This is a fragile topic, and a girl one at that- I highly doubt any guys read my blog (other than Sky), but I'm giving fair warning just in case.
I've had some problems lately. Things haven't been right with my birth control- lots of unwanted side effects made me finally call and make an appointment. My doctor said she would switch me to something else- something known to significantly raise the risk of blood clots, which I already have in my family history. I asked, "Isn't that the pill I see with all the lawsuits pending on the commercials?" "I don't know," she said, staring at the computer. "I don't watch much TV." And that was that. She called in the prescription and smiled.
A few days later, I called the office and explained that I felt very uncomfortable to try the medicine, and asked what other options they could suggest. The nurse responded, "Just get on your computer and Google around and see what you find out." DIY doctoring, I guess. But that isn't what hurt- it's what she said right after that, when she asked what I was currently taking:
"The last thing you need is another little one running around."
It took a second for stunned to turn into recognition. I've never talked to her or anyone else about the longterm plan for our family, in the doctor's office or anywhere else, so the only possible reason for her to say that was our income level.
I get it. We don't have money. And while it's usually a normal, annoying question that people are asked just months after their first child is born, it's something no one has ever asked me: "So, when is Millie going to have a little brother or sister?" It's supposed to be understood that we're poor and shouldn't want any more children, or shouldn't do anything about it if we do. But no one has ever come out loud and said it. No one has ever been so blunt.
I hung up the phone in disbelief, but it quickly gave way to hot tears. I've always imagined the reaction people would have if I ever get pregnant again- the halfhearted smiles and awkward congratulations that sound empty as soon as they say them. But this taste of it was even more bitter than I expected.
I will never forget asking my boss to sit down with me one morning so I could tell her I was pregnant with Millie- the look she gave me before saying cautiously, "Wow...so is this a good thing?" It never occurred to me until that second that it could be anything other than good. I said, "Yes, I'm thrilled." She said, "Okay- well...then I'm happy for you." Bubble = burst. I made the rest of the announcements at work quickly, just to get it out of the way. Was I supposed to apologize? Was I supposed to be upset? I didn't know what they wanted.
I've struggled with this issue for years now. This is what I believe- more than likely, we will never be rich. We probably won't even have a lot of extra money. But Millie is happy, has food and clothing, a roof over her head, and parents who adore her. Another baby would cost something, of course, but not much at first (re-use Millie's cloth diapers, all her clothes if it were another girl, and no buying car seats, a pack-n-play, high chair, stroller, toys, etc. because we already have all of those things). If I homeschool Millie, it won't cost any more to homeschool a second child.
Will we be in better shape financially in 5 or 10 years? Goodness, I hope so. But I don't want to wait until I'm 37 to find out. If we stay exactly how we are now, then we'll struggle, but not much more than we already struggle. We'll still be okay. I truly believe that.
But of comments that sting, that one definitely made the list.