, Sandler writes 'To have a happy kid I need to be a happy mother and to be a happy mother I need to be a happy person.' This struck a chord.
When I was pregnant, for the majority of it, I was miserable. If you rewind back to the beginning of this blog, as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, you can see just how pissed off I was. I'd suffered from HG, over 15 water infections, SPD... it was awful. If I had another child, I'd probably spend that pregnancy in the same way. My second pregnancy, although very short, started off the same way as my first. I turned back into a monster. I couldn't put Lilian through that and I'm positive my marriage wouldn't survive.
Being a mother is so hard, some days I wonder what the fuck I was thinking. But I love my daughter so much that it's turned me a bit mental. I've been suffering from anxiety attacks for a few months now and an attack is always brought on by hearing of someone getting cancer or a child dying. It sounds silly doesn't it, panicking about something you can't control? But it's suffocating and crushing and it's paralysis can last for days. I avoid reading the news and if someone starts talking about a person they know getting very ill or being diagnosed with cancer, I try and change the subject or leave the room. It's embarrassing but it's also very painful. I just couldn't have another, I'm not mentally strong enough.
Am I selfish for not wanting any more children? You're welcome to your own opinion. I do look at her and think how much of a wonderful big sister she would be but she's happy now. Another child would possibly send me over the edge and be an end to my marriage. I don't want to jeopardise this amazing relationship I have with my daughter. It's a relationship I never thought I could have with anyone. I mourn the loss of Lil's babyhood and go through phases of wanting another baby, but I often think that's only to fill the baby void Lil has left. I can't cradle her or sniff her hair anymore, I'm always met with 'get off me mummy'.
As a woman, as a mother... you shouldn't have to explain your choices but it's a funny old world we live in. People demand to know why or how or what if. It's annoying. And if you don't answer their questions with something they want to hear, they judge you. But not having another baby is my decision. Just like you may have decided to have more than one or even none at all. Our situation, the fact it's just the three of us, means we can afford to do the things we love and don't have to compromise (please don't think I'm boasting). My husband travels a lot with his job and because we only have one child, we can afford for it to be three of us travelling together. I've chosen this lifestyle, to have the things I like, because we can afford it. If we had another, that wouldn't be the case. My husband says he's satisfied (only satisfied?!) with our lot, he doesn't want any more children either. So there we have it. Three (for me, for us) is the magic number.
If you can get hold of a copy of The Weekend supplement from The Times, do read it. It's very interesting and argues both sides.