baby

One & Done: Our Decision Not to Have Another Child

8:00:00 AM

I've heard it from family members, friends, coworkers and even strangers -- are you ready for another baby yet? Or, when are you going to get that baby of yours a brother or sister? And when I tell whoever is asking that we're not having another baby, they usually wink or elbow me and say something along the lines of you'll change your mind. Not a week goes by that this exchange doesn't happen. No one seems to actually hear what I'm saying, that my husband and I have decided one child is enough...

It was about this time two years ago that we found out I was pregnant. We were extremely excited but chose to wait until three months into the pregnancy before we told anyone outside of immediate family and my boss. We wanted to be sure that everything was okay before we shared out joy with the world.

It was tough keeping the secret, mainly because I had morning sickness and enhanced motion sickness and pretty much any strong smell (cleaning supplies, perfume, food) made me nauseous. I'm pretty sure there were days I was green around the gills.

I didn't have a lot of the pregnancy symptoms you read about or see in the movies. Instead of craving a bunch of weird foods, I had aversions -- especially meat. I had an ungodly amount of snot throughout my entire pregnancy and nosebleeds that lasted for up to an hour sometimes. The closer I got to my due date, the more I swelled and the higher my blood pressure rose. I did everything my doctor told me - drank more water, walked, exercised, kept my feet elevated as much as possible. Still, I was miserable and in pain.

After I had the baby, my blood pressure didn't go down, and instead of getting out of the hospital after two days like most new moms, I had to stay. My blood pressure refused to cooperate. I had preeclampsia, a condition that can be fatal for both mother and baby. Thankfully, Alexis was fine, but I most definitely was not.

All most people know is that I had to stay in the hospital for a week. Few know how bad it actually was because I haven't talked about it. It was terrifying. It was that experience and the knowledge that things wouldn't be much, if any, better in another pregnancy that led my husband and I to our decision to stop at one child.

It has nothing to do with not wanting more children. There may come a day when we decide to grow our little family of three, but if we do it won't be through another pregnancy. You see, we've decided that my health and my life as well as that of a potential baby isn't worth the risk of going through preeclampsia again.

It was not an easy decision, and not one that we made lightly. In the end, my husband decided that he would rather create a happy life with just one child and me rather than two children without me.

I have a happy, healthy, perfect daughter. And she is enough.

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