Being pregnant was magical, I had morning sickness and even got kidney stones during my pregnancy but all I remember when I think back was feeling my daughter move, or listening to heart beat for the first time. I remember it fondly.
When Chloe was born, my heart grew about 4 times it's original size. I know this has been said a gazillion times but I really found out what love really really was when I held that little girl in my arms. 7 lbs, 7 oz of nothing but perfection. I loved being a mom and it felt natural. I was so in love with this little person, my life was from that moment forward - hers.
To this day she is the light of my life, for everyone else though - It felt like the minute she was born she became old news and the question "When are you having another?" kept coming up. Can you let my C Section heal before you ask me about another?
It was assumed that another would follow and apparently it was assumed it would follow right away. Even for me it was assumed another would follow, but when this question would come up I could no longer see the other 2 kids that I had pictured my whole life. Somewhere between changing diapers, and making a formula bottle - I had lost the desire for more children. I was so in love with this little girl that I don't need anymore, my life felt complete.
I was somewhat nervous to bring it up to my husband, I wasn't sure if in his heart he was set on more children. What happens when you disagree on something so big? It's not like not agreeing on what to have for dinner or what color to paint the living room wall - this was BIG. Luckily, maybe because he himself is an only child, it wasn't a huge deal to him. At first he was unsure that I really meant it and felt that I would eventually change my mind. EVERYONE thought I would eventually change my mind. Sometimes even planting the seed of doubt in my mind.
Telling people that I was "done" was an experience. There are many different reactions to that answer.
There are those that were supportive even some telling me how they wish they would have stopped at one. Others were shocked but were kind enough to keep their comments to themselves and then of course, there are those that needed to go through their 500 reasons on why I would be ruining my daughters life by making her an only child. "She'll be lonely!" "Only Children are socially awkward" "She's going to be spoiled!" - to me none of those arguments REALLY were "Only Child" problems more of an upbringing problem. My favorite was the waitress at the restaurant that said "But you are going to have to play with her! If you have another they can just play with each other without bothering you". Sounds like a legit reason to have another.
I didn't go into it blindly, I obsess over research and this was no different. I read article upon article on only children and impacts on their behavior and education - after my research I was even more at peace with my decision.
It took a very long time for the mass interest in our reproduction plans to slowly die down. It never disappeared, every so often we got the "Time for another" and we politely smile or laugh it off depending on who made the comment.
Now, Chloe is almost 4 years old. That little 7 lbs, 7oz. bundle of perfection is now a funny, intelligent, sweet and loving LITTLE GIRL. I am starting to think that 3 years was some sort of bet people placed on how long it would take me to change my mind. The questions have now started again.
"When are you having another?" "are you REALLY done?"
I still smile and politely reply that we are in fact - "Done". Now my answer is usually followed with a look of pity towards Chloe. She is a super social, independent, super smart and thriving little girl who has NO desire for a sibling even when asked multiple times. Yet, they give her this look as though I am condemning her for the rest of her life to this miserable life of being an only child. They fail to see all positives of her being an only child and only focus on their idea of what her life will be like.
For me, I see the positives everyday. There are far far more times that I look at our lives and think "We made the right decision" and I can honestly say that the times that I have thought that maybe I should have another have been fueled by fear of the future and not actual events in our lives.
I have made peace with the fact that not everyone will understand my decision - in fact- most people disagree with it. I just wished that they would take a minute to step back and see that, it works for us. We love it.
I have the little girl, I always wanted. She is sweet, gentle and funny. She is equally a momma's girl and a daddy's girl. She is everything that I have ever wanted..she is the child that I prayed for. My heart is full. My life is full. Most importantly, SHE is happy. If my baby girl is happy, I don't care what stereotypes say.
Hopefully they stop asking by the time she's 18.