“Do you think you’ll have another?”

Sarah Kay by Sarah Kay Additional Needs

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay

An honest (and hopefully positive!) chat through the rollercoaster journey we have found ourselves on; hopefully to raise awareness of HIE and supp...

Well…..that was the question that caught me off guard a little! It first came with a nod to Heidi, when she was about 6 months, and more recently as I was chatting about her (now 4) and her additional needs.

Did I think we would have another baby?

I know people ask these things with genuine interest / care (most of the time!), but I do think there needs to be a little caution as you never really know the circumstances a family may be going through.

My honest answer was “I don’t know” but it’s something I have pondered long and hard over, on many occasions.

When I was younger, I wanted to grow up, get married and have 2 children.

As I got older, I realised that life is rarely that straight forward.

I was in my late thirties when I met my now husband Steve, was very fortunate to fall pregnant quickly when we decided we wanted family, even though I was classed as a “geriatric first-time mum” (ouch!), and counted my blessings every day of my healthy pregnancy.

When Heidi was taken so poorly just after she was born, our world was tipped upside down.

My ideas of how having a baby would be were nothing like our reality, but we did what we needed to do to get through each hour, day and month.

Once we were home and settled, I kind of thought about having another baby, and really thought it would be a good idea.

I think part of that was so that I could have the “normal” experience of having a baby – I hope that doesn’t sound selfish. I love Heidi, lots, but her start in life had been tough on us all and I thought having another would help ease some of the pain.

I also thought that adding to our team, with a sibling, would be great for Heidi too – she would have her own little buddy, who would be around longer than us (I do worry about when we’re not here, but that’s a whole other blog!).

But that in turn made me think about how that second child would feel – they might see things that would be upsetting, might feel left out as Heidi needs so much of our attention, may resent us as parents.

I’ve seen other families though and the siblings are some of the most well-balanced, loving, caring little people you could wish to meet, so that dispelled my theory.

Of course having a baby requires a certain, ahem, things to happen – and without wanting to speak on behalf of other SN parents, quality alone time can be rare.

Our lives are busy with everything Heidi-related, and at the point she is settled and asleep, I’m either busy sorting out the meds, feeds, clothes, appointments etc. for the following day, or wanting to get some sleep myself (or occasionally writing a blog!).

Add in to the mix having a carer 2 nights a week, and any form of romance is way down the list.

I also joke about being too old and fat to have another baby – I feel like I have aged so much since having Heidi, and have certainly put the whole exercise regime I used to love so much on the back-burner, but then I also remember how I already cope with a lack of sleep, so would having extra company on the night-shift be so hard?

We had, at one stage last year, seriously talked about fostering.

It’s something we would love to do but the commitment is just too big at the mo; foster families have to have regular meetings (totally understand why), and can face their own challenges, we just didn’t think it would be fair on anyone – plus I have no idea how to look after “typical” babies, give me a feeding tube or trachi and I’m fine! - maybe we’ll come back to in the future.

Hats off to those who do it, what a gift.

So, for now, we’ll let fate decide, happy as our team of 3.

My answer remains as “I don’t know”.

Much safer to ask if you think we’ll get a dog, you’ll likely get a resounding “yes” (from me at least!).

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