Please help talk me out of my guilt over having an only child - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know why but I've been really suffering (crying, depressed) for several weeks over this. I've been semi-OK with it before recently.

I never wanted to have kids at all. DH was neutral on the topic--whatever I wanted, fine. Then, at age 30, I suddenly decided I wanted one. DH agreed, and we were pregnant right away.

Well, it turns out I have a rare autoimmune disorder that is incompatiable with pregnacy (which remains unsymptomatic until one becomes pregnant). Most women with my disorder get very sick in the second trimester and cannot carry a child long enough for it to survive. As soon as I got sick, though, my OB/GYN transferred me to a high-risk hospital, where I stayed for several weeks, on a CNS suppressant to prevent a stroke or seizure, and developing kidney and liver dysfunction, before delivering my 2-pound preemie by emergency c-section. While I was at the hospital, which is a high-risk OB hospital specializing in this sort of thing, one other woman there with my illness died (her baby was in the NICU with mine, and the nurses told me she hadn't been as sick as I was). Understandably, all of this freaked out me and DH to no end.

Long story short, 8 years later, my DD is wonderful! Absolutely healthy and perfect.

My health has been poor since the pregnancy. I had severe hypertension for years after the pregnancy (which is very bad--there is a high stroke incidence at a young age in my family). I developed arthritis and Crohn's disease (other autoimmune disorders, which apparently got turned on by my pregnancy), I have had to have part of my intestines surgically removed.

But I LOVE being a Mom. It turns out I'm really good at it. It's come so naturally to me.

When DD was about 3 or 4, I went back to the OB/GYN group to talk about the possibilities of having another child. They very vehemently said ABSOLUTELY NO WAY should I risk it. They said I had 100% chance of getting sick again, and it would probably be worse next time. They said I would likely leave my child motherless. And of course I know that, and I didn't really want another one anyway, knowing that I could have a stroke and become disabled, or the baby probably could be disabled (DD only had a 25% chance of being "normal" as it was). But I always had in the back of my mind that it did work out OK in the end, and maybe it would one more time.

DH, of course, has been 100% against another child since DD's birth . . . which is so sad, he is a wonderful dad. As he says, he doesn't want to be a single dad, and would rather have a wife and DD than 2 DCs but not me.

We actually had a pregnancy scare when DD was 3, and I was TERRIFIED, not happy at all. DH was so terrified of getting me pregnant again he had a vasectomy.

Since then I've had pangs of wanting another, but lately, I feel just awful about DD not having a sibiling. Which I know is ridiculous!

I grew up with 3 siblings and found it horrible. I always wished I were an only child. We still fight more than we get along.

Every adult only child I know either says they loved being an only or it didn't affect their lives negatively in any way.

Even more importantly, DD LOVES being an only child. She gets very upset when DH and I talk about adoption (which we kick around from time to time, but neither of us really want to do). She's not missing out on anything--she loves traveling with us, has lots of friends, loves school, and tends to be an introverted person who needs her alone/down time. So, really suited to an only child life.

I know a large family would never be something I would want to live in again . . . but I think two kids, spaced 3-4 years apart, would have been ideal for my family. And now, I feel like my DD as an adult will be so alone when DH and I are dead. And I am probably not going to live a long life now, with all my medical problems. I just wish I would be leaving her with a sister or brother .

Please tell me I haven't ruined DD's life by being scared to risk another birth.
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#2 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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First off... Hugs. It's so difficult when your body won't do what you want it to do.


I am normally very big on siblings, but I definitely wouldn't risk a child going motherless... I definitely think that haven't ruined your dc's life. There are so many things that go into a happy childhood and adulthood and siblings are just one of them. Do you have close family that you can maybe foster a relationship with?

Also... If you do end up still wishing for another child-- have you considered surrogacy?

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#3 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Wow. I'm not sure what to say since you said that nobody can really sway you. You already understand that your DD will not be alone unless she's a hermit or something - she'll have friends, other relatives (you said you have siblings, so she has aunts and uncles and maybe even cousins?), and hopefully, most of all, a significant other and even a child or children of her own.

I'm an only child, and despite being a hermit myself (I have NO friends right now) I am most certainly not alone! I don't feel lonely. I am married to my wonderful husband and a mother to a child I love more than life itself.

Siblings don't make a person necessarily not alone either. I read many stories of people who don't even talk to their siblings.

Siblings are only ONE of MANY sources of support for a person.

I am very sorry to hear of your immune problems. You are obviously in a grieving process. It's hard, I grieve some stuff myself (I'm losing my vision, for example - and seem like I'm heading down the path of autoimmune stuff too - endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc, my mom even has MS). We have to take this one step at a time, one day at a time.

Do you think that maybe you are grieving for many things, and have kind of focused on the "only child" issue for some reason? Does it kind of symbolize something, or maybe it's just one thing you can work through without being overwhelmed by all the things you could grieve for?

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#4 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what to say since you said that nobody can really sway you. You already understand that your DD will not be alone unless she's a hermit or something - she'll have friends, other relatives (you said you have siblings, so she has aunts and uncles and maybe even cousins?), and hopefully, most of all, a significant other and even a child or children of her own.

I'm an only child, and despite being a hermit myself (I have NO friends right now) I am most certainly not alone! I don't feel lonely. I am married to my wonderful husband and a mother to a child I love more than life itself.

Siblings don't make a person necessarily not alone either. I read many stories of people who don't even talk to their siblings.

Siblings are only ONE of MANY sources of support for a person.

I am very sorry to hear of your immune problems. You are obviously in a grieving process. It's hard, I grieve some stuff myself (I'm losing my vision, for example - and seem like I'm heading down the path of autoimmune stuff too - endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc, my mom even has MS). We have to take this one step at a time, one day at a time.

Do you think that maybe you are grieving for many things, and have kind of focused on the "only child" issue for some reason? Does it kind of symbolize something, or maybe it's just one thing you can work through without being overwhelmed by all the things you could grieve for?
Thank you. I still would LOVE to hear from adult only children that they are happy and don't constantly suffer the lack of a sibiling. My brain knows it, but my heart needs to learn it. When I say that people's opinions don't sway me, I mean that I know that it's not possible for people to say that "Multi-child families are always wonderful!" or "Only children are all miserable!" But on threads like this, there are always a lot of those types of comments. I know neither of them is true always, of all families. It definitely helps me to hear from you, a content adult only child. It makes me feel that DD is not doomed to a life of loneliness owing to my stupid, horrible body.

You are right. I am definitely grieving the loss of my health.

I am also grieving because my mother had a massive stroke in December. Maybe that's it . . . I've really become scared of what will happen to DD if that happens to me when I am young. My mother lived, but is disabled now, and my whole life has been put on hold since then to care for her (by the way, as is usual in the multi-child familes I know, the vast majority of her care has gone to me and one of my siblings, but the help will end in 2 weeks when my sister moves back home . . . . then it's *all* on me).

Actually, as I type this out . . . I'm realizing . . . maybe I'm depressed. Like, clinically.
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#5 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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FWIW - my dad is an only, his dad was very ill and in a nursing home for much of his life, so it was pretty much him and his mom (who was an older mom - she was 40 when he was born). His mom has since passed away (and his dad had passed away before I was born) but he's not alone - he has my sister and I - and his wife's (my stepmom's) family has totally "adopted" him - he's closer to them then i think he ever was to his mom (I don't think they were very close). I guess my point is, though his "family" is all gone, he's not alone, by any means. He's another that is perfectly suited to being an only and really needs his alone time and such - I think having more family to deal with would be too much for him, tbh.

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#6 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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My DH is a very happy only. Most of the children born in the nations of China, Japan, Italy and others are only children and they aren't all going to grow up to be weird and lonely.

I know so, so many people like you and myself who would have probably been better off being only children. My sister is an additional burden instead of a help or a companion. She will never be helpful in caring for our parents when they're elderly- she's already completely unhelpful with grandparents even when they desperately need assistance. I'm 99% sure that if she ever ends up having children, I will end up adopting them. Which reminds me to ask, Did you ever consider adopting?

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Actually, as I type this out . . . I'm realizing . . . maybe I'm depressed. Like, clinically.
well the first thing to do is to address that. St. John's Wort has helped me a lot in the past but prescriptions work better for some people.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#7 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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It definitely helps me to hear from you, a content adult only child. It makes me feel that DD is not doomed to a life of loneliness owing to my stupid, horrible body.
I realized I didn't really say it directly in my post, but I'm not merely content, I'm happy

And I'm happy about being an only, too. I got all my parents' resources (time, energy, even money to have lessons and so on).

A little more abstractly, the world needs diversity as well. It seems like in the US, the ideal is to have an older boy and a younger girl. But a nation of big brother men and little sister women would be extremely limited. We need big sisters too. And little brothers. We need people who were the 3rd of 10 kids. We need all boy families. All girl families. And we need onlies!!! This kind of thing really does have an impact on who a person is, and that impact can certainly be good or bad or neutral - but I think in a loving, stable family the impact will always be positive, whether you're an only, the oldest of 3, the middle child, whatever.

I have no doubt your child will get the BEST out of being an only, being raised by two caring, involved parents.

I post on "only" threads when they come up, and so far it's been consistent that the ones that hated being onlies did not feel connected to their PARENTS. And it's completely valid, but the point being that it's not really about being an only, it's about the parents. Just like you can be the 3rd of 10 kids and either feel like you were completely lost in the crowd and on your own, or part of a great, close, wonderful family. It's not about the siblings, in the end, but the parents.

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I am also grieving because my mother had a massive stroke in December. Maybe that's it . . . I've really become scared of what will happen to DD if that happens to me when I am young. My mother lived, but is disabled now, and my whole life has been put on hold since then to care for her (by the way, as is usual in the multi-child familes I know, the vast majority of her care has gone to me and one of my siblings, but the help will end in 2 weeks when my sister moves back home . . . . then it's *all* on me).
Wow, that seems like the whole "only" thing really is related to some things you are going through. You are facing your mother's mortality as well as your own. You are facing being left "alone" by your mother. I'm sorry

My grandmother died a few years ago and it sent my mother reeling. She even had PTSD - not precisely because of my grandmother's death, but because of everything it dug up for my mother. (My mother was abused and abandoned by her parents, then adopted by my grandparents). She has certainly been exploring who she is in relation to family, and by extension, I've been doing similar things.

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Actually, as I type this out . . . I'm realizing . . . maybe I'm depressed. Like, clinically.
I think that's probable. You have the stress. You have compromised health. Your reserves are low. Look into adrenal fatigue, too, not that I think that's the biggest thing going on for you, but if you have it or are at risk for it (and I'm sure you are at least at risk) you should understand how important the basics of health (sleeping well, eating wholesome food, drinking enough water, avoiding sugar and caffeine, and particularly avoiding stress triggers) are to avoiding any further health complications.

Your daughter is happy and loved. Truly the thing she needs most from you is for you to stay as healthy as you can.

FYI if you hate pharmaceuticals, look into 5-HTP for depression. It's an amino acid (i.e. one of the components of protein).

Recommended reading:

The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr. James Wilson

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#8 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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I'm not an only, but I have an only.

I've mentioned this on other threads, but since you seem to want to hear stories about happy, adult onlies...

I have three friends who were only children. They are all happy, well-adjusted adults. They all have incredibly close relationships with their parents. All are partnered. They are all exceptionally generous people. One was in the Peace Corp and is now a doctor. One is a minister (with an only child of her own!). The last is an artist and teacher. When we told one of these friends about our firm intention not to have another, she said, "Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you 'have' to have another. I absolutely loved being an only and I wouldn't have things any other way."

And now my obligatory invitation: Come join us in the Mamas of Only Children tribe!
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#9 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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this book may or may not appeal to you: "Maybe One" by Bill Mckibben

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

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#10 of 25 Old 04-12-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I am an only child.

I never ever remember wishing for a sibling. I do not currently wish for a sibling. While I can see that some people do get a great deal of pleasure from having a sibling, I would not trade my sibling-free life for that, because then my life would have been very different and wouldn't have been *my* life, and many things I have loved about my life would not have come to pass.

I know that when my parents go, I won't have a sibling to share that with. But I also have seen plenty of cases where people with sibings are unable to lean on them in that situation. I've seen people who are very distant from their sibs. I've seen families where the death of the parents effectively ends the relationship between the children.

There are no guarantees.

What I try to say is that - if you had siblings, you don't understand the life of an only, in the same way that a man could not really understand the life of a woman or vice versa. A childhood with siblings is different than a childhood without siblings. They each have their pros and cons. Your child's childhood is not going to be like yours. It's not going to have some of the experiences you treasure - but its going to have some things that are benefits that *you* won't truly be able to understand.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#11 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I am an only child.

I don't really know what it is like to have siblings so how can I miss it? I have never felt alone, even when I moved 3000 miles from home by myself. I think that being an only child makes people pretty socially self-reliant; I know it did me. I will be very sad when my parents eventually die but I will not feel like I am alone. I have my husband, my friends, my extended family and most recently and profoundly, my son (who is currently also an only). I have myself.

My husband has a sister, but for all the relationship they have he might as well be an only child too. They are as different as night and day and never ever speak to one another unless they are in the same room (rare as they live 2000 miles apart). So you never know. Sibling relationships are not a given.
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#12 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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Thank you. I still would LOVE to hear from adult only children that they are happy and don't constantly suffer the lack of a sibiling. My brain knows it, but my heart needs to learn it. When I say that people's opinions don't sway me, I mean that I know that it's not possible for people to say that "Multi-child families are always wonderful!" or "Only children are all miserable!" But on threads like this, there are always a lot of those types of comments. I know neither of them is true always, of all families. It definitely helps me to hear from you, a content adult only child. It makes me feel that DD is not doomed to a life of loneliness owing to my stupid, horrible body.

You are right. I am definitely grieving the loss of my health.

I am also grieving because my mother had a massive stroke in December. Maybe that's it . . . I've really become scared of what will happen to DD if that happens to me when I am young. My mother lived, but is disabled now, and my whole life has been put on hold since then to care for her (by the way, as is usual in the multi-child familes I know, the vast majority of her care has gone to me and one of my siblings, but the help will end in 2 weeks when my sister moves back home . . . . then it's *all* on me).

Actually, as I type this out . . . I'm realizing . . . maybe I'm depressed. Like, clinically.
First off, your body is not stupid or horrible. You conceived your amazing and beautiful daughter. Your body was living with a disorder, you had no clue about and then when most women who go through what you did die or lose their babies. . . YOU fought through and your beautiful and amazing dd is alive today due to your wonderfully, amazing and strong body; even if it isn't capable of what you demand of it.

You definately have every right to mourn the loss of your health. You have been through so much, but look at what you have accomplished. Your sweet child is here because of you.

I don't think you are dooming your daughter. I am a family of 6 girls and i know that the responsibility of my parents when the time comes, will be on my shoulders.

I was a surrogate for an older couple. We had a girl and she will be an only. I fought loads of guilt for awhile, afraid of what she'd feel when her parents of advanced ages would pass and she would be left alone. But, that wasn't focusing on all the amazing things her parents could offer her. I didn't take the time to remember how much love they held when i met them and agreed to carry for them. What great parents they already were, before she was ever conceived. The gifts in her life will be different than the gifts i have received in the life as a girl in a family of 6 girls. One is not better than the other. They ALL are gifts and to be cherished. We create the reality we want for ourselves, i believe that you can do the same for your feelings on this issue. Many hugs.

I 2nd the 5 htp, it is an amazing supplement.

Loving mom to 2energy.gif ,1jammin.gif , & 1dog2.gif . Surrodaughter 4/09
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#13 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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First off, your body is not stupid or horrible. You conceived your amazing and beautiful daughter. Your body was living with a disorder, you had no clue about and then when most women who go through what you did die or lose their babies. . . YOU fought through and your beautiful and amazing dd is alive today due to your wonderfully, amazing and strong body; even if it isn't capable of what you demand of it.

You definately have every right to mourn the loss of your health. You have been through so much, but look at what you have accomplished. Your sweet child is here because of you.
.
Aka Mommy, I am so glad that you wrote this. Stella Luna, it sounds like you are grieving and that this is a very hard time for you. My heart goes out to you. You know that your child is a wonderful gift to you - just wanted to add that you are also a wonderful gift to her and this world.
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#14 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I STRONGLY recommend that you read the book "The Joy of the Only Child." Our dd will likely remain an only, and whenever I start to waffle on that decision my mind comes back to things from that book- it seriously moved me beyond believing that onlies "can turn out okay" to believing, very fervently, that being the only child can be just an awesomely wonderful thing. My dd's life will have a richness very different from that of her friend with siblings-- and when I had a recent pg scare it only reinforced my feeling that having another child would be taking something away from my dd (I know that many parents of more than one say that they view additional kids as gifts for eachother, and I guess I just feel differently) It sounds like your daughter is a happy child with loving, attentive parents-- she'll be/do great! She definitely needs YOU more than she needs any hypothetical sibling. (and she needs you WELL-- so take care of yourself, mama! )
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#15 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I was an only for 20 years (my Mom had an oops baby at 47!!) and I loved it. I am happy and well adjusted.

We have an only. We love him and love our perfect little family of three (well four if you count the dog ).
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#16 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Stella Luna, I'm sorry, you've been through quite a bit.

One possible insight: it seems to me that you are mourning the loss of choices. Options. You say you weren't going to have children at all, then you changed your mind and chose to get pregnant. Then this disorder developed and it almost took your child away, almost took YOU away. You and your daughter dodged a bullet.

Now you're longing to have another child even though your head says that wouldn't really be right for you. My hunch is that you are railing against having the ability to choose stolen away from you.

That and your mom's stroke, the hit to your health and yes, I'm sure you're experiencing quite a bit of depression! It's painful. I urge you to take care of yourself and get the depression treated.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#17 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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You are not ruining your child's life just because she won't have a sibling. However, you dying in the process of having another child would definitely "ruin" her life for a long while, and she'd never be the same without you.

I don't know why there is such a push for kids to have siblings. It's nice, but not necessary. Does she have friends that are welcome at your home OFTEN? I think that's important.

You have the best reason of all to not even consider another... your health. Some people are only meant to parent one child, for whatever reason, and there is nothing wrong with that. If your dd is happy as an only child, then that makes it even better for you (as far as the guilt goes) because she is not asking for a little brother or sister.

There are several threads on here about only children. What I found most helpful were the responses from adult only children who really enjoyed it. Their parents were there for them emotionally, so they weren't lonely. The kids who had the problems seemed to be the ones with distant or even abusive parents and these kids had lonely, unhappy childhoods. A sibling would have made it better for them, but it wouldn't have improved their relationships with their parents. I really think it is all about the type of relationship you have with your only child. IF it is close with you and your dh and you foster friendship and fun with other kids, then I think they will be okay.

This is coming from a mom who will most likely have an only child - 99% chance. I have a laundry list of reasons why she will be an only, but I still get the pangs for a baby. But, in reality, I know it's not the best decision for our family.

Good luck to you and I wish you good health.
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#18 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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I just want to take a little tangent.

I have had fertility issues and my first child died in a chord accident - where the very thing that connects mothers to their unborn babes and nourishes them is the cause of their death. It was really hard to go on to another pregnancy after losing Emily and I don't think I would have done it if I'd had a living child - it took all my mental and emotional energy to get through it.

When we feel betrayed by our bodies it is really a deep pain and almost a shame. I am really sorry that you are having to go through that about your own situation.

Although I know right now you are expressing your worry about the impact on your child (will SHE be unhappy) the truth is her life will be her life, sibling or no, born now, to you guys as parents. You can set her up for happiness in a lot of ways and hope she gets the last bit on her own.

But I suspect that some of that worry may actually be anger and pain just at your own body. You had a traumatic experience and in fact it's YOUR life that is also impacted and it may be your sadness about not being able to have another child that really is the core of some of that worry.

I would encourage you to make some space for your grief and sadness and pain and fear that you have been through and hopefully that will help. You may want to look into counselling with someone who specializes in PTSD.

In other words, I think your daughter will be completely fine - but will you be? Hugs to you.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#19 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Aka mommy View Post
First off, your body is not stupid or horrible. You conceived your amazing and beautiful daughter. Your body was living with a disorder, you had no clue about and then when most women who go through what you did die or lose their babies. . . YOU fought through and your beautiful and amazing dd is alive today due to your wonderfully, amazing and strong body; even if it isn't capable of what you demand of it.
Wow . . . thank you . I never look at it that way, but DH used to say something like that to me after I had DD . . . I'd be so down on myself for having such a horrible pregnancy, and his view was always, "You shouldn't even be able to have had a child! But you DID! And she's PERFECT!" Thank you for reminding me of that angle. My body may not be made to have children, but it did survive a huge onslaught, and give me enough extra weeks of gestation to have a living child.
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#20 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
Most of the children born in the nations of China, Japan, Italy and others are only children and they aren't all going to grow up to be weird and lonely.
Absolutely brilliant. Why can't I think of these things myself? Thank you.
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#21 of 25 Old 04-13-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by savithny View Post
If you had siblings, you don't understand the life of an only, in the same way that a man could not really understand the life of a woman or vice versa. A childhood with siblings is different than a childhood without siblings. They each have their pros and cons. Your child's childhood is not going to be like yours. It's not going to have some of the experiences you treasure - but its going to have some things that are benefits that *you* won't truly be able to understand.
This is absolutely right. See, this is such great advice I'm getting, it really is making me feel better. When I think of my childhood, it's mostly memories of getting in fights with my sister. Getting spanked for fighing with my sister. Being totally ignored and neglected when the two babies came along. Everything being a money issue, or being unable to do things because the babies were too little. And I felt lonely all the time because my parents always ignored me and my closest-in-age sister and I had a horrible, toxic relationship. There were good things too, but this is what I *feel* the most when I remember my childhood.

My DD will not have any of that . . . thank God. She may have moments of loneliness, but so did I, all the time. She may not have another child to sit with in amusement park rides, but she has me and DH. She will not grow up with anyone calling her names, punching her, or getting her in trouble.
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#22 of 25 Old 04-14-2010, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know why there is such a push for kids to have siblings. It's nice, but not necessary. Does she have friends that are welcome at your home OFTEN? I think that's important.
This societal push to have 2 is a big part of it for me . . . we are in the suburbs, and it seems everyone has 2 or 3 kids. At DD's school, I run into very few only-child families. (No one seems to have more than 3, either.) I do have two friends with only children who are 100% happy with that. They both actually think I'm crazy to even think about having a baby---they are that secure. I just adore my DD so, so much . . . I want to do nothing that will ever hurt her life in any way.

She does have friends over often. She has a "BFF" in the neighborhood who she plays with constantly and is in school with. They have been best friends for 4 years now and they call each other sisters. Friends are welcome here any time & all the time. DD usually wants less play time than I set up . . . probably I am trying too hard. But she does have several good close friends, and her "BFF" (I feel so silly typing that out).
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#23 of 25 Old 04-14-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I just wanted to chime in and say that my dh is an only child. I read him your post and he was very adamant that being an "only" was a very positive experience for him. He is one of the sweetest, most selfless people I've ever met, and he has lot of friends and extended family that make up for any lack of siblings. There are certainly times when he's expressed that it might have been nice to have a sibling, but who knows--there's no guarantee that if he did that person wouldn't be a jerk or that they'd be particularly close.

You made huge personal sacrifices to be a mother, so enjoy it! We always wonder about what we don't have, but we shouldn't let that spoil what we DO have. And there is always adoption if you think adding to your family is really what you're called to do. s

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#24 of 25 Old 04-14-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I couldn't read this and not send you hugs. I never got as far along in conceiving as you did, but I do know what it's like to have your body betray you. We had to go the adoption route, and love our son so much we were considering doing it again. We really want him to have a sibling, so that, as you said, he's not alone once DH and I are gone. But I'm not all that young (over 40) and I'm not so sure it's the right thing to do.

When I weigh the pros and cons, I realize that DS (while still very young) is extremely social. He won't be alone. He'll definitely have friends, and hopefully a wife and family of his own by the time we die. I have several friends who have siblings (one who has EIGHT) and when their mothers became terminally ill, only one sibling bore the brunt. Even the one with 8 sibs did most of the work herself. No one wanted to step up. Everyone had an excuse. So giving your daughter a sibling doesn't guarantee either one of them sibling support in their adult lives.

I have one sister. I love her very much. We wouldn't be friends if we weren't related. We have NOTHING in common. When I talk to her on the phone, I hear nothing but what her poodle is wearing. Nothing about her life. I have no idea who her friends are, what her job is like, or whether she's dating anyone. When my mom needed someone to help her clean out my grandfather's apartment, my sister volunteered. I thought it would be great for the three of us to go together, one last time, to "Grandma's house." As soon as my sister found out I got time off to go too, she bailed. She decided she'd rather save her vacation days for a trip to Hawaii with her friends. (She had enough to do both... We only took 2 days.) I can see how it's going to be when my parents die. I live close to them, she doesn't. It's all me. I'm ready for it, but it makes me sad.

Also, my dad was an only child and LOVED it. He grew to be a very independent, very social, funny man. I'm hoping my son will do the same. If you daughter at 8 years old is saying she doesn't want/need a sibling, I'd definitely consider that in the decision.

I hope you can find peace with all that you've been through. It sounds very stressful and very painful and maybe you are depressed, maybe you're not. Maybe it's a hormone imbalance. Maybe it's just overwhelming to think about all of this! (I know it is for me...)

Many many hugs to you and your family.
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#25 of 25 Old 04-15-2010, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you MDC mamas. You really know what to say . I am feeling better. I tend to get all wrapped up in my head and need clear-thinking people to pull me out. I can't talk to anyone about this issue IRL because my friends and family think I am crazy for being sad not to have another, as being pg almost killed me.

I am realizing that I really am grieveing a number of things . . . my health and my mother's . . . and the fact that it's hitting me that I really will never have another baby. That really is very, very sad. I am one of those rare moms who LOVED the infant and toddler years, and to know I'll never go through that again is so hard. Of course, if I had had another baby 4 years ago (which is when I should have done it, if I were going to), it would be over now anyway .

I know DD will be OK. She does have two cousins (who will be her only two cousins as well). My sister is moving to one of my favorite towns in the world sometime this year, which is an hour from me. I'm tossing around the idea of talking DH and DD into moving there too when she does . . . that would be really nice, and the idea makes me really happy. My sister and I are very close, so it would be like giving DD a little brother and sister, in a way, if we lived closer. And if we don't move (I know DD and DH will be against the idea), they'll still see each other as much as they do now, which is once a month or so.
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