Sparrow asked me this the other day. I can't remember what I told him, but I think I probably just redirected his attention elsewhere and he forgot about it. But I can't forget.
When Hawk and I were married, we had Plans. We were going to have four or five kids. I had their names picked out - Nicholas, Kestrel, Caleb, Kalli (a combination of my two best friends' names) and... well, I don't remember. Something else.
After I got pregnant, when I spent my 21st birthday in the hospital throwing up blood, I informed Hawk we were only having one more child. "Just one more. I can't do this 4 more times, but I will give our baby a sibling. I don't want him to be an only child."
And in 2008, when Sparrow was born, I considered getting pregnant again after the 6 weeks of healing were up. Then we'd have had another baby in December of 2008 and our insurance would have been thrilled with us. Cooler heads prevailed - we decided to move back to Utah, so when I got pregnant again, my family would be close enough to help with Sparrow. I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. We decided to consult with a doctor before I got pregnant again, since the first pregnancy was so scary and traumatic.
January of 2009. After running a battery of tests on my heart, my OBGYN informed me: "there's a hole in your heart. If you get pregnant again, you will die. It's a good thing you came in before you just got pregnant on your own; we'd have probably needed to abort the baby."
A "crazy high risk pregnancy" doctor gave us his opinion: "If you get pregnant again, you might die. You might not. But you do have a 75% chance of developing preeclampsia again, and it will be as bad or worse as the first time."
And so, I was sterilized. I had Essure, a non-invasive sterilization surgery which did not work, and a tubal ligation, which left me in pain for 2 years. Last May I had a hysterectomy and apart from the no-more-babies-no-seriously-ever-again thing, it has been FANTASTIC.
But adjusting to the reality is hard. It's still hard, even three years later. It's hard when I walk into Gymboree and see the infant clothes, and all clothing in Sparrow's size are skaterzz and pirates (neither of which are allowed in my home.) It's hard when friends or relatives announce their pregnancies. It's hard when I see cute newborns and babies at church or the mall or anywhere.
But it's the most hard when Sparrow is lonely, and when he asks for a brother or sister. I cannot give him one.
For personal reasons, adoption is not really an option for us. And so Sparrow will be an only child.
It's hard, but I'm not going to lie - part of me is relieved. Now that I've had a few years to grieve, that is. Because! Sparrow has been toilet trained for almost a whole year. No diapers for a year! He is very independent and can dress, feed, and play by himself! He can use his words to tell me what he needs, and even though there are copious amounts of whining in my day, at least I'm not playing the "why are you crying?" guessing game. I find I am a much better parent to a small child, because I know how to play with him. When he was an infant, we mostly just sat around and stared at each other blankly. The one thought that gets me through all the "no more babies" grief is - soon, we will be able to travel! Like crazy. We'll be able to afford to go places, and I can focus all my attention and love and airplane-wrangling on Sparrow.
And let's face it - Sparrow is cute, but he is a very, very difficult child to raise. If I had two Sparrows running around I'd probably die. There have truly been days when I cried because I was so grateful I didn't have twins. Yikes.
This isn't the life I'd have chosen. I would still love for Sparrow to have a sibling. But I grew up with siblings, and the ones I grew up with don't like me. I was a total turd child and I don't blame them. The siblings I didn't grow up with like me, because they met me when I was a cool 19 year old. So see, there's no guarantee that if I had had another baby, Sparrow and him/her would have even gotten along.
And he has the chance to be around babies often. He has infant cousins he is very sweet with, and our friend's children. And it's so nice for me to be able to hand a stinky or crying baby back to the mommy and give my own kid a squeeze.
2009 sucked for a lot of reasons, but that was the worst one. But we're surviving. And even though our family is small, I love us. We have fun together and we love each other, and we always will, no matter how many kids we have or don't have.
This blog hop is hosted by Chocolate on my Cranium. To participate, write a post about a time where you've had to make an adjustment to meet an unexpected event in your life and head over to Cocoa's blog to link up.