I always thought we were a "one and done" family. Before my husband and I got married, we didn't talk much about having kids. We were both busy with our careers, and having a baby wasn't on our radar. But about five years into our marriage, when we were both in our early 30s, I started to get a longing every time I would see a cute baby on the subway or a family holding hands in the park.
I was surprised that my husband was so open to the idea of us getting pregnant. And once she arrived, our daughter became the light of our lives. We took her everywhere, from restaurants to vacations.
Of course, there were big changes. But for the most part, we were happy. I assumed this was it—our family was complete.
Then around the time our daughter turned 3, people started asking that oh-so-rude and provocative question: "Are you going to give her a little sister or brother?" I had an array of hilarious responses at the ready, with some including jokes about my trusty NuvaRing.
But my husband wasn't laughing. He revealed to me that he was thinking about us having another child. At first, I ended the discussion by saying something along the lines of the store being closed for business. But our discussions turned into arguments, and suddenly, a second baby became the big issue in our relationship.
Sometimes in a marriage you make little sacrifices, and sometimes you make really big ones.
My husband's reasons for wanting another child were valid. He has a tight relationship with his sister, and he wanted that for our daughter. I'm estranged from my own sister, but I could see his point. I was also confident that our daughter would make her friends her family, the way that I did.
My husband told me that he felt as if he would be missing out if he never had a son. Although I was quick to point out that there was no guarantee we'd get a boy, he explained right away that he would also be happy with another girl. He wanted that family of four, and there was no way I was going to convince him otherwise.
When I thought about being pregnant again, I was filled with anxiety and dread. Sure, having another child would be nice, but when I weighed all that I'd have to sacrifice, it just didn't seem worth it. I thought we were done with diapers, done with all that baby stuff and ready to enjoy the sassy toddler our daughter was becoming.
I also worried about dividing my attention between our daughter and a baby. I saw how hard it was for some of my friends, and I didn't envy them. Our daughter fit into our grown-up world so easily that she was almost like a little miniature adult. I worried that with two kids, the kid stuff would take over. We would be living in the land of babies, not the other way around.
We saw a couple's therapist, who was extremely helpful in guiding us toward our decision. We figured out that I wasn't opposed to having another child. It was more that I was concerned about all the responsibilities that would come with it. In the end, we agreed to make a huge change. My husband would make a move at work so that he could do most of his hours from home, and he would be on daddy duty while I increased my hours at my full-time job.
For a second, I worried that it would look as if I didn't want to raise my own baby. But we knew the truth, and that was what mattered. Almost one year ago, our little guy was born. I'm not going to lie and say I enjoyed being pregnant a second time, or that I didn't compromise my own needs and desires. But this was important to my husband, and sometimes in a marriage you make little sacrifices and sometimes you make really big ones.
Would I have been happy if it were just the three of us for life? Yes. Do I love our little son more than anything in the world now that he's here? Of course. But the key here was that to make this family of four a reality, my husband and I worked together to make it feel doable for the both of us.
I may not have wanted a second baby, but when I look in the rearview mirror and see them both sitting behind us, I am so very grateful for my beautiful family.