Monday, January 16, 2006

One and only?

Julie asks: If you're infertile and don't yet have a child, have your feelings changed about how many you'd like?

Before I met Mr Spouse I assumed I'd have two, by whatever means (maybe adoption - a good friend has two adopted boys and is single, and I would not have wanted donor insemination or a helpful friend or anything like that to get me pregnant if I was still single). He is an only child, and was a happy only child, and when I brought up the topic of child(ren) his reaction was: "one is scary enough, but two??" Most of the happier families I've known have had children more widely spaced, so I assumed we'd do that, too.

When I was pregnant we referred to the baby as Nigel-and-Delia (you need to watch Shameless to understand that. I just googled "Shameless Nigel Delia" and about the 8th link was a post by me on a pregnancy board about calling them that, from this time last year). I think we had at that point decided there might be more than one.

Now we are hoping to get pregnant in the fairly near future obviously but if it does happen but takes a fairly long time - say, more than a year from now to getting pregnant - then I think I will be more content than I would have been to have one child. I am not sure we'd look into adoption for a second, if we found we couldn't get pregnant again. And I think knowing Mr Spouse's contentment with only-child-dom makes me feel better about that. But if we did try for a second it would be pretty sharpish after the first.

However, before all this fertility palaver, I had, as I say, considered adoption, and we'd discussed it as well in a hypothetical sense. I had always thought adopting one child at a time would be ideal, and I was sure Mr Spouse would think the same. Now, however, knowing more about adoption and the procedures, adopting two might be a better option - we aren't very far down that route, and things could change, but Mr Spouse didn't seem wholly negative about the idea of adopting siblings.

So, oddly, this whole thing has completely flipped: from wanting two, from fairly widely spaced pregnancies, to wanting one from a pregnancy that might or might not be followed closely by a second pregnancy. From wanting one, maybe two but not at the same time, through adoption, to thinking about adopting two at the same time.


Anonymous said...

When we were looking into adoption, I'd have been happy with one. Now, I'm in no rush to start trying for another. Instead, I want to enjoy the little miracle we have. If she remains an only, so be it.


thalia said...

I have a thing about only children after watching a friend who was an only child die, and watching his parents, both of whom were onlies, in their total isolation at the funeral. I also think it's a heavy burden to put on a child - all those expectations!

Having said that, one of my gddaughters is an only, and she is wonderful, so I know that it would be fine if that's what we ended up with - and an only is a lot lot better than a none at all!