Why I’m Only Having One Child
When I was a little girl, I had all my dolls and stuffed animals lined up against the wall on my bed. They were all my babies and I dreamt that I’d have just as many real babies when I grew up.
Then I actually grew up and realized something: I hate kids. Don’t get me wrong; they’re cute, cuddly, and smell amazing. But then they actually need feeding, and actually poop and then don’t smell amazing, and that was something I just felt too selfish for. My dream was to be a writer who lived in Manhattan sipping martinis and babies just did not fit into that plan.
However, life takes you down paths you don’t expect. After I married my husband, the inevitable question, “When are you going to start having kids?” would blast me in the face like a firecracker.
It was then the idea started to form in my brain: maybe I did want a child. I’d watch TV shows with little cooing babies, and diaper commercials would make me cry. That was it. I wanted a baby. My husband and I tried for a while, with every month bringing disappointment and depression. I believed I needed a baby at that point, because it was going to solve all of my problems ‑ I’d have someone to love unconditionally (my husband loves me, but babies are different, ya know?), it would bring my husband and I closer, and we’d have a small happy family.
When I finally got pregnant in 2010, I was more than elated; I was in a whole new world of baby books, baby gear, baby clothes, baby everything. It was all I ever wanted. The reality of what I was getting myself into settled in after a few months and fear enveloped me. I also had a terrible pregnancy and had to be admitted to the hospital because I couldn’t keep anything down.
There were complications during my son’s birth: my fever rose to 104 degrees and though it was almost an emergency C-section, he finally came out on his own, but with issues. I wasn’t allowed to see my son for 24 hours after delivery. He was placed in the NICU while I was put in a room directly across from the “normal” nursery — listening all night to other babies crying, watching mothers and fathers and grandparents with their bundles of joy. It was traumatizing. I barely remember the first year of my son’s life because I had postpartum depression
Despite that, before my son was even a year old, the baby fever started again, and I convinced myself I, once again, needed another baby.
I had to really sit myself down and analyze the “why” behind my sudden need for a newborn when I was still only sleeping a few hours a day, if that.
I soon realized that I was being taught my entire life, by family and the media, that women should get married and have babies, that’s what is expected. With the internal pressure, I was making myself live a life I didn’t really want.
I love my son to the moon and back and would never take his life for granted, I’m proud and honored to be called “Mom.” Deep down, I knew what I wanted in my life but I let others influence my journey.
I’ve been called selfish for only having one child, for not allowing my son the experience of siblings. Actually, I think I’m the opposite ‑ by only having one child, I’m allowing my husband and myself to be better parents to the child we already have, who happens to also be special needs.
I’m also disabled — having more children could possibly be fatal to me. I don’t always have the strength to give everyone my life story when they accuse me of selfishness. My son wants for nothing and is the happiest child I’ve ever seen. I’m not selfish. I made the decision to be “one and done” with my son, my husband and myself in mind. To have more would be detrimental.
I’m not selfish. I’m human.