One or two children? Deadlocked on our family size

My husband Stephen and I met through mutual friends when we were already both in our mid-30s. We had a whirlwind courtship, got engaged, and married within two years. We both knew that we wanted to have children – so we assumed that we had navigated the biggest hurdle. What I didn’t anticipate was that we’d reach a deadlock when it came to deciding how many.

Luckily, I got pregnant fairly quickly. Our son, Michael was born just after my 38th birthday. Michael was a colicky baby who was very difficult to soothe, so the first several months were really tough. Thankfully at around 6 months, he started to eat more and sleep for longer periods at night. Stephen and I began to feel human again, rather than being sleep-deprived zombies. We settled into a nice routine and started to really enjoy being parents. I found that I love being a mom and Stephen is a very caring and involved dad. We recently celebrated Michael’s first birthday with our closest family and friends.  It was a very special day, and I felt my heart filled with love for my sweet son who is growing up so quickly – but it also made me want another baby, and soon. That night, I brought up the topic with Stephen. He had always been ambivalent on the number of kids that we’d have, so I thought that I’d be able to sway him. But after our very rough start with Michael, Stephen was adamant that he just couldn’t go through that again. He said that as far as he was concerned our family was complete with one child.

I was devastated. I had always pictured that we’d have two children. I couldn’t imagine our son growing up as an only child. I wanted to give Stephen some time to think it over, but I also could hear my biological clock ticking loudly. I was worried that if we didn’t try soon, it would be that much more difficult for me to get pregnant. I felt like we were already tempting fate, given my age. Fortunately Stephen agreed to go to counselling to try to work through this deadlock. We have an appointment next week. Whatever the outcome, I’m grateful that we have our son Michael – a healthy, happy child and the joy of our lives. But if I’m being honest, I really hope that Stephen will come around and agree to try for another baby. I would love Michael to have a chance to have the kind of wonderful sibling relationship I have with my sister.

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