As I sit and write this, we’re enjoying our first summer vacation for the year. Beautiful beaches, white velvety sand, sunny weather and families laughing and playing till all hours. We look around us. 2 kids building a sand castle. 3 kids walking along the beach with mom and dad, looking for sea shells. A brother and sister splashing in the hotel pool. Do you know where I’m going? Since the day Maya was born, we felt so blessed to have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I was already nearing 37 years and considered an older mother. Before her birth, there were the usual concerns. Per doctor’s orders, I had all the available prenatal tests done to determine potential genetic disorders. When Maya joined this world in the fall of 2007, she was breathtakingly exquisite and most importantly…healthy. Ernesto and I were so ecstatic with the birth of our little bundle of joy and for those first 24 months, we fully engaged in all the beautiful experiences of being first-time parents, but at times, we were exhausted and overwhelmed. We couldn’t even think about a 2nd child. The 3rd year was different. In hindsight, we felt we were ready and I was now 40…medically still able to have a child naturally, however finances were always an issue for us. Usually, in a marriage, there’s the practical spouse and the spender. Well, in our case, we both loved to induge in nice meals and travel. Also my husband showered his little girl with every toy on the planet. Sacrifices weren’t really in our vocabulary. We both worked during those years, but as the primary earner, I would fixate on each expense we incurred and feel trapped by our impractical ways, never knowing how to establish a budget and stick to it. It was a vicious cycle. Fast forward 5 1/2 years later, here we are with a much more grounded perspective, healthier lifestyle and on track with our financial future. Nevertheless, I’m approaching 46 and the odds of having another child are dramatically low and with the high cost of IVF or private adoption, it’s difficult to imagine how we would even realistically pursue this path. As for Maya, she has adjusted quite well to her ‘only child’ status. She makes friends at the drop of a hat and engages with everyone so easily. We live far away from family but when she reunites with her cousins, it’s as if she never left! No matter where we take her, she’s off playing without a care in the world. Sometimes I think we worry more her ‘only child’ status than she does, however occasionally she’ll wish for a baby sister. Not brother…but sister. Her justification is always “otherwise, who will go to the mall with me??” It’s no secret. Ernesto would love another child of our own (through natural means). I do too, but my career has also taken priority over the years and with that, comes stress, which inevitably takes a toll on the body. After pursuing a few cycles of alternative fertility procedures last year with a reproductive specialist, we were unable to conceive. The doctor advised us that IVF with the help of an egg donor would be the next step or we could always pursue adoption. Maya will be 9 in September. Part of me worries about starting all over again in my mid-forties but the other part feels that it’s possible. Ernesto is fearless. He dreams of a sibling for Maya and emphasizes the advantage we have with him as a stay-at-home dad. Ultimately, life will steer us where we need to go…but as I sit here and admire our beautiful daughter, imagining all the wonderful experiences that await her, I think to myself how fortunate we truly are. The bond we share is why you are here reading this blog today. As always, thank you for visiting us and following our story.