I have one child. I get asked constantly if I am having more. I realize that it's an off-the-cuff comment that people don't put much thought into. I get it. What they don't realize is for me, it's a loaded question.
Yes, I realize my son will be lonely, might hate us later, might think it's not fair.
Yes, I know people judge us and make assumptions that aren't true like we are selfish.
Yes, I realize that there is variety of reasons why people only have one child.
Here is mine: My first pregnancy did not go that well.
It started with falling down the stairs the day I found out I was pregnant and breaking my wrist. I ended up having an emergency c-section after 13 hours of labor and had a healthy baby boy. Until he was 36 hours old and a nurse from out of nowhere decided to do a blood test and his bilirubin levels were "off the charts" and he was taken by ambulance to a bigger hospital in their critical care unit.
My husband went with him, I could not even move from my c-section and I was not discharged yet from the hospital. By phone, my husband and I agreed to a blood transfusion called IVIG to combat the bilirubin levels.
We found out that my husband and I have a rare blood type incompatibility that caused this in our son.
Due to other complications, we spent 14 days in the hospital. MRIs and cat scans were done. Radiology and Neurology couldn't agree on the readings, so we were told wait and see. High levels of bilirubin like our son experienced almost always cause brain damage.
I spent the first two years of his life seeing doctors every three months and checking his progress.
We met a very nice specialist in this field that told us almost all pregnancies with this blood type issue end in miscarriage, and our son was one in a million.
We can separately have children, just not with each other. You have to really love your spouse to hear that kind of news.
Our dream of a house full of children quickly diminished and was replaced by overwhelming gratitude.
We are thankful and feel blessed every single day.
We were never going to try for another one. We have a healthy, happy 3-1/3-year-old. We did always wonder 'what if?'
I got pregnant with an IUD in this year. I had it removed. Everything looked fine for a month.
Between being shocked and unprepared, we told people and even bought paint for the nursery.
We thought we hit the lottery twice.
We beat the odds before.
I went for an ultrasound and left with no picture because they could not find a heartbeat.
I waited for another two weeks before they confirmed that I miscarried.
I waited another 3 ½ weeks before I actually miscarried. I hemorrhaged for six hours and lost so much blood I am still struggling with the effects, such as low iron.
I gained 20 lbs. with nothing to show for it.
I went through all the stages of grief and finally pulled myself out of depression.
I don't have to wonder 'what if?' anymore. I lived through it.
So yes, we are selfish. We can't risk losing another baby or maybe even me in the process.
I am a mother of one.
He's my one and only.