We're going to have another baby! Well, not RIGHT now, but at some point before this year is up we're going to start trying to have another child.
We love Owen, and one of the reasons we've reached this decision is to benefit him. He doesn't attend a nursery or day care centre, so the amount of interaction he has with other children who are of the same age as him is very limited. It would therefore be lovely if we could provide him with a playmate, and, given Owen's developmental delays, the differences between their ages would be extremely small. We also feel that each child would benefit dramatically from having a sibling so developmentally different from themselves. After all, my younger sister is extremely delayed, but Anthea and I have nothing but good things to say about our experiences growing up with her. She has also benefitted from having us 'normal' siblings around: you can tell she loves us and remembers us each time we see her.
For a very long time, Mike was prepared to have another baby and I said a definite 'no'. I was (and to some extent, still am) extremely nervous about taking care of two small children by myself during the day. Owen's feedings have been so traumatic for me that the thought of mopping up sick with one hand and breastfeeding a newborn in the other just made me break out in a cold sweat. Owen also has so many appointments that my concerns about spending adequate time with each child, and just being able to MAKE all those appointments, has seemed very daunting. My mental health has already suffered in the past year; what's to say it won't spiral even further out of control with the responsibility of another baby?
Well... in the last month or so, life has started to slowly, slowly... creepingly... improve. We changed Owen's formula recently and his feeds have not only been more successful, they've also been quicker. It has meant I have more time to devote to playing with him, doing my own work, and taking care of jobs around the house. Also, now he's turned one, his appointments are starting to ease off a little. He's had as many surgeries as doctors initially anticipated he would when he was born, which means that although we still need to attend yearly appointments, things won't be on the same scale as they have been over the last twelve months. It's true that we have to start dental care visits, and some appointments won't ease off at all, but Owen's body has responded so incredibly well to a growing and healing heart, eyes, head, and brain, that most of the specialists we see are already scaling things back. These changes have been so small, so incremental, that to anyone else they're barely visible, but to ME, they're the difference between health and misery.
For the last six weeks I've been seeing another therapist, and Mike and Owen attended a session with me last week. I feel very good about this course of therapy, as she really listens to what I want, and allows that input to guide my treatment. For example, I think deep-breathing and listening to whale music will do jack, and I smirk loudly whenever people talk about it. Reading a book she's lent me called Coping with Infinite Loss and Grief, however, allows me to analyse my thoughts and behaviour from an analytical standpoint - which is much more up my alley. I also love the fact she has evening hours. It makes such a difference to not have to bring Owen along, and to return to him fresh and allieved of dark thoughts, just in time to put him to bed.
So, the upshot of all this is that I have an appointment to get my last shot of Depo Provera tomorrow, and that will be it. It will wear off in September, and Mike and I will allow nature to take its course from that point on. Apparently the hormones in Depo can take several months to wear off, so I'm not anticipating a baby arriving next May, but it's kind of nice to have a timeframe in mind. Maybe by Christmas I'll have some good news.