I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about our situation, and starting to come to terms with the possibility that we may not have another child. Despite our efforts, it’s just not happening.
My daughter is three, and I feel like I've failed her by not giving her a sibling. I want her to grow up with someone to play with, someone to feel connected to, and someone to share her childhood story with. But it’s probably not going to happen. I'm so sad about it.
She is a miracle, and I am so grateful for her. She is enough. I don't need another child for my sake, but feel we need it for her sake. I've been asking a lot of friends of mine who are only children how they felt about it, and most admit there was always a deep loneliness and longing for companionship as children. I want to protect my daughter from every feeling lonely, or longing for something, but I just can't give this to her. And I can't find it in myself to be OK about it.
I just keep thinking that we should have tried to have children sooner, when we were younger. It would have given us more time to try for another child. And then, part of me feels like for us...one child is really all we can handle. Being a parent is hard. Giving of yourself to a child is hard, and in all honesty, I'm not sure it’s something I could do well for a second child.
I wish things had turned out differently, but it’s hard to accept. I'm sure there will come a time when I can look back on this and see the good in having just one child. And I am going to give her everything I can to provide her with an emotionally fulfilled, well-rounded childhood...but I can't be everything to her. And I will fail her. And I need to come to a place of being ok with that...for her sake. My life's regrets are not her burden to bear.
It’s like we just missed the "sweet spot" with PrEP and all the strides on HIV and reproduction. If we could have been five years younger .... even 3 years would have made a big difference. But it was not to be I guess. Stupid HIV.
This article previously appeared in Poppy’s own blog HIV Negative Spouses here.