Growing up as an only child, I swore I’d never do it to my kid. Being an only child was boring and it was oftentimes lonely. My friends all had brothers and sisters and I was so very jealous. I saw the fights, I saw the snitching, I saw the ongoing battle royale that was living with siblings. On the flip side, I saw the love, the fierce loyalty and the implicit trust that there was always going to be someone there who loved you. Even if they currently hated you, they loved you. And that was that.
Then, I had my daughter. It started with a gnarly pregnancy where I lost over 20 pounds in the first 4 months. Morning sickness is a euphemism. It was more like morning, noon, night, middle of the night, after meals, on an empty stomach, vomiting Zofran hell. Morning sickness, my ass. Add to that a separation at 5 months. Pregnancy was not the beautiful journey of growing a life and look you’re glowing and someone brings you ice cream and pickles at 3am and the nursery is looking wonderful and blah blah blah that I was led to believe. The part about growing a life was pretty neat, I’ll admit. My daughter is 7 and I still miss feeling her kick inside my belly. Everything else? Never again. Nope. Not gonna happen.
Just in case the pregnancy wasn’t enough to scare me away from having more kids, my water broke at 9pm on a Thursday night as I was heading out to buy toilet paper. 4 weeks early. I was alone at my apartment, no car seat, no crib, no packed bag, no nothing. God bless Amanda Housand for coming to get me immediately, calming me down and not visibly freaking out that I was leaking amniotic fluid onto her front passenger seat. Yeah…still sorry about that one, Amanda!
I won’t get into detail here about all the hospital shenanigans. One day, it’ll likely come out. Long story short, my labor stopped. However, since my water had broken, I couldn’t go anywhere until the baby was on the outside. So then yayyyy, Pitocin! No, dude. Boo. Boo to inducing labor. Pitocin contractions are like regular contractions on steroids. With knives and knowledge of martial arts and no desire to play by the rules. So anyway, 19 1/2 hours after my water broke, my little rebel made her way into the world. And didn’t breathe. And scared the ever loving piss out of me. I had never felt that level of devastation before and I haven’t since. Thank God, 4 hours in NICU and she was brought back to me. She was a little squirt (5 lbs, 4 oz) because she was about a month early, but no difficulties other than being small. She’s still small.
Ok, so just for the fun of it, let’s say that the pregnancy AND the labor and delivery hadn’t completely closed my mind to the thought of having another child. Enter my daughter. Because she was so tiny, I was instructed to feed her every 3 hours. As in, wake her up to feed her. Every 3 hours. For 6 months. So that was fun. Oh and because I was a broke single mom, I went back to work when she was 8 weeks old. I think back to those days and I swear I don’t know how we made it through. If it weren’t for my parents, we wouldn’t have. I can pretty much guarantee that.
And then the little baby girl started growing up and giving us little glimpses into the wonderfully unique person she was quickly becoming. I knew then that I was in for it. One and done. Thanks but no thanks, one and done and that’s the end of it.
Many years down the road, I met a wonderful man, who happened to have a daughter of his own. And she was little and snuggly and sweet and pudgy and smart and zomg but still, no reaction from my jaded ovaries. Nothing doing. Because you know what’s harder than raising one strong willed and spirited child? RAISING TWO OF THEM! Ha, it strikes me all the time that people do this on purpose. They purposefully have more than one kid. And I’m constantly blown away. Anyway, long story short (HAHAHAHAHA, sorry about that) we have 2 children and love them both very very much. Wouldn’t change the situation if we could. But seriously. We’re not having one “of our own” to “complete the family” or whatever else you want to say to try to make it happen. No way, Jose. I was one and done. Now we’re two and through.