Having one child was not a decision this couple consciously made. It simply happened. Right from the day they got married, they started trying for babies, but nothing happened until the fourth year into their marriage, when Bose* got pregnant with their daughter.
It was a joyous occasion. They had a daughter. Finally! Bose thought, here was someone to dress up in all those girly dresses that always attracted her to shop windows for a closer look. She bought all those baby clothes, in fact, more than her baby needed. But who could fault her? Here was a princess that rid her of the shame of infertility. Nothing was good enough for her.
Fast forward to when Bose’s daughter was seven years old; Bose went to the hospital when her period would not stop. It had been going on for more days than it ever had, and it was quite a heavy flow…so she was concerned. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, which might have been compromising her fertility for years, and might even have caused the delay in the years prior to the birth of her daughter. Not even the surgery to remove the fibroid gave her hope of having another child. And at age 41, she had given up hope on having another baby. It would have been nice to have another one, but her princess would have to be enough.
Before getting married, Bose had always wanted four kids; just a number higher than her mother had, but it did not turn out that way. She had been happy when her husband agreed that having four kids was a nice idea. Today, she is even more grateful for the man she married, as he ran interference between her and his family, whenever they came up with the “You don’t have a son to carry on your name” rhetoric.
Different strokes for different folks, they say. It was a conscious decision on the part of the Jessica and her husband to have only one child. They knew the type of lifestyle they wanted, and knew having a large family would not accommodate that, so they opted to have just one child.
Besides, they both came from very large families, so ensuring continuity of their lineage was not a problem, as there were many siblings and cousins, not to mention nieces and nephews, to carry on the family’s name. That made the decision easier to make, and they did not have to worry about which sex the child was. Either a boy or a girl was fine with the couple.
Everything worked together for their good, as they got pregnant right about the time they had planned, and they had a boy, whom they named after his paternal grandfather. As he grew older, it became obvious that he had more in common with his Grandpa than just name. And that led to some competition between the grandparents, which led to the Grandmother asking to quickly give her a granddaughter who would be named after her too.
That was when Jessica off handedly said they were not going to be having another baby. You could hear a pin drop in the silence after her statement, then everyone started to talk at the same time, but her mother-in-law’s voice cut through the chase as she sought to confirm if she had heard correctly that Jessica had said they were not going to have any more children.
Jessica and her husband knew this was going to be the likely reaction, hence they had not told anyone, until it had slipped. Although they had implemented any permanent birth control at that time, she was on a method that would last for the next 4 years, at least that was what the doctors had said, just in case she ever changed her mind.
After the 4 years expired, and nothing had changed in the stance of the couple regarding more children, she had another coil inserted and they have continued to shower all their love on their son. As for her mother-in-law, she had accepted the fact that she would never have a granddaughter from Jessica and her son.
Having just one child can bring on a ton of questions and concerns from people, who even have no reason to feel concerned. That is because our society places a premium on people who not only have kids, but have more than one, without caring if the couples in question have the resources to cater for so many kids.
Apart from medical reasons stopping a couple from having more kids, some couples simply don’t want any more. Regardless of the reasons for having an only child, the craving for another child can come when you see your friends and family having a more kids. That is just similar to my baby craving, which I wrote about earlier on. In spite of the fact that we had finished that business, I sometimes get a little broody. Thank God, it never leaves the realm of craving.
In the end, having a child is a blessing not to be taken for granted. That child would be more than enough, if another one never comes, and if another does come, then it is a wonderful gift embraced with both hands.
Blowing you some baby dust your way for the baby…and the next one!
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