One and Done. Sometimes by choice and sometimes not. In our case, it was not by choice.
Last year this time, we ended our infertility journey and began life raising an only child. We transferred our last two frozen embryos and neither one implanted. After posting a “farewell” to that chapter in my life (Farewell Post) , I struggled with the new family dynamic we were facing.
At the beginning of the year, I posted this Top 10 Ways Having an Only Child is Awesome . I can honestly tell you that all of these still hold true however, the past year has been difficult.
Most people will tell you that being an only child is not a bad thing but a good thing. People tell you to be thankful for the one child that you were given. They tell you to move on and stop complaining. Some people tell you all of these things without actually saying them out loud or directly to your face.
What most people don’t know, is that I totally agree. Having an only child, and being an only child, is not a bad thing at all. At times, for both sides, it’s completely amazing. I’m BEYOND thankful for my living child. Yes, I am complaining, but I’m sad and frustrated because my body does not work how it should. Finally, there is no way to “move on” from any type of grief so do not even suggest this to anyone. Ever.
Now that we are a full year out from our infertility journey ending, I have some opinions and words of wisdom to share. First, the good, the bad, and the ugly of being one and done not by choice.
The Good of One and Done
More time to play together!
Sleeping through the night!
Being the only grandchild (on my side)!
Growing up to be independent and self sufficient
Going to (pre) school next year!
No more bottles/formula and almost done with diapers!
Our 3 bedroom house fits us perfectly!
We can both be present for activities Thomas participates in!
The Bad of One and Done
No built in friends
Dealing with the loss of his parents alone someday
Being labeled as selfish and spoiled
The Ugly of One and Done
Knowing he has a brother in heaven
Hoping he never asks us for a brother or sister someday
Trying to keep his brother’s memory alive
Figuring out how to explain this all to him when he can understand it
Finding Peace with Being One and Done
On the plus side, I have come to realize that the good far outweighs the bad (or even the ugly) as you can see from this post. If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, I have a couple of tips to help you accept and go forward.
- Be kind to yourself….always. When you have a rough day, treat yourself to something special. Paint your nails, soak in the tub, a glass of wine, whatever!
- Spin a negative to a positive. For me it was clearing out my basement of all the clothes and toys we were saving for a sibling. I sold them and used the money to buy new clothes for Thomas, or else I gave them to my godson. It warms my heart SO much to see him wearing Thomas’ clothes!
- Learn to speak up for yourself. Don’t be rude to people, just know that you have every right to defend yourself and own your feelings.
- Find or rediscover a hobby. After Thomas goes to bed I’m able to have a few hours of peace and quiet to myself to read or watch my DVR/Netflix shows. I’ve discovered I love photography and really enjoy learning as much as possible. It helps that I have an adorable subject to practice on!
- Take in every moment just a little bit longer. I appreciate ten fold how special every single moment truly is. Even being outside and watching him splash around in his water table or baby pool is just the most amazing moment ever.
The single most amazing experience of my life is being a mother. That reason alone is what makes it difficult to imagine that I won’t have another chance at it. The one opportunity that I WAS given, has been the utmost greatest blessing in my life. Every day that passes, good or bad, makes every shot, surgery, bloodwork, ultrasound, totally and absolutely worth it.