I am so very fortunate to have two incredible children. Twins, in fact! One boy and one girl. The ideal scenario, people constantly tell me. They truly are my pride and joy, and I couldn’t love them more.
With their 2nd birthday approaching in a few months, we are past the era of sleepless nights and washing bottles all day, and have entered the “So, are y’all gonna have another one?” stage.
But before I can answer this question for everyone else, I need to figure out the answer for myself. As part of a same-sex couple, expanding our family must be a deliberate choice. We don’t have the option of “leaving it up to fate.” So DO I want any more kids?? How do I really know?! I’ve thought about this question more times than I can count in the past year.
So many factors go into making a decision like this. In an ideal world, I would LOVE to have a big family. But is that realistic? Could we afford another kid? Do I want to be pregnant again? Would I love my next kid as much as I love the twins? Would I be able to juggle everything and still have time to give another baby all the love and attention they deserve? Would I look back in a few years and regret it if we DON’T have another kid? I could go on.
I had a rough pregnancy with my twins and delivered early due to preeclampsia. Maybe I would actually enjoy being pregnant with a singleton. Maybe I would get to have that “magical” pregnancy that I’ve heard so many others talk about, but I certainly didn’t get to have it for myself growing two babies at once.
I also didn’t have the birth and postpartum experience I had imagined. I had an emergency c-section at 35 weeks and my twins spent their first 10 days in the NICU. Maybe the next time around I would get to have the traditional labor and vaginal delivery I pictured having the first time. Am I the only crazy person who is sort of bummed they missed out on contractions and pushing a watermelon out? Maybe. But even more so, I wish I didn’t have to spend the first week and a half of my kids’ lives going back and forth from the hospital, pumping around the clock, and not getting to hold my babies whenever I wanted to. I wasn’t there for their first bottle, their first diaper change, their first bath. Do I really want another kid, or do I just wish I could have a redo during the first two weeks of my babies’ lives?
This whole scenario is complicated even more by the fact that my wife and I went through IVF to make our twins. My body took to the process so well that we still have 10 embryos currently frozen.
I think about those embryos almost daily. When I already have two kids as amazing as mine, I can’t help but wonder who else might be in that “batch” (for lack of a better word). What would they look like? Would they have the same charming smile that my son has? Would they have my daughter’s sassy personality? Or would they be an entirely different person?
If I decide I don’t want another kid, what will become of those embryos? Should I donate them to science? Should I donate them to another couple in need? Would I be okay knowing I, potentially, have other biological children that I won’t raise or even know? Or should I continue paying to keep these could-be souls frozen for a few more years, just in case?
All of these thoughts and more have swirled in my mind ad nauseam recently. So how do I proceed? Is this a decision for the head or for the heart?
For now, I will keep soaking in all the precious moments with the kids I do have. Whether or not that will someday include a third or fourth child, as well, only time will tell.