Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two and three

I got a note from friend telling me she is pregnant again, due this summer. I was immediately happy for her, but, there it was again. That pang, that needle of jealously. When this baby is born, we will have three children each, six children total. When we get together, five children will play together. I'm happy for her. I just wish I could be happy without that little twinge. 

Twice in recent days, people we don't know well, upon meeting Elizabeth, have made comments about us having a third. In both cases, somebody else made a comment or asked a question, and I never set the record straight. I didn't explain that we have three children, though they can only see two with us.

I always thought I'd like to have two or three children. One seemed lonely. Four seemed like maybe too many. Three was what I knew. Three seemed right, but at least two. So two or three. Somehow it feels like I have two and three. How many kids do you have? Three total, but two here. Three in my heart, but two to raise. How many kids do you have?


  1. One and two. And it is not enough. I thought two would be nice, especially if I got one of each (hah, joke is on me). We're both from families of three but times are different now and I'm not sure we could afford three. I have already survived through more weeks of pregnancy than I thought I could handle, yet I have to go again if I want to give Angus a "sibling". Sure, he already has one, but not in the sense you want to have a sibling. He needs someone to chase him, and to chase someone. He needs not to be an only child, even if he really isn't one.

  2. Oh my goodness...I was just having this exact conversation yesterday! A friend was telling me how she would like to have 3 children and I said "yes, 3 is a good number." So she asked when we were going to have our third (our oldest is 4 and our youngest is 4 months) and I answered..."Samuel IS our third!" Yes, Gage is gone but he WAS here and he was our second, our middle child. I feel complete. I have had three pregnancies...three babies. I just didn't get to raise them all at the same time. I am so glad Emily got to know her little brother...but so sad Samuel will never get to know his big brother.

  3. Sally, I get your desire to give Angus a sibling, in the "normal" sense of sibling. I wanted so much for Kathleen to have a brother or sister to grow up with. She already knows Henry from pictures and videos and stories, but it isn't the same way she knows Elizabeth as "Baby sister!!!!"

  4. Mary, the part of your comment that really struck me was "I feel complete." I wonder how much of that feeling for me is because Henry will always be missing and how much is simply "normal" (i.e., not babyloss related) accepting the idea that I am done having children, like it or not. More to think about.

  5. Oh, Sara. Boy, am I right there with you. I actually have two related blog posts about this brewing in my head as we speak. Oh, how I understand the jealousy, and for me right now, it's way more than a twinge. For months, I have had this mental scorecard in my head that I can't erase. It says "2-0." Several of Hudson's peers (mostly younger than her) already have younger siblings, and all I can think about is how my friends now have two living children and I have none--I have one child who lived for 17 months and then died and another who is growing in my belly but has not seen the light of day. How wrong it all is. I think I have always wanted three, too, and now we (hopefully) will have four instead, with only three to raise and one always, always missing. I'm so sorry that all three of your children are not here with you today.

  6. Mandy, for a long time it was more than a twinge for me. I skipped one baby shower and had to delay seeing several babies who were born in the spring after Henry died, babies that I would have seen immediately under other circumstances. The jealousy still rears up now, but it is shorter lived and less intense.

  7. I always wanted four children which is far too many to be practical in the UK with its high house prices and lack of space. Like Mandy, I hope to have three to raise one day (this sounds so unlikely and presumptuous that I almost don't want to type it. THREE, who am I kidding?!)

    I desperately wanted J to have a sibling, in the "normal" sense of sibling that you and Sally have already mentioned, perhaps especially as she might have had a twin sister. But I agree, one seemed (rightly or wrongly) a little lonely. I was saying to my husband just the other evening that I feel I will have difficulty saying 'done', even when the time has come. Purely because we will always be missing one, as you will always miss Henry.

    I told someone at work that I would be expecting my third child today and she went on and on about how wonderful having three children was. Then she asked how old mine were and I told her that my eldest passed away at three days old. I felt terrible and wished I had said two. But I know I would have felt equally terrible if I had. I can't please myself with my answer to this question.

    I suppose that, really, my answer is one. I have one child, J. The others are not within my grasp. xo