Risking it all for a sibling

I have three siblings and they are amazing.

They are inspiring, funny, clever, so beautiful (handsome) and I couldn’t love them more.

We are all quite different in our own ways, yet the same. It’s a funny juxtaposition.

There is stuff in our lives only we can understand, and an unspoken empathy transmitted with one knowing look. I couldn’t imagine or bear life without them. Yet I’m not sure I can have a sibling for my only daughter of ten months.

I feel I am depriving her of an amazing thing. But would it be at the cost of her own mummy?

Who would want to miss this?

My big brother lives in the USA and runs an amazing charity Play Rugby USA that teaches positive life skills to kids though sports, and so much more. The Queen is awarding him an MBE later this year to recognise his amazing work.

He tells people he is Daniel Craig’s stunt double. Sorry Griff, the secret it out! He looks just like him (from the side) and has even been asked for his autograph and photo when people mistake him for the real 007.

He has more friends than I can even count.

I hope they forgive me for sharing this excellent picture

I hope they forgive me for sharing this excellent picture

My sister is a brilliant mix of super intelligent and super funny. She never fails to make me laugh.

She went down the traditional academic route achieving 100% in exams and genius stuff like that. Despite being very creative, and a brilliant musician, she is a lawyer. A brilliant lawyer who can recite the entire film – The Lion King, and loves cats more than babies!

My younger brother is in the Army. That’s pretty hardcore. He is actually one of the most caring people you could meet. Despite the fact he is a trained killer!

He is so good with kids. He is the youngest of us all and brilliant with little ones. He’s also a self taught computer expert and technical wizard. I could really do with some of his skills around here, but he’s off on training in Canada for a while.

I miss them terribly, as we all live far apart.

So when I think of them, how we grew up, and I think of my daughter’s future, I am ridden with guilt that she may not get to experience this. She will never have three siblings, there isn’t enough time on my clock for that; but just one sibling, might make all the difference to her world.

My worries are these:

First, it took us two years to conceive my daughter so who knows if we’ll manage to achieve another. So we may not have a choice.

Second, I suffered so badly with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction – sounds as bad as it is) during pregnancy that I don’t think I could care for my daughter properly while pregnant. During the third trimester I could barely walk and was in constant pain.

Third, I had a 48 hour labour and a lot of stitches; and although not sure if this is technically true, I felt like I nearly died giving birth to her. My birth experience has made me so scared of dying with the next baby, and leaving my daughter alone, that it might be selfish to actually have another child.

What if something happened to me and I couldn’t be her mummy any more?

Do I risk it all for a sibling?

Oh and then there’s the financial implications, but I won’t go into that.

So you see my dilemma.

Siblings are amazing, but so is having a mum who can look after you both practically, and with all her heart.

I love my baby so much, I am actually scared to have another. Yet I feel so much guilt that she won’t experience the most special relationship I have had with my brothers and sister.

People tell me that only children are so much more common these days, and are absolutely fine. They still grow up into well adjusted adults, and don’t feel they have missed out. They don’t know any different… But I do.

Perhaps I need to let fate decide.

Or maybe as a knackered mum of a ten month old I need to give myself a break. Those new born months have been tough. I’m 38 and already blessed with the most beautiful miracle child.

I am grateful for her, for our little family and for life.

Why mess with it?

 


I would love to hear from you if you have struggled with this decision or if you are an only child. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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20 comments

  • I have two siblings who I love dearly but live apart from me. I also have the most lush circle of friends who I consider to be family and we spend a lot of time together. So I am double lucky. But what I’m saying is, it’s possible to have friends that are so close that they are as good as siblings. So you should do what you want and feel confident that whatever happens, your lush little girl will have a life surrounded by love!! Xxx

  • I, like you, had a very difficult birth with my one and only child, the crash team being called in, my blood pressure dropping to a maximum of 60/30 and I haemorrhaged losing 1.8 litres of blood. I also feel the same guilt about having only one child, the fear of even worse happening to me than the first time during labour, gathered with awful post natal depression and a husband with an illness that will most likely get worse, I have decided that I can only cope with the one child, as well as everything else going on. However, on the plus side, I have the time to play games and spend time with her and if we go away on holiday she has a cousin or I am sure a close friend who could come along too. The guilt of my beautiful daughter not having a sibling doesn’t stop, I am not sure if it ever will, but I do know I can say I have tried my best and surely that is all you can do considering no manual comes with your little bundle of love once they arrive.

    • Ah Laura, thanks for sharing. I completely understand your decision. It was the right one for you and Leah is so loved. You are able to concentrate on her and she does have lovely cousins too. X

  • i think if you want a sibling so much for your little one then you will find a way. I had SPD with both of mine and no help, but the second birth was much easier than the first even though the baby was bigger. But ten months is very early to be making that decision – you are not too old at 38 – you could easily wait another year or two to get pregnant, and have your pregnancy and early years with the older one in part time nursery. That was a sanity saver for me

    • Thanks Debbie for your wise words. Yes I think we will wait a bit longer to make the decision. At the moment I’m still getting over the first one! Definitely will need her in part time care to manage another. SPD is so debilitating plus I have a terrible back problem anyway just to add to the mix. Saving the sanity as you say is definitely important.

  • So much to say but I’ll keep it brief. My little boy will be 3 this summer. He is my only child and my world. After he was born I just mentioned to the boyfriend about how it may be nice for our child to have a sibling (nothing definite, just a natural thought process). My boyfriends reaction was to get booked in for the snip! He already had a child with his ex wife and didn’t want any more. So my decision was made for me

    • Oh blimey Kirsty! Well at least you don’t have to agonise over the decision! Seriously though, that must be tough. I know how much you love your little boy. He is very lucky to have such a loving mum. Xx

  • I think it sounds like a mixture of fear and also being mum to such a young child. It changes your life when you have your first and it is tiring. It’s hard to imagine having another one, even if you had no problems with the birth, let alone what you went through. I have three years between my daughters because I was in no rush to go again, but then I had my third relatively soon after the second, because by then, I was already deep in baby mode and thought one more wouldn’t make much difference! It’s about what feels right for you. When you are ready, you will know and also if you are done having babies you will know. After my second, I still looked longingly and new borns, but after the third, I couldn”t wait to get rid of all the baby stuff once we were finished with it!

  • I can totally relate to this post. I love my brother and he is amazing and I worry that if Boo is an only child she will miss out on that. But I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum whilst pregnant with Boo and I would worry that I could not look after her, as I couldn’t look after myself for many months whilst pregnant. It’s a massive decision that has been the topic of many conversation between my husband and I, the subject of endless pros and cons lists, and a lot of soul searching for me, and I still don’t have the answer.
    I hope you are happy with whatever you decide is right for your family, either way whatever we both decide we still have our beautiful daughters and they will always have us =)

  • I have one sibling and though she is far she is my rock. I am so depressed here for the longest time and she just helps me. I so love her with all my heart and she is the reason why I want a sibling for my son. But me and my husband are not in good terms so I dont want another baby with him. Its a dilemma to me. #sharewithme

    • Hi Merlinda, it really does sound like a dilemma for you. You are not alone. You will figure out what is best eventually. Thanks so much for reading and commenting x

  • Argh! I am having the exact same dilemma and about to publish something on it…it’s so hard when things are not a straightforward decision – I hope you found the right answer for everyone concerned. I really feel for you. #sharewithme

  • Hi, very interesting read. I grew up an only child and then had half sisters in my late teens. It’s funny reading your description of your amazing siblings and I thought how nice that is but then realised I don’t have any jealousy. My sisters are much younger so our life sharing is different to growing up together. I don’t feel now in my 30s with three young boys that I wish I had a sibling of my own era to share my present and past with. It’s not something I miss because I never had it, and there are other things in life I craved for more, such as being a mother. That being said I did want my eldest to have siblings. But I also wanted more than one child for me. I certainly didn’t think my own life was crap and so he ought not to be an only child.

    There are down sides. I’m not great at sharing. I need my own personal space. I like the biggest piece of cake cos my mum always let me have it and I didn’t learn to lose at games well! Having siblings provides good growing up material for negotiation, compromise and respect. But equally I’m a well adjusted adult despite not having a sibling growing up.

    I have a friend who recently had a baby and the pregnancy and birth were such that they have decided not to have more but are considering adoption or fostering in the future.

  • That’s a hard decision. You could adopt a sibling. Then its win win for all three! lol Just an idea my brother and his wife adopted because she almost died with their first but wanted a sibling. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  • I sit in a different boat, yet on the same waters.
    I had a baby (precious girl) when I was 19 (relationship gone bad, but at least I got a princess out of it). I met my husband when she was two and 7 years later we got married. When she was 10 she finally got a baby brother. In 7-8 years she’ll be out of the house, going to varsity and partying with friends, then my baby boy would be alone. I would love for him to have a sibling for when that time comes, but I also do not know if we can afford another baby (if my body and sanity would allow it, I would have gone for another 12 of them if money weren’t an issue).
    My girl was an only child for 10 years and she was fine. She never got lonely and had all our attention only on her. I’m glad to say that she has adjusted well to being a big sister, yet I believe that she would have stayed the wonder person she is even if she did not get a brother last year.
    I always tell my friends (especially if they are starting to plan a family), that you might think that YOU are planning your family, but in reality it is God who does that. Some people are lucky when their plans and God’s plans are the same, then others (like you) start planning before God does. If you are supposed to have another one, you will. If not, it was His plan all along.
    Best wishes,
    Neikie

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