Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Family planning

So how do you decide how many children to have?

A report on the BBC website suggests that parents should take the future of our planet into consideration when planning the size of their family.

But that is probably not top of most people's agenda. The majority of my friends have one or two children, either by choice or medical necessity. But I have other friends and acquaintances with three, four or even five kids. They do say that after the second child, another makes little difference.

I loved having a baby in the house and I have to admit that after son 2 was born I instinctively wanted another. But Hubby was adamant that we stick to two, as we'd always agreed. There were of course many good reasons for this. A third child would have necessitated a bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger mortgage, not to mention increased day to day running costs of another to feed and clothe.

But above all there were other practical reasons I could not ignore. I knew from a very early age that all was not well with son 2. By the time we might have been thinking about another pregnancy, we were already caught up in assessments and appointments and his behaviour at home would have endangered a baby. So another pregnancy would have to be postponed until he started school, by which time I would not be far off 40. Although genetic counselling told us the risk of another child with autism was only around 6%, a 40 year old who has already had two premature births is not a good prospect for a healthy full term delivery.

It was actually the fear of another premature birth which put me off the idea for good, because I knew I could not go through the trauma of a critically sick newborn again. It is only recently that I have felt able to write about that time of my life. Some of you may have seen my poem here. And I have decided to do a piece of life writing on son 1's earliest days for my next OU assignment.

I may have conquered those baby demons at last.


Beth said...

By the time we get round to it, I think we'll be stuck on one or maybe two by sheer logistics of fertility :s

Thinking about babies wasn't really possible any earlier, for various reasons, but I still wish we'd started well before now. We've been together nearly 9 years now! Sounds mad, doesn't it?

Cathy said...

No, doesn't sound mad at all. We'd been together well over 7 years when the first one was born...and it was planned like that!


Unknown said...

Cathy - the poem is beautiful and brought tears.

I was have been blessed with three kids an amount both of us felt comfortable with...I don't like the thought of the other people entering into family life to dictate their decisions in anyway.

Anonymous said...

I quite like babies, but I don't think I could eat a whole one ;o)

Cathy said...

Liz - thanks.

CB - you might have managed with mine, they were smaller than average ;o)

Anonymous said...

Your reasoning for not having another baby is quite similar to my own - apart from not being able to cope (I am not at all maternal) I worried that another child may prove to be autistic or otherwise. I know various people who have 3+ children and cope so well yet I know others who have 2 and find it almost impossible.

CJ xx

Megan said...

just wanted to say beautiful poem (please excuse the skulking)

Cathy said...

Crystal, I was surprised at how low the statistical probability was for another child with autism. I know people are still being given similar figures if they have already have one NT and one ASD.

Megan - thank you and skulkers are always welcome here :o)

Jan said...

Noone can make judgements/decisions for others. We are all so very different.
Your poem was immensely moving.