I delivered my daughter on a Monday morning. People started asking about my next child that afternoon.
I’ve never taken the inquiries seriously, so my response has always been the same.
“This is it. I’m done. Shop’s closed. Thanks for asking!”
No one has been happy with that answer.
So, here’s the truth:
I promised my daughter I wouldn’t have more children. I told her she’d be my only and favorite baby, always and forever. She might not have understood what I was saying (fine, I’m sure she didn’t) but I meant it.
I’m not worried about her feeling alone … OK, that’s a lie. I really am. But siblings are no assurance that she won’t feel lonely, and they can sometimes treat you worse than strangers.
I’m not worried about her being emotionally stunted. She’ll learn from our family how to nurture relationships and care for others. (I will not raise a sociopath. I will not raise a sociopath.)
Having a spoiled child isn’t a concern, either. It’s a guarantee. Baby Bird is my parents’ first grandchild. She’s the only baby in the family at the moment. She’s funny, sweet, and cute enough to eat. Need I say more?
What worries me is that, if I get pregnant, I won’t be able to love my second child as much as I love Baby Bird.
I’m obsessed with my daughter. Mr. T and I waited so long to have her, and now all I want to do is drink her in. Breathe her in. I don’t know if I could be that consumed with another child, and I worry that Baby No. 2 would sense she was being shorted.
I’m overflowing with love for my daughter, and I can’t imagine feeling this way about anyone else — even her sibling.
Maybe it’s irrational. After all, people have second, third, and fourth children all the time, and they find room in their hearts to love them all. Hell, I have a brother, and I know my mom loves us both.
But I’ve always known that he holds a place in her heart that I can’t touch.
Mom has never said it — that would be a REALLY crappy thing for a mother to do — and she would deny it to the end, but I’ve felt it. The perceived slight weighed on me for a long time.
I don’t know if I could handle Baby No. 2 feeling that way.
I don’t know if it’s a risk I’m willing to take.