For the last 3 years my husband and I have been thrashing this topic around – to have another baby or to not have another baby. I have read numerous books on the subject and spoken to many, many mothers of terminally ill children who have done just that. They all say the same thing; it’s incredibly hard but definitely worth it. The question is do we take the plunge.
SIDS and Kids has a 48 page document on this very subject so this could be the longest blog post ever but I’ll try and keep it short. Here is my own list of pros and cons about whether Anthony and I should have another baby or not. The list will be different for everyone but perhaps there is some common ground.
- I’ll be 35 in February and it’s a biological fact that getting pregnant and the risks during pregnancy are higher after 35, especially given my previous history. Plus if I’m going to have another baby then ideally I’d like two. So if we’re going to do it, we need to do it now.
- One of the reasons we got married was because we had similar views on raising children and we wanted to take them camping and on holidays. We could still have that chance.
- It would be great for Aidan to have a sibling and for the baby to know Aidan at least for a bit (assuming Aidan is still here for the birth).
- I really, really want a baby – not a rational reason but it’s the truth.
- I have an incredible support network.
- A pregnancy takes 9 months and I have no idea what might happen with Aidan in those nine months.
- A new baby will add pressure to an already stressful situation.
- We can’t afford another baby and if we had another baby we’d always be broke.
- Is it fair to bring a child into the world that will have grieving parents?
- A new baby will make it hard to find time to grieve.
- How will we care for the baby when Aidan is in hospital?
- Aidan’s life is so limited, he really shouldn’t have to share our attention with a demanding new baby.
- I’m already exhausted, how can I do three hourly feeds?
- I had preeclampsia with Aidan, I have high blood pressure and I’m overweight – I might get sick during the pregnancy and won’t be there for Aidan.
- I had severe antenatal depression during Aidan’s pregnancy. It may happen again and I can’t afford to be suicidal and take time off from caring for Aidan.
- What if Aidan hates the new baby and dies before he gets a chance to like it?
- Just because I want a baby… it doesn’t mean I should. It could be considered selfish.
- Anthony and I could have a very happy life without a baby. We could travel and have money for a change.
So the list of cons is definitely longer than the pros and my feelings sway from one minute to the next. However, just the other night a wise friend said, “You’ll never regret having another baby but you might regret not having one.” This one comment could well be the tipping point in our decision.