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I wrote this on the 27th December, 2015 (we’d been trying to conceive since July 2014). I have been chronicling my/our journey through secondary infertility. While it’s not something I wanted to publish right away, I couldn’t stop myself from needing to write our story.
You can catch up on previous instalments of this story here…
As I sit here typing, I am waiting for my period. Like literally waiting. I’m a day late and while a small, eternally hopeful part of me is getting a bit excited (despite my better judgement), I know that I am more than likely having a slightly late period due to stress. Stress or Murphy’s law, anyhow. Maybe life is trying to give me a break – a consolation prize. Like, if I am going to not be pregnant yet again, then at least I can have a nice Christmas break without bleeding from the uterus or something.
Anyway, that aside, something has been on my mind lately, just nagging away at me. Maybe it’s because the Little Mister is having a break between day care and the beginning of his ‘big school’ career (4 year old kindy). Maybe because I’ve seen him behaving as the typical, over tired, over excited 4 year old that he is at this time of year. Maybe it’s a relatively harmless comment I heard once – something that struck a nerve, unintentionally. But I have been feeling really conscious of the fact that my gorgeous 4 year old is growing up an only child (as of yet) and that with no sibling in sight for him, that’s exactly what it looks like from the outside – to those who do not know our struggles.
While I have learned a lot from being a parent about getting better at not giving a flying you-know-what about what other people think, I am struggling with this one a bit. I know the phase will pass (because I’ll become distracted or make peace or find something new to worry about or all of the above), but I am reflecting on this because I do feel that there is a stigma about only children (there shouldn’t be).
Every time my child is demanding adult attention (there aren’t many other young kids in my family). Every time he doesn’t want to share. I wonder if people might think it’s all because he’s an ‘only’ child. Yet, I know there are lots of kids with siblings who are exactly the same and it’s written off as being used to sibling rivalry. There are lots of ‘only’ children who are amazing, thriving humans – both little and grown.
I think I feel guilty about the Little Mister not having a sibling, because it’s something he wants too. While I’ve had to let a lot of that guilt go, it hasn’t disappeared. I want him to grow up with that built in someone. I want him to feel those joys and annoyances. All of that stuff. I want him to have a sibling to be with when Mr Unprepared and I become old or eventually pass away (hopefully peacefully after a long life). I want him to know what all of that stuff is like. It’s always been our dream to have more than one child. It’s not everyone’s dream, but it’s been a lifelong one for both Mr Unprepared and I – since before we ever knew we’d meet each other.
I worry that one day I might have to make peace with (and grieve) the fact that he could very possibly be an only child for all of his life. I hope that stupid people won’t judge him for being an ‘only’ child. I hope he won’t be sad that he is one or that he will understand when we are eventually forced to explain to him why.
I love him with all of my heart, but my heart is big. There is so much room to love another. I truly hope I get the chance.