Thoughts on a Second Child

Mr. MPB and I are both pretty convinced we will only ever have one child.  I know that I will never again try to carry a child to term.  I know that neither of us want to go through IVF to use a surrogate.  I also know that we don’t want to hire a gestational carrier, even if we used donor eggs or donor embryos.

But, I also know I’d love a second child.  My heart still longs for another child, a sibling for Little MPB.  In some ways it seems as though the older Little MPB gets, the more I want those baby snuggles again.

So, given our decisions on the other paths to having children, I have it in the back of my mind that the only way we will ever have a second child is through adoption.

But, and it’s a big but.

I don’t think either Mr. MPB or I are able to adopt from the USA again.  We are beyond jaded at the process.  In the end, it felt like a very corrupt agency was running the show and would have done anything just to make more money.  It just didn’t feel right.

So, the question becomes are we willing to adopt locally, waiting 4+ years?  Or are we willing to look at other international countries, waiting who knows how long and paying who knows how much?

Both of these questions scare us.  Regardless of choosing domestic or international we have to submit a new application, update our home study and start paying fees again.

And, so, while we consider our options, we have simply done nothing.  We have not contacted our local agency.  We have not started saving our pennies.  We have not even looked at the application.

And, neither of us even have the motivation to start doing anything.  And, I cannot help but wonder, does our inactivity mean that we are so emotionally scarred from our first adoption that we don’t even want to consider a second adoption?  Or does it mean that we really don’t want the financial burden of trying to figure out how to pay for another adoption, that we just aren’t going to do it again?  Does it mean that the only way to have another child is if one magically falls from the sky and into our arms?  Or does it mean that we really are okay with Little MPB being an only child?  Does it mean we are truly a 1 and done family?

And how long are we willing to wait between children?  I know technically we are still young, but if the adoption process is going to be 4+ years, we wont be young by the time the second child comes along, and the kids won’t be close in age.

And, can we really even manage another infant with both of us being self-employed and not having any parental leave benefits?

There is just so much to consider.  Being one and done just seems like the easiest answer for so many reasons.  And then, I cannot help but wonder, are we selfish to stop at one?  Is our decision to make Little MPB an only child a cruel thing to do to him?

I wish this was all so much easier.  And yet, I’m realistic enough to know that no amount of wishing will make it any easier…

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23 Comments on “Thoughts on a Second Child

  1. Sounds like you are really wrestling with this decision and that you know what you don’t want to do again. I think the only thing I might say is that having an only child isn’t cruel. Only children have their own set of pros and cons and having siblings have their own set of pros and cons. Neither is better or worse, just different. While I do have a brother, I’m not terribly close to him. I’m closer to a few of my other friends who I consider sisters just as much as my own brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Katy. Rationally, I completely agree – it’s not cruel and there are many benefits to being an only child. And as you say, it’s not a bad thing. Now if only I could get my rational brain to accept this!!

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    • Oh gosh you definitely aren’t cruel!!! You are the most amazing mother and bg is such an amazing child!
      You made your point well – I would never think someone else is cruel for not having two children, yet here I am thinking that way about myself. I get your point. Thanks for the perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re an excellent mother MPB, every decision you make for your family is measured and takes all of your best intetests into account–with priority given to lil MPB’s safety and comfort. He’ll appreciate that about you when he’s old enough to understand. XOXO

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  2. It is NOT selfish OR cruel to only have 1!!

    I understand the thought process that led you to that, I really do, it is one that goes through my head too: Will Baby Bach have a less full life if he is an only child? Etc.

    What ever decision makes for a Happy (and sane and stable!) Mr. and Mrs. MPB is the best decision for ALL of the MPBs.

    And just because you have a sibling, close in age or not, does not mean you will be close to them anyway (I think you know that from another post I recall of yours).

    I do understand the struggle though….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, rationally. Unfortunately my emotions seem to be more in control of this then my rational brain.
      And yes, I have said before that I know that siblings are not a guarantee of lifelong friendship – I am not very close to my brother, but was very close to my sister who died. But who knows if we would have been close as adults.
      Happy, sane and stable are critical in whatever we decide. And, the sane and stable are why I truly think in the end we wont have a second child. We are so happy right now, and we are decently sane and stable, and going through the adoption process and paying those fees will through our sanity and our stability so far off track that it’s likely not worth it. Thank you for reminding me that there is so much more to this decision.

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  3. It’s interesting how pre-infertility, the idea of only having 1 probably never crossed your mind (it certainly didn’t cross mine, I wanted 4!). Once infertility strikes, you adjust your thoughts – you settle for 3 kids, not 4, and then you settle for 2 not 3, and then 1 not 2….I’m at the point where I swear I will want for nothing more in my life if I can just have one.

    My point is that you get to where you are, because of the path your life has taken, (not because of selfishness or cruelty). Your life has taken you down a path where one child is a blessing, and a second is not a guarantee and a big risk. I’m sure there will be times he will wish for a sibling in his life, but I have two sisters and I used to wish constantly for a brother (I think people naturally want for what they don’t have, regardless of how much they have). I really think the number of siblings has little to do with who the child becomes – it’s their nature, their role models, and the circle that surrounds them that shapes them into who they will be – whether the circle is multiple siblings and parents, just parents, or parents and cousins and friends.

    Little MPB is and will always be wanted, and loved, and important whether he is an only child, or one of 4. So I think you should go with your gut on what you can logistically and financially handle, and not let any guilt or social expectation sway you.

    Hugs! This is such a hard decision!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I always dreamed of 2 kids and said if something went wrong we’d end up with 3! Clearly the joke was on me! And not a moment goes by where I’m not completely and insanely thankful for our 1. And that’s a large part of why I know I’ll be okay if we only have 1 – he truly has made my dreams come true.
      And, I appreciate your comment about not letting guilt or social expectations sway us. Logistically and financially, we really should not adopt again – we both know that. Yet, my old self still dreams of 2 children and we definitely get pressure from people in our lives to have more. As you know all too well, it’s hard letting go of long held hopes and dreams….
      Thank you so much for your wise words and compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel for you. It is SO HARD to be pressured to do something you so badly want but your body and means just will not let happen. I hope whatever your decision – it comes easily and brings you peace!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish it was all so much easier too. Especially because not only are you so deserving of an easier process but because a child would truly be blessed to grow up with as their mom. And I agree with the others it is not cruel or selfish in any way. What is cruel is the grueling process and major expense adoption can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely not cruel to have an only child. . . but it *is* difficult to accept not being able to build a family that is the size you hoped to have. I know you are grateful to be parents and to have your little guy after all you went through trying to become parents. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t also feel sad/frustrated about your inability to have another child without spending a lot of money, waiting ages and jumping through many hoops.

    Abiding with you as you contemplate your path forward. Sadly, there are no easy solutions for your dilemma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, once again, I think you are right. Clearly we are beyond thankful for being able to be part of LIttle MPB’s life.
      The challenge is the difficulty of even making the decision about a second child. It’s never going to be a simple or easy process for us to bring another child into our lives, and some days (well, actually, most days) it feels too daunting to really think it’s ever going to happen.

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  6. There was a point when I wanted 3 kids and then unfortunately, it came down to please no more miscarriages, even if I don’t have any kids.

    Anyways,

    I think I can validate some of your feelings. After G when we started trying for A, it was always about having a sibling for G, more like hopefully they will be close to each other and after we pass away, they have someone who was born with them. I know its not a valid argument, for instance though my brother and I are close, we haven’t spend more than 2 days together in over 7 years. So.. who knows where tomorrow A and G will be and if they will ever stay close.. etc.. We can never predict what will be.

    However, if I can add one thing that the benefit of a sibling provides is kids learn to share. They learn the “ours together”, the only benefit of a sibling. Yeah, you have daycare, you have friends, you have play dates etc, but they are not in your face, in your hair, in your way, 24/7 365 days a year. You get a break from them… Unless you have a very close knit friends circle with kids in similar ages spending a lot of time together everyday.

    So, where I am getting at is, sibling or not, there are no “real tangible” benefits, you know like if tomorrow Little MPB indulges in something he shouldn’t do(in which case, I will join you to kick his ass, but just as an example) its not going to be because you were “cruel to him” in not giving him a sibling.

    And your method for a sibling is not a ride between the sheets or easy on the wallet. Its very hard, and as you say, its not easy to commit yourself to more debt. Maybe that is why you both are so jaded and not willing to dive in to the process again.

    Either way, know that, I am rooting for the MPB family and really wish them the joy that is truly theirs.

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  7. This is tough. I think you should ultimately not have to face all these hurdles and be able to build the family you want. Alas that is not the case. My prediction is when it feels right you will start the local adoption process again. Something in your heart will call you to it. Until then I know you will enjoy your miracle. My son is almost 4 years older than our girl and honestly it makes caring for them so much easier and enjoyable. One of my best friends has a 6 year age gap between her sibling and is super close to him. Another one of my best friends is an only child and as happy as can be. Because you are special and amazing your family will be as well- however it ends up.

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  8. I have a post brewing about this. For now, I’ll just tell you what I tell myself constantly: I loved being an only child. I have never wished for a sibling. I had opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I have a great relationship with my parents. Even my mom has no regrets. A second child has to be for you, not for baby mpb. He’ll be just fine as an only!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I feel so much for you guys. It breaks my heart. You are such wonderful parents. I wish the options were easy for you. Is there an option of a different agency in the USA? One that you can have recommended by another family? It’s all probably same same and I’m sure you’ve looked into that. I’m sorry that it is such a difficult path for you guys 😦

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  10. As you know we are pregnant with a very surprise baby – conceived after four miscarriages and eleventy cycles of IVF. There will be five and half years between these two and you know what it feels fine and ok. Molly is so stoked she can’t even breathe and all she cares is she is getting a sister. She told me last night it was all she ever wanted. She would have been fine either way but she’s thrilled. I guess what I want to say is the gap is irrelevant it’s just whether you want to try. Also, I know how hard the m/c were and I’ve been there but maybe the next one could be it (and I still think if you can go on a low dose steroid – just sayin……)

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  11. As you consider options, I would put the concern about spacing between the kids out of mind. My sister had her final baby when her youngest was 4, and that baby is loved and cherished beyond belief. Older kids really get into loving their baby sisters and brothers. It has been so fun to watch! Little MPB will love a sibling no matter how much younger he or she may be. If you decide to move forward with another baby, little MPB will love his role as big bro.

    Deciding what’s best is hard. There is no right answer, just lots of pretty incredible options no matter what you decide. You’ll end up deciding exactly what’s best for you guys!

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  12. I am so sorry that once again things aren’t simple for you. It’s not fair that you have to potentially go through so much stress, money and time to have the chance of a second child. It’s madness that it takes 4+ years!

    I completely understand why you want a second, but if you end up deciding to stick with ‘just’ one child (which is pretty damn amazing in itself!) then you are not being remotely cruel or selfish. There are many benefits to him being an only child, and a lot of the worries about loneliness etc can be offset by making sure he gets lots of little friends at playgroups etc. Whatever you decide to do, please don’t feel guilty either way 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well I definitely don’t think you are selfish to stop at one! All your reasons make sense. Infertility definitely changes everything. I always thought I’d have two of three kids then eventually just longed for one! Now it looks like that is happening which is amazing but occasionally I have felt a little sad that the child most likely won’t have siblings. I’m not that close to my brother but my sister and I are close it’s a great relationship. However, I know plenty of really happy only children. And friends can also be closer than siblings.

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  14. I agree with the ladies above and honestly, I think you can put the age issue out of your mind too. I was 6 months from 40 when we A was placed with us and I was totally worried about having the energy to be a parent but somehow, you just find it.

    Liked by 1 person

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