What do you do when you have opposing views and there is no middle ground? How do you agree, when there is no compromise?
M and I disagree in a number of small matters; and mostly agree on the big things in life - politics, religion, moral values. The one thing we do not agree on is children.
Before we got married, we decided to have two. It seemed a good number to me - I really didn't want an only child, and two is nice and even.
Then Teddy came along, and I just knew it would have to be three. Two didn't seem enough, all of a sudden - I couldn't face only ever experiencing this wonder and excitement once more... That the next pregnancy would be my last one... It seemed too final.
M, however, thought that he'd be quite happy with just the one.
You can see where this is heading. Major disagreement. Now, I managed to swing things around by reminding M that we had said 2. Mind you, it took me the best part of half a year, lots of tears and hours of arguments to get there. So we got our little Bo, and to M our little family is now complete.
Sometimes I think he is right - we have a perfect family; I love my boys so much and they adore each other, play together, have fun together, grow up as best friends. Since Bo turned one, things have gotten a lot easier again. Our life seems settled and peaceful. Why disturb it?
But then there is this burning desire. Baby fever that really makes my insides burn with longing, so intense it almost chokes me and brings tears to my eyes. I miss being pregnant, I miss having a snuggly newborn, heck, I even miss the ups and downs of trying. I can picture our third child so clearly - another smiling face to complete the brood, another dimension to our family. Little Bo not only being the little brother, but also big brother to someone else. Three boys laughing and playing and fighting. Yes, there will be some ganging up... But there will also be lots more excitement and fun, and always someone there.
But M won't have any of that. To him, we're done. He claims not to like children, and that it's the fewer, the better. That he already compromised by agreeing to a second (which is untrue - we had agreed that ages ago, before he went back on it!). Anyway. We seem to be caught in a No Win situation, neither wanting or being able to budge.
Where does this leave me? There seems to be no word for this phenomenon, yet it must be so common. Women who can't have children are infertile. Women who don't want children are childfree. But women who are married and their partner refuses to have (more) children?
Bitterness, resentment, envy... My old friends are back with me, making every pregnancy announcement, every newborn baby photo on facebook feel like a kick in the face. When a friend posted her 12 week scan pictures on FB to announce her pregnancy, I stared at the screen with tears streaming down my face, and I even knew she was pregnant before this as a mutual acquaintance had told me. Her girl is only two days younger than Bo. Oh yes, and did I mention my biological clock ticking (yes, my dreaded birthday is coming up again soon)and me panicking with every week, every day that goes by?
But back to the start: there is no compromise. You can't have half a baby. And because you can't force this upon someone, the No wins.
Now excuse me while I crawl into a dark corner and grieve, weep over my lost child I will never get to know.