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i am consumed by the only-child decision.

we spent a long time talking about how we would only have one child. then, flush with the success of birthing one child, we giddily declared we'd have another. indeed, i told a friend a few months back that i'd be pregnant by the halloween after paul's birthday!

a few weeks back i mentioned how cam and i had tabled the discussion for the start of the next year. as the cousins who gave birth around the same time i did proceed to enlarge their families (in fact, one cousin had a child just a few weeks ago), i find myself feeling torn. i feel pressured, even if no one around me is really saying anything. as my mother announced the pregnancy of a cousin, i said to cam, "i think we're only having one."

in no way do i feel like my life is incomplete. in no way do i feel like i need another child (people tell me i need a girl) to round out my household. do i miss that warm wiggly tiny mass of baby in my arms? sure, but that's no reason to have a child. it's just a reason to get to know people with babies.

paul is such a handful right now. can we handle another child? can we cram another child into our house? are we prepared to either move or do some massive construction?

this past weekend it felt like everywhere we went, pregnant women were bound to be in my way. (of course, we did hit babies 'r' us, so that place is supposed to be swarming with 'em.) it certainly didn't help that i was pms'ing like a fiend -- my moods were swinging wide. i was alternately angry and depressed. these women were clearly TAUNTING my nonchildbearing self, FLAUNTING their earthmother status. then paul hit his prime freakout zone and i was considering running away to be a forever non-pg nun.

methinks she doth protest too much.

over breakfast i told cam that if i could just meet an only child without regrets about being an only child, maybe i'd feel better about the idea of having only one child.

me: i'm an only child and i'm not happy about it.
cam: [condescendingly] your situation is a little different.

i teared up over how regardless of how i got to this point i occasionally felt trapped because i knew that my mother's long-term care was solely my responsibility -- not that this is really a problem, but it would have been wonderful to be able to rely on my brother for assistance. and then i nearly cried about how very sad it was that once she was gone i had no one left to remember our lives together but me.

i'm not saying that i would like another child because i don't want to leave the big old burden of big old us on just paul -- he can put me in a home. what i wouldn't mind for paul is the feeling that there is someone (don't get religious on me) that knows what he knows.

this is terribly cheesy, but i was oddly touched when i read in parade magazine yesterday that seal and heidi klum's son has "dashtu" (tweaked aviation terminology, i guess?) for one of his many names because "as the dash two watches over the main jet, [he] is supposed to watch over his [older] sister." yeah, i'm a sap.

okay, so there are my pros and cons, i suppose. it sounds like perhaps the only thing keeping me from praying to fertility gods might be my own selfishness.



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