Monday, July 18, 2011

On having another child

We had our second child, Rylie, before Stewie was officially diagnosed. I had just found out I was pregnant with her when we had our first evaluation for his speech delay. We received the autism diagnosis a year later, when she was around 5 months old. Now, she is nearly a year old. I have been struggling with the decision to have another child. We don't know if Rylie is autistic, although I am leaning towards the notion that she's not. Only time will tell. If we were to start trying again, it will probably be in another year, when she turns 2. I think one of the biggest deciding factors will be how much Stewie has developed (he's on a great path right now) and whether or not Rylie shows any signs of delays or autism. I think if Stewie has a setback or if Rylie needs extra help, we may be done having children. Raising Stewie has been fun and difficult. As much as we want a third (and last) child, I don't know if we could handle it if there are too many factors involved.

Stewie does pretty well with Rylie. He was very gentle with her after she was born. A couple months later, he is getting impatient that she's not able to rough house with her, and he's starting to be more aggressive with her. I don't think it's a mean thing, just that he wants to play and she's just not there yet. We have to keep an eye on him to help ensure that he doesn't push her or be too rough with her when he gets jealous or frustrated. She's a tough kid, but there's only so much she can take. I look forward to the day they can play together and she is a little better able to defend herself, although I think that it will open another can of worms.

On the other hand, having Rylie has really helped Stewie with other behaviors. He is getting better at sharing his toys. There are only one or two toys that we don't allow her to play with. Instead of snatching his wood train puzzle pieces out of her hands, he gets upset and makes us do it. When Rylie is upset, Stewie will bring her a bottle or a toy to calm her down. When he is eating and she's making noise, he'll share some of his food with her, in hopes of making her happy and quiet.

My kids have been the highlight of my life (after my husband, of course), and I just think about the joy a third child will bring. Even if Rylie or baby #3 were to need extra help, I think we'd be able to handle it, just because the joys outweigh the hardships. We'll probably wait until Stewie is pottytrained, which is a process in progress. And hopefully the rumors that girls potty train faster than boys will hold true. Only time will tell. Until then, we'll enjoy our two wonderful children and be thankful that BC has not failed us yet.

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