He is my First, Last, and Only Child
“Are you planning to have more children?”
I hate every syllable when asked this one question. My husband and I are not having any more children. My body isn’t able to sustain another pregnancy. I’ve given birth to my one and only child; he is my miracle child. He is the child the specialists and doctors said I shouldn’t have. He is the one who doctors talked about inducing out of my body at Christmas. They told me to have my bags packed and to be ready. If they saw any loss of kidney function, they would start my labor.
He entered the world a month and a half after Christmas. The doctors did induce at the first sign of kidney loss in my one and only good kidney. After his birth, I was allowed to hold my newborn preemie son for a few minutes. Our bonding time was shortened because my numb and exhausted body had to be rushed to a cold steel surgical room.
The male nurse who wheeled my bed into the stainless steel, extra cold room kept making the ill-timed, inappropriate joke, “You can have as much as fun as you want now.”
After his third round of making the insinuation that I was choosing to have my innards ripped through my belly button, cut, and scorched for the sole purpose of “having fun,” I decided to answer him. My voice hung heavy and matched the shivering, freezing temperature of the room. It’s the room where women go to have their tubes tied.
“I have one kidney. I wasn’t supposed to have my son. I want to be there when he grows up.”
The nurse and I didn’t speak much after the truth flat-lined his jovial nature. I had sucked the word “fun” out of the room. In those few minutes, I went into a quiet mourning for my reproductive system.
The drab teal colored sheet acted as a barrier and attempted to shield me from what doctors were doing to my body. I still felt every cut happening to my midsection. It hurt, but not physically since I was numb from the waist down. What I felt was the weight of my decision. I had given birth only a short time ago, and those few minutes of watching life as it came bursting forth peaked as one of the most joyous awe-inspiring moments in my life. Within an hour, I was faced with the sadness of knowing I would never feel that ever again.
I would never feel another soul living inside of my body. I would never feel the first kicks or the waves of pregnancy nausea again. I would never see life floating inside of me on an ultrasound or hear tiny rapid heartbeats on a monitor again. The next time I held an infant with some of my blood or DNA running through its body, it would be a niece or nephew or my grandchild.
I waited until the very last minute to make my decision to have a tubular litigation. I asked to have it done shortly after the doctor informed me that they would be inducing my labor. I struggled throughout my entire pregnancy with this one definitive life-altering decision. It was a pendulum constantly swinging back and forth on what would be the best choice for our family.
When I saw the final tally pregnancy took on my body with one functioning kidney, I knew the decision I had to make. My son would be our first, last, and only child. In deciding what I felt could only be the best decision for him and us, I severed every dream I had of us becoming a family of four.
There are days where I can honestly say to myself, “Yes, I would like to have had another child,” but I can’t. I get wild notions of untying my tubes and paying thousands of dollar to re-connect them. I convince myself to at least try to push the boundaries of what doctors said I shouldn’t do. I am reminded how I’ve already pushed myself and that the result is perfect. I move these outrageous ideas to the outward recesses of my mind and let them die. Every few months, I bury the idea of having any more biological children.
Each day as the sun rises and sets, I look at a little boy, and I’m reminded of all the things I hope to be there for when he grows older. Big days like his graduation, his wedding, and every birthday in each upcoming year. I’m confident in the fact that he is my blessing; I choose not to push my luck or my body any further for only hope to possibly have another child. I won’t widow my husband for my selfish desire to be a mother of two.
“I want to be there when he grows up.”
To answer the nosy question about whether my husband and I are having sex, the answer is yes. Are our sexual trysts happening with the hope of expanding our family? No. I have a son. He is my first, last and only child. Our family is perfectly complete with our one child.
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This post was written by Rachel E. Bledsoe exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.