An Heir and a Spare
I remember when Princess Diana gave birth to Harry and the media quipped that she had fulfilled her duty of providing the royal family with “an heir and a spare.” At the time, I thought it was a very odd thing to say but an even odder way of thinking.
I was talking to my friend the other day and she brought up her step-sister, who had a series of miscarriages before ultimately giving birth to her daughter.
The step-sister now wants another child because — and I am paraphrasing here — you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. She said something about never knowing what could happen and wanting to have more children because she lives in fear that something might happen to the one she had. My friend was horrified and said she just could not understand how a 21st-century mother could think like this.
But I do understand. Two miscarriages taught me to be this cynical.
I don’t worry about Baby S (who isn’t really a baby anymore!) constantly or obsessively, but I do know, first-hand, that shit happens. I want another child because I want another child; I want to have children that can grow up together and learn from one another. Yet I understand what this woman was saying. You lose a pregnancy and you see how fragile and delicate life is. You see how your hopes can be shattered in a minute. In my case, I do not think I will ever completely let my guard down. I try not to let this fear for Baby S overpower me or color how I raise him, but it is always there. Always.