Any Moms of An Only Child Tribe - Page 39 - Mothering Forums
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#1141 of 1646 Old 02-09-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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On the dog theme-- have any of your worried about your onlies bonding extra strongly with a pet and then having to face its eventual loss? Our dog is now about 9 years old (beagle mix, so she probably has another 4-7 years or so), and I've wondered if we should maybe get another, younger, dog before this one gets really old. Does that make any sense? Have you all given it any thought? I know that she'll be really upset when the times comes anyway, but I wonder if having another dog already part of the family would be of some comfort (gosh-- I really hadn't recognized the echoes of our conversation about losing an only child until just as I write this!)
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#1142 of 1646 Old 02-22-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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about pets, i think it all depends on the child. as one of three, I bonded really strongly with my pets and was devastated when any of them died. my sister also bonded with pets, but was totally nonchalant about their deaths. my brother didn't seem to have any connection with animals at all
I don't really think being an only would make a big difference.

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#1143 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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I haven't had a chance to read through all 58 pages of this thread yet, lol, so forgive me if this has been addressed.

But, is there anyone else who only has one, by choice, but still feels guilty about it? Almost everyone I meet that only has one child, it's not by choice. I hate that sometimes I am made to feel like a bad parent because I choose for my DD to be an only child. I am 36 years old, my DH is 42. We didn't have any trouble conceiving, we decided to wait.

I'm sick of hearing people say "You need to have another one" and the most annoying thing now is when people ask my DD "Don't you want a brother or sister?". How freaking unfair is it to ask a child who has no control over the situation a question like that? I'm tired of hearing about how she needs a sibling so she'll always have a best friend. I have two brothers who I talk to a few times a year. Just because you have a sibling it doesn't mean that you have a best friend for life.

Anyway, lately I've been having guilt issues (I guess people's comments have finally gotten to me). I am a SAHM and my DD is 4. She's in preschool 2 days a week. We do other activities as well. I try to get her interacting with other kids as much as possible. But, whenever it's just her and I at home, she asks me constantly "Mom, will you play with me?" Sometimes I have things to do around the house and I just can't stop and play with her (although if I can, I certainly will). It breaks my heart when I have to tell her over and over "I can't right now". Does she really think I'd rather fold laundry or wash dishes instead of playing with her? It just makes me feel awful, like I'm depriving her of having a sibling. And it's worse because almost every friend that we play with, they have a brother or sister.

Anyway, sorry this got long. I just hope I found a place where someone will actually understand how I feel.
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#1144 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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Maybe there is a book out there w/quick comebacks for these rude comments. I tend to be too stunned when people say things like this to reply.

I deal with similar comments as well, and my DS is only 10 months old. One "friend" told me that my birth control will probably fail anyway. Why? I don't know. Others figure I will change my mind. However, I do have a good friend who chose to have only one child. That child is now 22, but I've known her since she was 8. She's an incredible person, and can't help but think that part of that is because her mother knew her capacity, and followed it despite the urging of her (huge) family to have more children.

Having a brother or sister does not guarantee a playmate either. I have 3 nephews that are very close in age. They rarely play together, and prefer to play with their friends and/or mother.

I think it's important to filter out all the comments from others. In your heart, is your family complete?
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#1145 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I haven't had a chance to read through all 58 pages of this thread yet, lol, so forgive me if this has been addressed.

But, is there anyone else who only has one, by choice, but still feels guilty about it? Almost everyone I meet that only has one child, it's not by choice. I hate that sometimes I am made to feel like a bad parent because I choose for my DD to be an only child. I am 36 years old, my DH is 42. We didn't have any trouble conceiving, we decided to wait.

I'm sick of hearing people say "You need to have another one" and the most annoying thing now is when people ask my DD "Don't you want a brother or sister?". How freaking unfair is it to ask a child who has no control over the situation a question like that? I'm tired of hearing about how she needs a sibling so she'll always have a best friend. I have two brothers who I talk to a few times a year. Just because you have a sibling it doesn't mean that you have a best friend for life.

Anyway, lately I've been having guilt issues (I guess people's comments have finally gotten to me). I am a SAHM and my DD is 4. She's in preschool 2 days a week. We do other activities as well. I try to get her interacting with other kids as much as possible. But, whenever it's just her and I at home, she asks me constantly "Mom, will you play with me?" Sometimes I have things to do around the house and I just can't stop and play with her (although if I can, I certainly will). It breaks my heart when I have to tell her over and over "I can't right now". Does she really think I'd rather fold laundry or wash dishes instead of playing with her? It just makes me feel awful, like I'm depriving her of having a sibling. And it's worse because almost every friend that we play with, they have a brother or sister.

Anyway, sorry this got long. I just hope I found a place where someone will actually understand how I feel.

To answer your question, no I don't ever feel guilty. But DD is only 2 so maybe that will come. I think I try to focus on what I am able to give DD b/c we don't have more than one child. I mean, I do feel guilty when I have other things to do around the house and have to keep telling her, "not right now", but OMG, I would have even less time to give her if she had to share me. I guess the argument is that she would have someone else to play with, but I don't really buy that. Most of the families I know with more than one find that that there may be playing together, but there is also arguing together. The very idea just stresses me out. And there's also the fact that time spent with a sibling is not the same as time spent with a parent. So while another child might make for a live-in playmate, it does not negate the need for one-on-one time with a parent. And frankly, this is hard enough to manage with one.

As a side note, I grew up as an only. My mom was a single parent and she worked long and hard. This did not keep us from having a very close relationship, and I certainly don't feel any negative feelings about her not being able to spend time with me every time I wanted her to. HTH.
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#1146 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Thank you ladies--you really did make me feel better. And Raingyrl (hope I spelled that right! ) Yes...I do feel that my family is complete.
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#1147 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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You are not the first or last Mom to say no not now... I heard that a lot as a child. Especially when she was dealing with my younger brother.

I am mom of an only because of circumstances... but then again not really, because we did make the decision not to adopt at this time either. May in a few years but then again maybe not. Cuz dang it, our family works just peachily.

P.S. DS is 7 and the guilt has never really come except when he asks for a baby, which is rarer and rarer these days. I have enough friends that I can borrow (babysit) a baby to help him see the joys of diapers and bookcase clearing crawlers. teehee

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#1148 of 1646 Old 02-27-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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comic wisecracks:

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] wouldn't you like a Lamborghini?

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] will you give me one? :

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] nah, that's what all the other kids have. I want an xBox

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] yeah, I'm running out of small animals to torture

keep em coming!

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#1149 of 1646 Old 02-28-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
comic wisecracks:

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] will you give me one? :


My dd has had a sister for more than a year. She's imaginary. It cuts down on the food bills.

When dd and I told our preschool teacher how much dd loves babies, she said that dd would be a lovely mother. I like that reply.

I don't feel guilty. I owe dd a mother, I don't owe her a sibling. I don't believe in creating more people for the first person that we created. To me, that is not a good enough reason to make a new person.

I'd like to make another person because I enjoy helping children grow up, not as a person who is "for" someone else.

I grew up with two siblings and a lot of parental time is spent mediating - it's not all happy playtime between siblings.

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#1150 of 1646 Old 02-28-2009, 09:12 PM
 
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the other day i was talking about this with a friend, and she told me that when she was about 20, her mother admitted that she'd had her second child simply to be a playmate for her, and the mother had never really loved the younger daughter in the same way. I really can't imagine that happening to anyone, even someone who does have a second child for the sake of providing a sibling. it's so sad.

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#1151 of 1646 Old 02-28-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
comic wisecracks:

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] wouldn't you like a Lamborghini?

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] will you give me one? :

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] nah, that's what all the other kids have. I want an xBox

[ignorant person] hey bobby, wouldn't you like a little brother or sister?
[bobby] yeah, I'm running out of small animals to torture

keep em coming!
I'm going to start teaching DS these responses right now!!
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#1152 of 1646 Old 02-28-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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I don't feel guilty. I owe dd a mother, I don't owe her a sibling. I don't believe in creating more people for the first person that we created. To me, that is not a good enough reason to make a new person.

I'd like to make another person because I enjoy helping children grow up, not as a person who is "for" someone else.
I can't : enough! My daughter is 4 and a half, and although my husband would like another I really feel that our family is complete. If that were to change, then I would certainly have another baby. But so many people have told me, "she's so sociable, you really should have another child," or, "You have the first one for yourself - but you have the second one for your older child." What is that reasoning? It makes no sense!
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#1153 of 1646 Old 03-01-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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I don't feel guilty. I owe dd a mother, I don't owe her a sibling.
Oh my gosh, I love that. Brilliant.

I have to say, my sister was born when I was 4.5 and I always, always have felt like she's a "replacement" for me because I was never good enough for my mom and step-dad. Even now I'm majorly the black sheep of our family. So I'm really glad we're only having one (even though honestly it's still hard for me somedays, especially because my best friend is pregnant and I wish I could steal her baby-growing sometimes! ) I don't ever want Toby to feel like I favor a sibling over him, because I know how much that hurt me as a child and still hurts me today.

And it's 3 in the morning so that may have made no sense, alas.

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#1154 of 1646 Old 03-01-2009, 07:18 AM
 
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#1155 of 1646 Old 03-01-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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I'd like to make another person because I enjoy helping children grow up, not as a person who is "for" someone else.


Lately the game has shifted among my friends with 2,3,4 kids. DS is coming into that lovely age of being able to pick up and go anywhere, he is curious about everything, and happy to do new things. And we are taking full advantage of it going on outings and spontaneous trips as much as we can. All the while I have friends who feel "strapped down" because of their multitude of little ones (not just the logistics of taking them places, but also of course the cost)

Also I wanted to share an "a-ha!" moment from last week. Some girlfriends took me out for Indian food for my birthday without the kiddos... and one started talking about how she uses the TV too much for her 4.5 year old (2+hours a day, everyday) but she doesn't know what else to do because "she just can't entertain herself while her sister is napping. She's bored to tears and drives everyone crazy!"

Whoa.

I am sure you all hear about onlies not being able to "share or get along with others" but here is a complete reversal on that! DS gets along very well with kids and is the biggest sharer I know because he gets experience dealing with all sorts of friends. BUT - he's also comfortable with down time and alone time. I can cook a m meal, do chores, etc and he HAPPILY entertains himself and often doesn't want to be interrupted in his play. I think that is SUCH an important and underrated life skill -- to be happy with oneself and be able to keep yourself busy without a constant playmate or plug in.

ok -- off my soap box now

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#1156 of 1646 Old 03-01-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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Popping in to say hi. (subbing so I remember this thread)

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#1157 of 1646 Old 03-02-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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My ds will not readily entertain himself if I am busy, except to turn on the TV. So I think it depends on the personality of the child, not whether he/she is an only.

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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#1158 of 1646 Old 03-16-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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Happy to find this tribe, where I won't feel odd for wanting to focus all my energy and resources on one child.
Hey! A fellow DDCer!

So I'd like to state that I have just (over the course of many days, and many many naps and nursing sessions) read this entire thread. All 58 pages. And now I feel I must introduce myself, and maybe answer a few of the questions that have popped up most often.

Kid: One little bugger, she's 4.5 months old. And bloody adorable, if I do say so myself.

Why just one: Even though my chicky boom is a pretty gosh darn happy and easy going baby, she's still INCREDIBLY hard work. I'm often overwhelmed with just her, there's NO way I can handle another while she's still young. And then there's the husbandperson, who's pretty adamant he will not be interested in starting over when she's older... so yeah. If a small age gap won't work, and a large age gap won't work, then we just won't have an age gap!

Did I want just one: I always thought I wanted two kids, but now I'm beginning to wonder if I just *assumed* I'd have two kids, like just about everyone else I know.

Pregnancy/birth: Easy easy pregnancy, fairly easy birth. The only thing I'd change about it is the immediate postpartum period (taking off that silly hat, waiting longer to find out her sex, taking more pictures, etc.) but as many of you have pointed out another birth won't change anything about hers.

Only by choice or circumstance: Choice. I got pregnant rather easily.

Pros of just one: Y'all have stated every one I could possibly think of. Except we don't do a lot of travelling, the husbandperson had enough of that in his youth (missionary kid). But maybe just the small one and I can do some when she's older if she wants.

Cons of just one: Y'all have stated all of these too. My main concern right now is for if she turns out to be an extrovert - we're both quite introverted, and don't really seek out social interactions. We have a few close friends, and like it that way. I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to get her around kids her own age when she gets a little older. She's actually got a cousin due in July (and two much older cousins on my side) but no one in our family lives close by so there's not even going to be that family attachment.

Birth control: We use a method I'm sure you are all familiar with. It's called "having a not-quite 5 month old who thinks sleep is for little babies." As back ups, condoms. A vasectomy is in the husbandperson's future, although I want us to wait a few years to be *sure*.

In case of oops: If I get pregnant again, then I'm pregnant again. We'd welcome another child with open arms. Tired open arms, but open arms nonetheless.

Friends: We're the first of our few close friends to have kids. They're all planning to start within 1-5 years, and have either 2-3 kids. So about the time they have newborns and all the concerns that go with that, we'll be well on our way to a much more portable child. I'm hoping that doesn't affect our friendships, but I doubt it will since nothing's really changed since I had little butt.

Comments: None yet, since she's so young. Have yet to tell either set of grandparents that she's all they're getting from us. If they make any comments I'll just point out they were lucky to get her - we gave serious thought to not having any kids. (And then I turned 27 and oh my gosh I could think of nothing else. ) I have mentioned to our close friends we're pretty sure we're one and done, and if they think that's a stupid idea they haven't said so.

And now I've rambled enough, I think.
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#1159 of 1646 Old 03-16-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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Well, I'm going in for the big STERILIZATION on March 27. Dun dun DUN!!! I still struggle with it sometimes but I know it's for the best. The only reason I want another baby is to have a better birth experience, and to be able to name it! Not good enough reasons, and DH is, for some reason, adamantly against me dying. Bah, 60% chance my eye. I'm tough, I could make it, but I don't really want to deal with another beastie so for the most part I'm glad we're done and excited to be Done done, as in no more chance. Booyah.

Meanwhile, Toby is teething and angry and reinforcing my joy at being done ha ha ha. I am so excited to be able to go places and do things with him, just him. When he gets older I can literally just take off with him if I want, let DH stay home and work and Toby and I can go to Disneyworld for a week, or go on a road trip or something. I'm way excited for him to get older. I'm so not digging the baby stage.

DH and I are going to Disneyland this weekend and Toby is staying with his nana for 3 days, lucky kid (nana spoils him like crazy!) I just hope she doesn't teach him to walk while we're gone, it would be a real bummer to miss my only child's first steps!

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#1160 of 1646 Old 03-17-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Hi! I am new on this thread. I have one son who is 8 months old and who will probably be an only (not 100% sure yet but getting there).

I loved pregnancy and labor. I loved those first few months where ds was so teenie tiny. I wish I could experience it all again as it flew by way too fast and there are a few things I would do different.
However, I have some physical disabilities and it would be really hard to take care of 2 kids during my flare ups unless there was a larger age gap between them. I also have a sensitive personality and NEED time to recharge. My son is also very needy and sensitive as well. DH and I are already 30 and feelin it. We feel complete as a family of 3. DH was an only and wants only one. I also get to enjoy being a stay at home mom without having to sacrafice a lot to do so. I can give more attention to my marriage as well as more time for my son and myself. I can go back to school. I can give my son more experiences if I dont have to divide up my time and money.


Anyways, sorry if its all jumbled up but thats where my head is at as of now.
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#1161 of 1646 Old 03-19-2009, 01:23 AM
 
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to you Kris and mermaidmama.

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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#1162 of 1646 Old 03-22-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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I just picked up a book today titled "The Joy of the Only Child" by Ellen Peck. I'm about halfway through it already, and am LOVING IT!! She discusses lots of research and presents a very favorable case for sticking with one child-- the benefits to the child, to the parents as individuals, to the parents' marriage, and to the family as a whole- as well as addressing some myths about the perceived benefits of siblings. I've been feeling a bit out-of-sorts lately, since I'm simultaneously watching all of my friends have their 2nd and 3rd babies, while I'm finally taking steps toward regaining some of the "me" (career, health, and interests) that I put aside when dd was born. It feels really great to be finding some outside voice that validates the choice we're leaning towards-- since it usually feels like everything outside of ourselves- this whole society- is pushing the assumption that 2+ kids is "right" somehow. Anyway-- I'm enjoying the read and thought I'd recommend it to you all!
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#1163 of 1646 Old 03-22-2009, 12:52 AM
 
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Thanks for the book suggestion! We could print this thread and make a book!

I have been spending the week with an old friend. We haven't seen much of each other since we started our respective families b/c she moved far away back to her home town. We both have onlies by choice and I was a little nervous about the kids getting along (3 year age difference, etc) and I have to say, this week has been bliss! I have never hung out with another only family and the dynamic between the kids is SOsoSO different.

The biggest thing I am noticing is no competition, no insecurities. They are so considerate of each other and just have had hours and hours of uninterrupted play.

I know individual personalities have a strong role in play dynamics also, and it helps that this mom and I are a lot alike (she is on MDC too and on this thread) but I am just enjoying the time and feel much more relaxed than I do hanging out with DS + a family tribe. Usually after which I need a drink.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#1164 of 1646 Old 03-22-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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I just picked up a book today titled "The Joy of the Only Child" by Ellen Peck. I'm about halfway through it already, and am LOVING IT!! She discusses lots of research and presents a very favorable case for sticking with one child-- the benefits to the child, to the parents as individuals, to the parents' marriage, and to the family as a whole- as well as addressing some myths about the perceived benefits of siblings. I've been feeling a bit out-of-sorts lately, since I'm simultaneously watching all of my friends have their 2nd and 3rd babies, while I'm finally taking steps toward regaining some of the "me" (career, health, and interests) that I put aside when dd was born. It feels really great to be finding some outside voice that validates the choice we're leaning towards-- since it usually feels like everything outside of ourselves- this whole society- is pushing the assumption that 2+ kids is "right" somehow. Anyway-- I'm enjoying the read and thought I'd recommend it to you all!
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

I've also got a number of friends that are pregnant with number 2 now and I do wonder what things will be like when they're doing newborn stuff again.
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#1165 of 1646 Old 03-22-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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DS may or may not end up being an only. It depends on future circumstances. He's almost 7 months. I have a Mirena IUD and have no intention of taking it out before I have to. After that, we'll see. We're young (22 and 24) and we're just not 100% sure where life is taking us. Also, I hemmorhaged after DD (Stillborn UC) and lost more blood than I should have with DS (handled at home with midwives, but barely) making it illegal for a midwife to attend a homebirth for me in this state. Not sure how I feel about having any future babies in the hospital.
I always did want more than one before I had one, but over all I just enjoy our family how it is and couldn't picture it any different.

I'm a modifiedartist.gif DH is a reading.gif we have 2 angel.gifs, and DS is a rainbow1284.gif baby.gif
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#1166 of 1646 Old 03-23-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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DH and I went on a whirlwind trip to Disneyland this weekend (Toby stayed with my mom) and you know what? It was exactly what I needed to finally, finally be comfortable with really only having one. I am so excited to be able to give him my undivided attention and everything for his whole life. Plus, now we can go to Disneyland when Toby turns 4 instead of waiting for his younger siblings to be old enough :

I'm feeling very calm and good with the fact that my sterilization appointment is Friday. I'm a wee bit nervous about my cervix being anesthetized (ouch!) but everything else I'm feeling great about.

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#1167 of 1646 Old 03-24-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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Are you having your tubes tied, or something else?

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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#1168 of 1646 Old 03-24-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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Hi to all the new folks!

Kris- good luck Friday! I'm envious of your calm certainty. I still waffle quite bit from about 80% to 95% sure of our decision (not quite sure enough to do anything permanent yet- though we've agreed that dh will get a vasectomy when I turn 35 regardless) Every now and then I find real peace for a spell, and the relief is so great! I'm thinking of trying to start up a moms of onlies group in my town since all my friends have 2+ and no desire to stop--I really think that support would help.
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#1169 of 1646 Old 03-24-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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#1170 of 1646 Old 03-26-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post
I've also got a number of friends that are pregnant with number 2 now and I do wonder what things will be like when they're doing newborn stuff again.
This is where I am right now. Among the friends I made at a breastfeeding support group way back when my daughter was just weeks old (seems so long ago!), the three other women have either had a second child (including one just last week ) or should by summer's end. And my two cousins who live nearby and have kids my daughter's age each have had another child. So we are definitely in that *place* now. That sometimes overwhelming place where you start wondering and rethinking and analyzing. Ooof. Time to go do something more useful like build a squirrel house out of blocks with my daughter or rake the yard!

Although meeting all the newborns who have come into our lives over the past few weeks has put us into a nostalgiac mode, I think we'll just get our baby fix from these other people's babes. My husband and I have been looking at old photos and telling stories about my daughter's birth and first few months, which is always fun. But ultimately each conversation we have ends with both of us admitting how we are wary of expanding our party of three, for many of the reasons you all have posted. We jumped in together so eagerly the first time around. Do anything less just wouldn't seem right to me. Maybe we'll get there, maybe we won't. And now it's not just the two of us who would be affected, of course.

So glad to have you all around for support!

Lovin' my four-pack: M, S, a different M, and sleepytime.gif me.

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