“Just One”

This was posted on Facebook and I loved it so much that I asked Jeanette if I could post it here. I hope you like it as much as I do.

just-one

 

I disliked being pregnant. I originally wrote “hated” but there were some pluses to consider, so “disliked” seems more appropriate. I mean, I had a great looking pregnancy, only gaining 40lbs and establishing a very cute caboose, but inside I felt crummy. I was nauseous all the time, headaches, restless legs, moodiness…I remember one time standing on the stairs, holding a laundry bin, staring at my husband and trying to figure out how to wrap that bin around his neck. FURY and tears. I remember being exhausted all the time. I remember my friends stopped inviting me out, because they were single and awesome party animals. I remember being scared about whether I’d be a good mom or not. I never thought of myself as ‘Mom’. Wait, do I want to be called ‘Mommy’, or ‘Mum’?

I’ve been pregnant 4 times, with one awesome kid to show for it. I’m not complaining, my kid makes some moms playfully jealous…he, like yours, is perfect. Those three horrific losses gutted me, in the “painful-lost breath-heaving-sobs” way. The “I-can’t-do-this-again” way. They are deeply personal experiences, and there are so many of us who have them. Gut-wrenching episodes of red-eyed murmuring.

As a way of therapy and to wind my way to the point of my writing, allow me to share my experience with you.

My first pregnancy was a thrilling thing! I couldn’t believe how EASY it was! I know how many struggle. I was 32 years old, and I was going to be a mom (or mommy, still undecided). I scoured through books, I wanted to be perfect. The pregnancy was so painful, I was very sick and dizzy. I began spotting at 9 weeks but the doctor couldn’t say what, if anything, might be wrong. Every week there were questions…what’s happening? Will I lose the baby? At 17 weeks, exhausted and stressed, my baby’s heart stopped beating, and my womb became a tomb. I had to have a D&C to remove the “products of conception”, two D&C’s actually since not only my mind and heart, but my body wouldn’t let go…it tried to regrow the “leftover tissue”. It was a “triploidy”, a chromosomal issue.

It took a year to recover physically and mentally, during that time I made best friends with the early loss clinicians, they are amazing. I can’t tell you how many times I cried in front of them, the really ugly cries. It sucked that they were located in the maternity ward. That the waiting room was shared with excited friends and family. Don’t worry, that’s no longer the case as they moved the department to a new floor…I guess they saw the cruelty.

Next pregnancy was a huge success, 42 weeks and a happy, healthy baby boy. Nothing big here, just lost a gallbladder, sprained a foot and grew hair in weird places.

Post-son, we talked a lot about having another child, what that means to us and to our son. I’m not going to lie, I thought about how scary pregnancy is with what I experienced, and the fact that I was now 3 years older (35). I also thought about how much money it costs to raise a kid, how much stress on the marriage, on my career, on my individuality (cause I’m not just a mom y’kno!).

Our hearts wanted another child, and we tried, and lost. Tried and lost. One at 12 weeks (I found out on my birthday that there was no heartbeat), and the other a blighted ovum.

And now I’m very close to getting to my point…thanks for sticking with me so far…recently my husband and I decided that one is enough, that our one is perfect (even in his tyranny), that one is okay. We had to deal with the “but he needs a sibling” statements and the, “who will he lean on when you guys pass away” questions from friends and family. And, of course, my mother’s classic, “but I really want a granddaughter” *sigh*.

I wrangled with the “just one” thoughts for months before making our decision. We talked through our estate planning, and ways to compensate for the lack of sibling companionship, by spending more time with his cousins (they live close), and arranging lots of play dates… I reached out to other mommies I knew who had “just one”, to hear of any regrets (none reported).

My point…
Whether it’s a family with no kids, one kid, two kids, blue kids, we all just need support and kindness…

No. We are not having another child.
One and done.

To the friends and family of those who have tried and lost, or simply decided that they “did it right the first time” (rally-call of the one and done crew), please support the decision, it’s sometimes not easily made and usually backed by some heavy heartaches.

And to the moms who have found themselves struggling with whether to have another or not, I completely understand the battle. Feel free to reach out.

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33 Comments

  • My husband and I decided shortly after my beautiful daughter was born that we were going to only have one. It was right for us and our family, and never had second thought it. What drove me nuts is you just can’t have one comments especially from my father. He moved to Vancouver Island shortly after I got pregnant (pretty sure my evil step mother had something to do with that), and wasn’t even there to help. We did it all on our own and now our beautiful, compassionate, smart and funny daughter is 23 years old. I recently asked her is she ever wanted a sibling , she said she really never thought about it.
    It makes me sad to hear all the woman who went through all those miscarriages before they finally got their beautiful babies. hugs to you

  • I’m one and done, but not for a lack of trying. My mother in law still likes to loudly and publicly announce how much she wants another granddaughter (we have the only girl out of her 7 grandchildren), and my face still goes red. Sometimes it isn’t in the cards, but I’m so thankful for my daughter because she’s the best thing I’ve ever done in life. Thanks for the great read!

  • I had a great pregnancy & birth experience. I’m enjoying my 6 month old son immensely. One seems just right to me! I do feel the need to justify this decision, which is unfortunate. I am 36, but that isn’t really why I like the idea of one kid.

  • Thank you. I really needed to read this right now. We’re currently going through the talks of being one and done. After a traumatic birth and severe ppd I don’t know if I can go through it again.

  • [email protected] says:

    We are "one and done" as well for a slew of reasons… But primarily we found peace with it by promising eachother to retire early and summer in Italy when she is all grown up… It wasn’t easy because we fought with the "but she needs a sibling" thing, but I didn’t have one and am perfectly self sufficient and my husband has three and isn’t close to any of them. We are raising a wonderful, independent, smart and resourceful daughter… Who will one day leave our home to live her own life… And when it’s just the two of us again, we’ll spend those years traveling and making memories of the next chapter of our lives. One and done gets us there, and it works for us… No apologies given! 😉

  • I will reiterate, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! We are still undecided but because of multiple factors may be okay with our beauty 🙂 You have captured the message I want to give to people daily. Now that our son is two I get asked multiple times a week (sometimes a day) when are you having another???

  • I can completely identify with this! My first pregnancy was perfect, but I’ve had two miscarriages (one at 12 weeks and the other at 6) since then which tore me up emotionally. And now that my son is almost 4, the questions of when we’ll have another are starting to ramp up. I go back and forth all the time. My son is perfect, and we’ve found our groove and I can have me time again and do I really want another? What’s wrong with only one? But then again, sometimes the visceral desire for another living baby is so intense I just can’t stand it, and I think I’m willing to risk it all again because I want it so badly. This stuff is HARD. I’m glad you’ve made your decision and are at peace with it. I’m still trying to make mine.

  • [email protected] says:

    My first pregnancy was a partial molar pregnancy (triploidy) followed by 2 healthy children. Still, I get tons of questions of when are we going to have more?? Most people do not understand that any pregnancy takes my heart into my hands. Its not just a new pregnancy, its all the new worries of another molar pregnancy/miscarriage. I just need to keep my sanity, its tough to give all that away to risk being pregnant.

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