An Only Child

July 1, 2015
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(Me and 13 month old Arizona)

As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a mother some day. I was raised in a fairly large family (I have 3 sisters and a brother) and wanted something similar for myself.

But, as it turned out, I had an extremely challenging pregnancy. And then, I had an extremely challenging newborn. I kept waiting for Arizona to “grow out of” her issues and afflictions; but they ended up just morphing into new and different hurdles and now here we are 9 years later and I’m still waiting for normalcy to hit. Exhale!

A few years after Arizona was born, I got pregnant again. It wasn’t planned and was shocking news. I wasn’t sure I wanted another baby. I could barely manage all of Arizona’s needs; what more could I handle? My second pregnancy was worse than the first. I was so sick and unable to function. But eventually, as the pregnancy continued forward, I was overcome with a sense of peace : Aha! This decision was greater than me.

A few weeks later, my ob/gyn confirmed that my baby’s heartbeat had stopped.

I felt sad, but I also felt guilty. During the height of my sickness with pregnancy #2, I told the baby I didn’t want it. Terminating the pregnancy was a thought that crept into my mind more than once.

Needless to say, one of the biggest feelings I’ve had to work through as a mother is GUILT for not being able to give Arizona any siblings.

At the same time, I had a strong epiphany a few years ago, in an intense session with my therapist : it is absolutely OKAY for me to “just” have one child. I am no less of a mother for it.

We all have our unique journeys and being a mother to an only child is part of mine.

How did you envision your family structure? What was surprising and what wasn’t? What are the “PROS” to your current situation?