My desire to have another child (which would bring our count to four !?!?!?) waxes and wanes.
When we conceived the Doodle, we were pretty sure we were done with three. Then as the pregnancy progressed, I was pretty sure I was done, but wanted to leave the possibility of more babies open for another four years just to be sure.
During the Doodle’s first year, there was no way Otto and I would have another baby. We just didn’t have the bandwidth to parent another kidlet.
Then shortly after the Doodle’s first birthday, something shifted. There was a two-week period where I really wanted another baby. That window of desire closed as quickly as it opened, and over the past year, there have been times where either Otto or I have seriously contemplated and craved adding a fourth to our family. It’s never been at the same time and the desire has always been fleeting.
We’ve also moved up our time frame and have decided that if we do indeed want to make another baby we’d like to make the decision this summer. We may not TTC for another year or so, but we’d like to know what we’re going to do sooner than later.
Adding a baby to our family is only in response to some primitive biological urge. The rationale self doesn’t have the time, the energy or the money to raise a fourth child. We just miss having a baby, and we’d like for the Doodle to have a sibling closer in age.
When our KD was visiting earlier this year, we reviewed our donor agreement. During the course of this conversation we reviewed the clause that if we were to have any future children he would get first right of refusal to donate. He’s okay with this clause, only he seemed a little surprised and caught off guard that we were actively discussing having a fourth. He also shared that he’s in the early stages of investigating surrogacy to start his family as a single dad.
He made it clear that although he loves what we have, it’s too much processing for him, and he wasn’t considering asking either of us for an egg donation.
But in that moment when we thought we might ask him to help us have another kid, I briefly saw a “hell no” cross his face. It was a micro expression and I could totally be misreading him.
This subtle non-verbal reaction didn’t really concern me until another mom in my online circle shared that they had decided they wanted child #2 and they had asked their KD if he would donate again. She spent a month waiting with bated breath for his response. And then he said no.
In that moment I realized that if our KD decided he wouldn’t donate again, I’d be done. I wouldn’t want to go the anonymous route and have to use a fertility clinic. We’d have to research a whole new way to conceive and I’m just not that interested in that process, and I’m not really interested in all the ups and downs that could involve, and I guess in a way I’m not that invested in another child with another different set of rules of conception and biological linkages. It’s too overwhelming.
If our KD is done then I’m done, too.
When I came to that realization, I’m wondering if we should just ask him what he would say if we were to ask him today if he’d donate his sperm again.
If I can avoid months of self-reflection, and thought, and true assessment of my desires and my capacity to parent, then maybe I should.
What I fear most is that we decide to have another baby, get our hearts set on that, and then are crushed when he says no. I’m scared of having to deal the with emotional complexity of not being able to try for a baby that we decided we really wanted (or if my 35-year-old body decides not to cooperate and reproduce with ease again).
It wouldn’t be so devastating if we never got to the point of actually being able to imagine another maybe baby and to have that possibility ripped away from us.
So maybe we should ask him. Maybe, in this case, it’s just easier to have someone else take the decision out of your hands.