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Why my child is an only child

(26 Posts)
SpanGransNo1Fan Thu 09-Nov-17 22:04:11

I’ve been asked tonight if my child is an only child by choice or not and I don’t know the answer. I wanted somewhere to work out how I feel about it, I hope that’s ok?

If you’d have asked me 10yrs ago I would have said I wanted 2, maybe 3 kids. Then it took 5yrs and 2 rounds of ivf to get ds. After such a struggle to get pg I then had problems in pg resulting in an early induction which left me with pnd ptsd and anxiety which was undiagnosed until 3 years later.

The first, failed ivf put such a strain on our relationship that we said we’d not do it again, we were at breaking point. It took over a year before we went back for round two and even now I’m not quite sure what finally convinced us to try again. Once we had ds we knew we wouldn’t put ourselves through ivf again because we had so much more to lose: if it broke us up then it would break up our child’s family, we didn’t want to miss out on his childhood spending all our time and energy on fertility treatment and because I was only working pt we couldn’t raise the cash (and I refused to do it on credit or a loan)

However with my ptsd, pnd and anxiety and the events which resulted in that (which would likely reoccur in future pg) I’m not sure I’d survive having another. It took six months of counselling and 18 months of antidepressants to lay to rest all the issues I ended up with, I’m terrified of going back to that place again.

So is ds an only by choice or not? I honestly don’t know, I’m just glad the decision was taken out of our hands.

Obviously I just said ‘he’s an ivf baby’ and left it at that.

NataliaOsipova Thu 09-Nov-17 22:08:43

I’ve been asked tonight if my child is an only child by choice or not and I don’t know the answer

It’s a pretty shit question for someone to have asked you! If it helps, my interpretation of what you’ve said is that he is an only child due to circumstance. Life’s like that generally and you have no need to justify that....even to yourself.

wheresthel1ght Thu 09-Nov-17 22:09:33

I would. Just reply with something glib like "why does it matter to you"

Dd will be my only child (although I have 2 step kids) I was told for nearly 20 years that I was infertile, the surprise of finding out I was pregnant did a real number on my mental health. I wouldn't put myself through that for similar reasons to your reasons.

I wouldn't waste time on thinking about it. Focus on ds and enjoy him!

clarinsgirl Thu 09-Nov-17 22:12:33

Don’t question your position because of a clumsy question. We all have plans, then life happens. It seems to me that you have a lovely DS and it’s got fuck all to do with anyone else why he is an only child.

SpanGransNo1Fan Thu 09-Nov-17 22:17:42

I don’t mind being asked, if wasn’t confrontational just general conversation about people choosing to only have one child and why.

SpanGransNo1Fan Thu 09-Nov-17 22:26:58

And ds is now 7 so the assumption that we’ll want to have another has passed and it’s clear he is / will be an only child.

AnneElliott Thu 09-Nov-17 22:51:48

It is a difficult question. I get asked that a lot ( even though DS is 11). I normally am upfront with people I actually know (DH has a life limiting condition so I had to be prepared to be left alone with any children).

But strangers I just say that was the way it worked out.

ASqueakingInTheShrubbery Fri 10-Nov-17 06:40:41

It depends who's asking and the context. Most of the time I say DH didn't want any more, which is true. I've brushed it off with 'we hit the jackpot with DD, we could never improve on her.' If it's a more detailed conversation, I might admit that I wouldn't want another unless I could do a better job than I have with DD - I really struggled with what, on reflection, I think could have been PND and anxiety, and I've said to my mum, although probably not to anybody else, at the time that most people are trying for no.2 I wasn't confident that my marriage would survive, and I'd rather be on my own with one child than 2. 'Just the way it worked out' is a good answer though, it doesn't invite further questions.

ScipioAfricanus Fri 10-Nov-17 16:21:44

I’m in a similar position - DS is an IUI baby. We’ve had failed IUIs since and I have been hesitating to undergo ivf given my health problems and how difficult the treatment was emotionally (knowing IVF would be worse emotionally and physically) and we are often very happy as we are. Yet if I could snap my fingers I’d have had another child so I don’t think he’s an only by choice, as it’s only that choosing to try would be so many many choices compared to not trying. I was asked if I’d have any more the other day (DS is 7) and I said ‘I don’t think so’. The other person said ‘1 enough, eh?’ And I just kind of laughed and let the conversation move on. I never like being asked though. I feel like they deserve me sitting down with a twenty page document of reasons and issues and my medical history and telling them to pull up a chair as we’ll be some time. There’s so much backstory to it that I find it hard to answer in a conversational way (and of course I don’t actually want to tell them the ins and outs of my uterus).

SpanGransNo1Fan Fri 10-Nov-17 17:25:30

That’s exactly it - we chose not to actively pursue another child - in reality meaning we chose to only have one. I want to answer conversationally but i don’t actually know the answer myself.

Priam Fri 10-Nov-17 17:30:32

I dont mind being asked either. I dont think its automatically a clumsy or bad question.
It depends also who asks it....if a person you've literally just been introduced to 5 mins ago, then it may be a bit clumsy...otherwise no. We dont need to take offence just because apparently 90% of women would.
As it happens, i would have a little difficulty in answering too...its my husband's choice to have only one but most definitely not my choice

juddyrockingcloggs Sun 12-Nov-17 15:10:32

My son is an only child. Not by choice but he came along after 6 full cycles of IVF. After he was born we immediately said we would have treatment again for a sibling. Time rumbled on, we were able to take him to beautiful, far flung places. We could afford those toys that cost the same as small houses and we enjoyed that. We enjoyed offering him all that we could afford. Spending ££££ on more IVF that wasn’t guaranteed to work just no longer seemed necessary especially since it would take away our ability to provide those things to the son we had waited so long to have.

So, I guess like you it was a choice but a choice that was kind of forced on us because had we been able to have children naturally we would have without doubt had more!

CMOTDibbler Sun 12-Nov-17 15:15:13

We chose not to try and have another child, but I usually express it to people as 'it was 3 miscarriages, a difficult pregnancy, and premature birth to have ds, so we left it at that'

Sadik Sun 12-Nov-17 15:21:19

I do see what you're meaning about trying to answer the question for yourself. I only have one sort of by choice (as in, we never tried for a second), but also by circumstance (I had health issues resulting from the pregnancy which would pretty certainly have repeated, dd was a very difficult baby, plus we moved countries when dd was 2 & were pretty insecure wrt money/ employment/ housing for some time).

So I kind of feel we did choose to only have one, but we made that choice because it was the best one for our family circumstances, not because either of us specifically wanted an only child. If things had been different, we might very well have had 2 or 3.

I imagine a lot of people with onlies are in the same position - they could have really gone for it despite obstacles, but decided that one child was actually the best answer for them.

TheOctagonHouse Sun 12-Nov-17 15:21:35

I get asked this question and find it invasive. The truth is that I had premature ovarian failure ☹️

Sadik Sun 12-Nov-17 15:24:08

In terms of if people ask, I tend to just say it might have been nice to have more but life didn't work out that way. Which I think is a fair summary.

ukulelelady Tue 06-Feb-18 21:53:50

It angers me that people ask this - and I suppose I mean people you have no relationship with or strangers.
I was at the till in Debenhams and the woman said “is he your first?” I said yes then she said “can you no handle any more?”. I mumbled something to get away from her and the shop as she had upset me but I should’ve told her the truth - my sons dad died when my ds was 4 weeks old, closing the question of any more kids. Why do strangers think they can comment or judge your life?

S0upertrooper Tue 06-Feb-18 22:21:23

Ukulelelady, so sorry to hear you lost your husband, people can be so insensitive. My son was conceived naturally 25 years ago (after a number of glasses of wine) as I was too pissed to pop in my Dutch cap! However when we tried for another baby, we had no luck even after 2 rounds of IVF etc, etc. I used to get very upset and resentful of the glib 'trying for another', 'one enough?' comments as I was hurting from not being able to get pregnant and recovering from PND and probably PTSD after a traumatic emergency c section which nearly ended horrifically. What I find worse are the comments from folk with multiple kids 'well it's easy for you only having the one' You think? I'm ok with it all now, time, experience and the natural decline of my hormones have helped but I will never ask anyone outright about their situation. Imagine asking someone who had 4 kids why they made that choice, I think you'd get a flea in your ear. Assisted conception is hard bloody work, emotionally, financially and physically. Be kind to yourself if you've gone through this and you can always just say you'd rather not get into it.

SleightOfMind Tue 06-Feb-18 22:34:17

I’m genuinely shocked people would actually ask someone that question.
There are so many reasons people might not have more children, some of them extremely painful.
All of them private.

Who are these awful people?

snowone Tue 06-Feb-18 22:39:32

My DD is 3 and I get asked ALL THE TIME. I had a great pregnancy and birth, no trauma or anything horrendous.....but then I was hit by the PND train and it knocked me sideways. I don't want to ever go back there again. I still don't know if We will have another but the longer We leave it the less inclined I am to start all over again. tell them to mind their own business, nosy gits!!

Mediumred Wed 07-Feb-18 00:20:42

I agree with Sleight, who would ask this? Anyone who would feel close enough to me to say this already knows the answer - was old when I had my first one, had three subsequent miscarriages, very ill on last one, was sad but ok because I wasn't sure I wanted another - no stranger or mere acquaintance should be asking such things.
flowersto ukelele, am so sorry about your little one's dad, you are very strong

JufusMum Wed 07-Feb-18 12:47:06

I have one DD (almost 16) and I have often been asked why I only have one.

Err...because I only wanted one? No IVF, pretty bad labour but that didn't affect my decision. I chose to have one, I have one, I don't want or need anymore.

Why do so many people think that is weird?

ukulelelady Wed 07-Feb-18 22:41:06

Thanks guys. We’re fine. 😬
On a similar vein I was taking m son and his friends (who were brothers) on a day out, we boarded our train and an old man - a complete stranger said to all of us walking past “who do you like best? Mum or Dad?” I was incredulous and the kids a bit confused. The boys I was treating to a day out were brought up by a single Mum, there dad had buggered off. FFS!!

HidingFromTheWorld Wed 14-Feb-18 19:01:03

We conceived our DD (now 16) during our honeymoon and vaguely discussed having 2 children if possible.

However, after a very difficult pregnancy and near fatal delivery (for both of us), we both immediately said 'never again'.

We've always been thankful for the child we have and the fact that we both survived, albeit it took years for me to fully recover physically and mentally. We've never once revisited our decision, but we have had to cut people off many times when they've questioned us, or teased that we'd change our minds, etc.

My DD loves being an only, particularly when she has friends complaining about their siblings and the issues they're experiencing at home. She's my daughter, my friend and the best thing that ever happened to me.

But we nearly didn't make it and I would never have put her, or my husband, in that position knowing what we'd been through before.

Chrisinthemorning Wed 14-Feb-18 19:08:01

Bit of both? We are the same. We took 3 us to get DS and had a mc, a tfmr, clomid, Lap and dye and finally ICSI along the way. Once pregnant I managed to have both a praevia and a valsalva retinopathy.
I would have to be crazy to do it again!
Having said that some people do go through hell to get a sibling because they feel strongly they want another. We feel done, happy with our fab O&O because there were times we didn’t think we would be so lucky as to have a child. Also being an only is fine, I am one so I know grin

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