To my one and only child, is it OK if it’s just us?

As I watch your heart grow bigger each day, I know without a shadow of a doubt your nurturing soul would take great care of a baby brother or sister.

You ask me for a “bee bee” and you are drawn to babies when we go out. You want to hold them, teach them, and love them. It’s the most beautiful sight. It’s the purest form of love, and it’s coming from a toddler.

It also punches me right in the gut, knowing our future may not have another child in store for us.

Giving you a sibling would be the greatest gift I could ever give you. A best friend for life. Someone to look back on memories and laugh about all your treehouse days with. There’s nothing I want more than to give you the opportunity to flourish into a wonderful brother. I know you would help feed a new baby and be gentle with him as he grew.

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I envision you and your brother or sister running freely on the beach seeing who can find the best seashells. I imagine extra proud hands applauding your soccer wins. I look back in my rearview mirror in the car and picture a car seat in the empty chair and wonder what the extra set of vocals would be like with music on during long road trips.

I want to watch you experience life holding your sibling’s hand.

I want more hearts in our home, too.

It pains me in an unimaginable way that I don’t think I can give you that, my love. My body isn’t doing its job, and I’ve grown tired of hoping so hard that it’s physically hurting my chest to think about. I brought you into this world, and now you’ll do it alone. It breaks my heart and gives me immeasurable sadness to think I’m robbing you of one of life’s greatest joys.

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I don’t want you sad when your family tree is missing branches on it for your kindergarten project. I don’t want you to feel disappointed when friends ask, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” I don’t want you to be lonely when I work or when I am away. I can’t even stand to see you play alone in your playroom. I imagine how much fun you’d be having if there was another warm body in there to share your playtime with.

My child, I love you so much. I hope I love you enough to fill the void of a sibling. You can’t understand right now, but one day you will learn that our family not expanding had nothing to do with you. It’s me.

You were meant for more, and I was meant for one.

If the universe ever gives us another, I can’t wait to see how proud of a big brother you will be. For now, I hope I’m doing a good enough job and that I give you a life without wonder. I hope a table for three makes you happy. Is it OK if it’s just us?

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.