This has occupied my brain for the last 3 years.
I have a 4 year difference between my two children. The little one is 8 months old, and we are done.
I have days where I mourn our family of three.
I was secure in the knowledge that one was right for our family until my mother died. I was so very alone with it. It was a complicated childhood and not entirely healthy. I loved her dearly and she was my emotional anchor, everything to me. I lost all emotional grounding when she died (I didn't say it was healthy). And I spent the next 2 years dealing with the mess left behind with probate, tons of craziness, scary people, lawyers, sadness, exhaustion, and I had no one with a shared experience to go through this with, and no one to share memories with.
That experience made me agree we should have another one. I didn't want my son to be alone family-wise in our death, whether or not his world had been happy and healthy with us. DH always wanted a second child.
We lost our second (another son) when I was 23 weeks pregnant; he died in my arms. It was devestating. I think I was falling apart with the loss of my mother and then my son. We decided to try again. It was a challenging path.
I am an introvert. I need sleep. And I have to recharge, I have to have downtime. I find parenting one challenging. My husband is also just like me. And, I felt I knew what I was getting into, but I also knew in my mind that it would get easier, and that the first year would be the hardest for me.
Now that she's here, it's been very interesting. I truly mourn the fact that we cannot afford to travel like we could have with one, to have the kind of schooling we would like, etc. I also mourn SLEEP. I miss all the one on one time with my son, too. I miss how easy it is to get up and out of the house with one. It is so incredibly hard having two when at least does not sleep well at night; DH and I both WOH and we are always very tired. And snippy (of course, I remember this from the first year with DS, too).
DD has had a pretty difficult road. Severe reflux, couldn't sleep any way but completely upright for 2 months (day and night). Really awful. And allergies to soy, dairy, gluten. Even down to eating about only three things myself she did better on nutramigen formula, so well, that after I weaned her, I couldn't bring myself to give her the stored breastmilk due to the way she reacted. Anyway, she's pretty well controlled now on prevacid. And at 8 months, I know the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. This is rambly, but in any case, it was pretty hard the first 6 months. I barely saw my son for the first 3 months of my daughter's life.
And now. I don't regret having my daughter. I did. I thought I made a foolish decision. Now that things are improving, and we are getting closer to the end of the first year (really I find this part awful), I really am happy that we are a family of four.
My son adores her. I had no idea it could be like this. He kisses her all the time, when she cries, he is the first to run to her to see what is the matter. He always talks about what they are going to do together when she is older. And she really digs him. She is all smiles at him. She saves her big laughs for the silly things he does. I think it's pretty amazing. Even if it all changes for whatever developmental reason, I'm really happy this has been the experience now.
I adore her. I am fascinated by her. How different she is from my son, and also how like him she is. How much like her father she is, we can tell already. Things she loves. Things she doesn't love. The way she interacts with me. My heart melts for her. I think about the future, about what it will be like for them together as they grow, for us, for all of us. I hope that they have a good adult relationship, whatever it ends up looking like.
Surprisingly, challenging as it has been so far, I feel like I am a lot less stressed than I was with DS. I think it simply has to do with the fact that I know
this (whatever is going on) will pass. It used to drive me batty when people would say "this too shall pass" with my son, I was going crazy and it felt like it was neverending (and sometimes, um, 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 months - or more - *is* neverending), and "this too shall pass" made me cringe. But, now, I know, from experience that, without a doubt, one day, whatever it is will pass.
We are all adjusting, sometimes well, sometimes not.
This is our family now and I'm very glad that we have two loves. Though I will be happier once I'm getting enough sleep again.