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Old 04-20-2017, 06:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,149 times
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First of all, I don't mean to create another debate between "only children" and "siblings". I just wanted to share my recent struggles and ask for advice (or support) because it is driving me crazy!

I will turn 37 soon in April, and I have a five-year-old boy who is so fun, sweet, and my greatest joy. I had marginal cord insertion and gestational diabetes when I was pregnant (note: diabetes is in my family). My doctor put me on an induction when I was 39-week pregnant, it failed, and I ended up having a c-section. I feel my body has never gone back to its normal state after that. I have gained 25 lbs (!!) after I gave birth to my baby--till now I still look like someone who is 3-month pregnant. My blood sugar, although back in the normal range now, is always on the higher end. Furthermore, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when my boy was 2. I tried two possible medications but was allergic to both of them, so I was given the only choice left, and that was a radioactive treatment. My doctor had banned me from trying to get pregnant for at least one year after the treatment, and now I take medications every day to supplement my thyroid hormones.

I feel like I lost the most motivational time for having one more child, that is, when my boy was 2-3 years old. When my boy was around 4 years old, I finally thought, why not try to have another one? My husband and I tried another year, but no news. My OB then did some tests and found out I didn't even ovulate regularly.

Last but not least, because of my (mild) hypochondria and anxiety disorder, I've had deep worries about pregnancy. I've never told this to any of my friends/family--they'll think I'm ridiculous--but I have a very close friend whose child is autistic and another friend whose child has Williams syndrome, and I've seen and heard how their lives have been completely changed since then.

Now, with all these health issues, the constant worries, the fact that I will be put in the high-risk pregnancy due to my age, and that the age difference between my boy and my second one would be large, I feel my motivation of trying for a second child is significantly decreasing.

HOWEVER, I have heard so many good things about having siblings, and for that I feel so guilty for my son. Most of his friends have siblings, and when he's with them, I feel that he seems to really want to have a little brother/sister too. Maybe I was just overthinking. I don't know.

Now these struggles, hesitation, doubts, worries, and guilts have been driving me crazy these days. I know I would be SUPER HAPPY to have a healthy second child and a healthy me, but I've found it mentally so challenging to convince myself that everything is going to be just fine. What should I do...?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,748 posts, read 38,310,396 times
Reputation: 75033
Have faith.

Just be happy where you are ... today.

Listen to what your body's telling you, and don't ask too much of it anymore. Focus on your child and husband and yourself and don't second guess anymore.

Let it go. He will be fine.

Signed,

A mom and an only child
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
8,896 posts, read 10,396,273 times
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I think you've answered your own question. First of all, the way you worded the title, "are only children really that bad?" That's a bit disturbing! I'm going to assume you didn't mean it the way it sounded. Are you being pressured by friends and family to have another child? Or perhaps pressuring yourself because you think it's the norm? From the things you say in your post (worrying about Williams Syndrome, autism, and that you deal with anxiety)...nobody can tell you what to do, but maybe (?) you might want to focus on the child you have. For what it's worth, I have an only child. Didn't exactly plan it that way but I had trouble way towards the end of my pregnancy. Any future pregnancies would have been high risk, and a couple of years after my daughter was born we just decided not to risk it. We had pressure from family...oh she must have a sibling! Ignored that. There's often pressure. My friend had two kids, HER family pressured her into having three because what of something happened to one of the kids, they won't have a sibling anymore. That is crazy to me, nobody can plan for every situation. So anyhow, I have a now almost 20 year old who doesn't know anything other than being an only child, while my friend has three girls who can't imagine being anything other than a trio of sisters. There's no perfect answer. :-)
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:29 AM
 
9,827 posts, read 7,770,997 times
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Does your son have cousins nearby or close friends around his age? Does he attend kindergarten or nursery school, or a play group or Sunday School or other activities involving age peers? If so, he may develop close friendships with other children - not the same as having a sibling, but still precious.

Do not sacrifice your own health for another child. If something happened to you as a result, your child or children would suffer. Get yourself as healthy as possible, then make sure your precious little son has as full and as happy a life as possible, which includes connections with others. I hope there are potential playmates in your neighborhood. Childhood friendships can endure and are golden.

I was an only child, and my only regret is that I did not and still do not live very close to any of my many cousins. However, I am still emotionally, if not geographically, close to most of them, and just saw seven a couple of weeks ago during a short vacation in my late mother's home state, where many relatives still reside. We are all friends as well as cousins, and we had a great time sharing old memories and making a few new ones.

We hope to repeat the gathering in the fall, and by planning ahead better, include other kinfolks. Nothing like being with family you've loved all your life, though connections with childhood friends, one of whom I just lost this week, can come close.

Cherish your family and friends and your time together with them... and don't hesitate to make that time, if it doesn't come naturally.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,839 posts, read 39,741,491 times
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You know what's right for your health and your family. It's hard, but try to put aside the outside noise. Children thrive in loving families that include siblings, and ones that don't.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:10 PM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,834,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayarashi View Post
Last but not least, because of my (mild) hypochondria and anxiety disorder, I've had deep worries about pregnancy. I've never told this to any of my friends/family--they'll think I'm ridiculous--but I have a very close friend whose child is autistic and another friend whose child has Williams syndrome, and I've seen and heard how their lives have been completely changed since then.
This indeed is a valid concern.

Skip the second kid.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Greater LA area
15,745 posts, read 11,914,476 times
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I would not get pregnant again!


Adopt. Foster.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:45 AM
 
129 posts, read 64,363 times
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I'm an only child. I don't think I'm that bad. My husband was also an only child, and he loved it. I was pretty lonely as a kid, but that could easily have been solved by my parents involving me in some extracurricular classes and/or making more of an effort to let me be around other kids. (We didn't have any kids in the neighborhood, etc.) Also, if you have kids in the extended family, like cousins, that will help too. We didn't, so it was a perfect storm of not having other kids to socialize with outside of school hours. So on one hand, you do have to put a little effort into making sure they have friends. On the other hand, there are no guarantees that if you did have kids that the siblings would get along.

We chose to have a large family and it's a very different atmosphere in our house than growing up. Sometimes I like the activity, but I do often wish we had the quiet and space to breathe that my childhood home did. You can also really go with the flow more with just one child, without having to stop and consider age differences, schedule conflicts, etc. Unless you're super invested in having another child, I don't see any reason TO do so.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:13 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
35,031 posts, read 43,184,782 times
Reputation: 58023
You need to take care of yourself, so you will be strong and healthy for your son. If you are your best self, if it is meant to be, perhaps another baby will come along.
Don't waste time mooning about something you may or may not have. Concentrate on being thankful for what you do have.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:09 PM
 
2,227 posts, read 1,262,043 times
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Of course "only children" aren't bad! There are pros and cons to having siblings, and you can do things (as a parent) to help your child develop relationships, problem-solving skills, and understanding of interpersonal dynamics (some of the benefits of having siblings) in lieu of having siblings for that child. Only children also have benefits in terms of attention from parents and likelihood of available opportunities (fewer children competing for limited social and financial resources). Families come in all different configurations, and we make the best choices for our own family dynamics.
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