Yesterday, my husband and I decided to embark on a mini road trip to a pumpkin patch amusement park a state away. The drive was about two and a half hours each way. Avery just turned two, so we thought we’d go on an adventure and that she was old enough to handle it.
She behaved pretty well, thank God, and slept a lot in the car. While at the park, you could tell she was in sensory overload. So much to see and do. It made us so excited to see her so pumped about the rides, the animals, and mostly, the “punkins”.
While in the pumpkin patch portion of the park, I saw so many families walking together and picking out pumpkins. A lot of moms were trying to get photos of their kids with the pumpkins. Lots of dads were doing the heavy lifting. But everyone was spending time together and having fun.
Then it happened. It happens all the time. Another mom, trying to make small talk and be polite, asked that question … “Is she your only one?”
Ugh. When Avery was very little and people would bring up another baby, I could laugh it off and brush it off and it honestly didn’t bother me. I was only having one and I knew that. I had accepted it totally. I mean, she was so damn perfect. And how could I even think about loving another one the same way? I couldn’t fathom it. Our family was complete and all was well.
But … the truth is, lately I have been dealing with that all too familiar “baby fever”. She is just getting so big. It might be fun to see her as a big sister, and the idea of her being alone after we are gone absolutely kills me. But for us, it’s just not in the cards to have another one naturally. I can’t even begin to tell you how many tiny, little things had to go just right in order for her to get here. It’s really amazing.
So nowadays, I dread the questions. Questions like, “She’s two? Isn’t it time to start thinking about another one?” and “Doesn’t she need a little brother or sister?” and “What do you mean you’re just having one?” These questions stop me in my tracks a little more than they used to.
Whenever we go anywhere, I’m always searching, scanning the scene. I’m always trying to find another single child family. Yesterday, there wasn’t one at the pumpkin patch. Everywhere I looked were siblings, laughing together or holding hands. It sucked a little to watch our girl running around by herself. Of course, she showed zero signs that anything was even almost bothering her. She couldn’t care less.
So when this mom asked me if I only had one child, I answered, “Yes.” She then responded with, “Only one? Better get on that, Momma!” And then she just walked away.
What the hell lady? If you’re going to make a comment like that, you should at least have to sit there and listen to my story. You should be forced to hear about the miscarriage, the hopelessness, the total shock and joy that we actually somehow got to be parents, and then the postpartum checkup where my doctor suggested we “be really grateful for our healthy kiddo and not take the chance the second time.”
“There are other ways,” he had said, trying to let us hold onto a little hope. But the truth is, all of the other ways involve insane amounts of money that we don’t have. Of course, as a woman with baby fever, I have told my husband that I don’t care, that I think my body could do it again. It did it once, right? I’m fine with taking the risk. I’m even fine with giving my life so Avery could have a sibling.
Of course, my husband isn’t on board. And can you blame him? That shit is scary. If he said to me, “Hey I really want another kid and I am willing to have one and then possibly leave you alone to take care of them both forever,” I’d say no way in hell. He is being so logical and level headed, which is part of why I love him so much, and why I need him so much. He is my balance.
The truth is, there is a lot to be said for just having one kid. Financially, it’s definitely easier. You can give them more. You don’t have to juggle your love and attention. You don’t have to miss as many games or concerts or plays because you’re not having to split your time. So there’s that.
But of course, multiple kids is great too. They learn how to share faster and relate to other kids socially. They are forced to learn conflict resolution sooner. They have a sort of friend for life. They have an instant bond with another child. That’s all important. And then, there’s the thought that makes me choke up every time it pops into my brain. What if she never marries? Never has her own family? Will she resent us? Will she be overwhelmed with the idea of dealing with us in our old age all alone? What happens when we die? Where would she go for Christmas? Who would she have? It. Kills. Me.
So I suppose all we can do is love the one we’ve got because, after all, she is just so freaking easy to love, to be proud of, and to spend time with. I just have to keep telling myself that she won’t be alone, that even if she chooses not to marry or have her own family (which is fine by the way, I just want her to be happy), she will be so confident, outgoing, and beautiful that there’s no way she won’t make amazing friends and go on to lead a full, happy life without us.
Baby fever is real and all, but I know I will never ever lose my “Avery fever”. She is just too awesome, and she just warms my heart too much.