We did some spring cleaning a bit ago. Made a nice big pile of stuff to go to goodwill. I tackled our son's room and decided that all the baby stuff we had been holding onto just needed to go. I'm not planning on having another child, let's free up some shelf space. When DH came in to take the pile out to the car, and saw all the baby stuff I had put on it, his shoulders slumped a bit. "Oh" he said. "This makes it feel so final."
It's not something that comes up too often, but I know that my husband would like more children. Just when I get feeling at peace with my family planning decisions, I realize that it's my peace and my planning, but not the decision that my significant other would make. So, not family planning... selfish me planning.
A one child family.
It would only take one more child to appease his disappointment. A sibling. So our son would have someone to share with, grow up with, grow older with. And this is where my insecurity about my family planning concerns really hits a tender weak spot- what is best for my son. I'm tormented by the anecdotes about the lonely only child. About what my not having any more children will mean for him in his life. I cling to stories about normal healthy people who were only children.
Fecundity and procreation are all around me. At church on Sunday it seemed the bellies of every woman under the age of 40 were blooming with newly implanted life. At church, in my neighborhood, among family, I feel like such an anomaly. An ovary-ed freak of nature deaf to the call of multiply and replenish.
I'm okay being a freak.
Occasionally I get twinges of guilt/sadness over my husband's regrets about our family. However, what really gets me is the doubt, the the worry about what possible harm I am inflicting upon my son by my unwillingness to give him a sibling. (Mom guilt. We will never be good enough. We will always be the cause of so much harm.) Sometimes, just for that, in insecure moments, I waver; Okay, Yes! Fine! Let's make a sibling!
I keep a stash of pregnancy tests in the bathroom. Sometimes I get this wave of terror that my birth control has failed and I am pregnant. I rip out another stick to pee on, praying to my goddess mirana that it isn't so. She has not failed me so far.
I should just get my tubes tied.
I see the slump in his shoulders;
"this makes it seem so final."
"Well," I say,
"If we have another baby we can just get new stuff."
[meanwhile the clock ticks away.....]