What's been eating away at me lately is this feeling that I, for some reason, "should" continue trying for a second child. I had thought it was because eventually I know Eli will ask why he's an only child and I wanted to be able to tell him that we tried everything we could. I wasn't getting that settled feeling that I normally do when I find the root of my discontent, so I knew there was something else at the heart of it, and I finally think I figured it out.
It's this: If I only want one, I feel like I've failed. It's not at all that I think families with one child are somehow "failed families." It's that I had always been on autopilot, thinking I wanted two, and now, if I only want one, what does that say about me? Again, this has nothing to do with families who want one and have one and are happy. I really, really want to stress that because it is SO about me and so NOT about anyone else. But the point is, if I wanted two, and I got one, and now I don't want two anymore, does that mean I don't like being a mom? Or that I don't think I'm enough of a mom?
I know (on the logical, intellectual level) that of course the answers to these questions are "Of course I do" and "Of course I am." It's just there seems to be some guilt about saying to myself, "I don't want any more of this. Thanks anyway."
I think the reason I separate myself from other families with only one at this point is, well, first and foremost, I have these tendencies toward self-imposed (and unwarranted) guilt but, more importantly, it's this changing-of-my-mind aspect. What changed my mind? Why is one enough? I wanted two. Why don't I feel like I want that second one anymore? It's convenient to say that over time I've just kind of lost my enthusiasm, but in the grand scheme of infertility, we've been trying for NO time at all, so if the true desire was there at the outset, I think that a year and a half later it should still be there.
We're continuing to try for a bit longer, but I'll admit that it's half-hearted. I rarely chart; there are no more "let's do it one more time just to cover our bases"; sometimes a new Project Runway is just more interesting. You get the picture.
I am very much the type of person who has to have some psychological peace before I can let something go, and half the battle with that is finding the root of my discontent. I think I'm on to something with this one. I've got more to think about.
Before I go: I think I made my point but I feel very strongly about making absolutely certain that I'm not misunderstood: I am not not NOT saying that mothers of only children are not "enough" in some way. The ridiculousness of that idea is what led me to this revelation in the first place, because no one should think that, including me. What I'm trying to do here is just sort out my convoluted, confused feelings.