I have really enjoyed reading everyone's replies. This is a very sensitive subject for me, and I get great therapy out of digesting everyone else's feelings on the subject. I guess I'll chime in, too.
We have one lovely DD, who just turned 5. My DH is completely content with one, while I would like to have another. I don't care if the second child is biologically ours, or adopted.
DH's reasons for feeling happy with our family of three include:
1. Has has one sibling, a brother who is two years younger than he. He and his brother fought CONSTANTLY when he was growing up. They have no relationship now, to speak of. He says having a second child is no guarantee of a friend for life, and could end up being a rough ride. Why rock the boat?
2. He doesn't feel he has the energy for another. We have been building our own house (really, building it with our own hands) for over 3 years now. The house should be done by next year. It has been incredibly stressful, and he is just emotionally depleted by it.
3. He's afraid of making more parenting mistakes. He felt a lot of resentment growing up because his brother was often favored, and I think he is horrified by the thought that HE might (unwittingly) be the big, unfair ogre of a parent if there were two kids.
4. He is ready for DD to have her own room. We have been co-sleeping since day 1 with her. He knows that if we have another, there will be another kid in our bed for years to come.
5. I am the breadwinner. If we have another child (bio or adopted), I will need to take a maternity leave. I refuse to take the paltry 12 week standard leave, so we would probably take quite a financial hit for me to stay home for a while.
6. He is (like earthgirl's partner) a hardcore environmentalist, and is opposed to adding to the population problem. I put this last because I would consider an adopted child, so this reasons could be negated.
My reasons for wanting another include:
1. I was an only child growing up, and I HATED IT! We lived out in the country, with no other kids around, and I was really lonely. I remember telling myself that I would NEVER have just one child. So this idea that our DD might be our only is really hard for me to reconcile.
2. I loved pregnancy and birth. It was a totally transformative experience. I remember thinking in the weeks after our DD was born, "I could do this 5 more times!" Sometimes I have post-apocalyptic fantasies about living in a de-populated world and having a whole passle of kids! I know, it's silly, especially given DH's reason number 6, but it is part of me and I can't ignore it.
3. I have two half-sisters from my dad's second marriage. We didn't grow up together, so that's why I consider myself an only child in my childhood. But now I don't feel like an only child, because my sisters and I have developed very nice friendships since we are adults. I am hopeful that if we have a second child, our DD will get this kind of friendship. It's really great.
4. Since my mom didn't have any more kids, I really feel the burden of caring for her as she ages. She is having mental health issues, and it is all on me.
5. Our DD just LOVES little kids. She will go out of her way to care for other people's babies, even strangers (like the owner of the consignment shop we were in over the weekend). I remember when my dad and his second wife had their first baby, I was 6. I was SO EXCITED!! I think the age difference between our DD and a second child would be a big factor in reducing sibling rivalry, and I know that DD would be a great helper. With this in mind, I don't think the baby/toddler years would be as exhausting with the second as it was with the first
6. I am also a hardcore environmentalist, but since I feel such an urge to have a second, I can compromise at not *adding* to the population problem. (two children being considered simply "replacement") This is why I am comfortable with our second child being biologically ours. I also look around at lots of couples we know who are not choosing to have kids at all. I think, if my DH is OK with each couple having one kid, then us having a second is sort of like having one of "theirs" (that they didn't choose to have). He doesn't buy it, but it makes sense to me. I also feel that raising up children to be thoughtful, non-materialistic, and to make a positive change in the world, counterbalances their use of resources to some extent.
So, we are still at an impasse. I will turn 35 next week, and I'm feeling like I want to make this decision in the next year or so. At the same time, I know that if I push DH he will solidify his opinion of "we're done" all the faster.
Patience, patience...it's so hard!!
Thanks for the chance to think through this. I haven't made such a succinct list before. It really helped!
Good luck to all of you who might be in the undecided camp, like me.