James attends pre-school, and several of his bestest-ever friends are expecting a brother or a sister. James of course wonders when his baby, brother, or sister will be coming. And no the comma after baby isn’t a mistake, he differentiates between having a baby, a brother, and a sister. Though he has noted that he really doesn’t want a sister, a brother would be fine. He has stopped asking for a purple brother though. These discussions leave me feeling a little bit sad, 1. because I don’t know how to answer him, and I wind up clumsily come up with a “look over there – a dinosaur is in your closet” distraction, and 2. because I want nothing more than to be able to give him a brother.
The deal is James won’t ever be having a brother and a sister. We were told when we first met with our fertility specialist that we zero chances of getting pregnant on our own. I Knew that in my heart-of-hearts, I’d rarely used birth control even with my increadibly fertile ex-husband, and had never once had an accident. Hearing that news still left me feeling broken, Tim too I think.
To get pregnant, we had to use advanced medical techniques including: IVF with assisted hatching, and ICSI. I was lucky enough to get pregnant after the first round of IVF. At about 14 weeks I developed a blood clott deep in my right leg and had to inject blood thinners every day through the rest of my pregnancy. Delivery was difficult because of some of my internal physical oddness, and James was born via c-section. After I was sent home, I started hemoraging and had to go back to the hospital. I truly believe that I was not built to have a child.
When adults ask me when we are having another child, I answer honestly that no we won’t be having more. I usually get a knowing look, and the typical “Oh you never know.” response that drives me nuts. No, I really won’t be getting pregnant again, not by accident because it just isn’t possible the old fashioned way, and not by design, because we can’t afford another $15,000. For very personal reasons, adoption isn’t an option either. So how do I tell a 3.5 year old that he will be an only-child, especially when saying that makes my heart hurt.
I grew up an only child. It isn’t really all that bad, especially as an adult I had a really close relationship with my parents. But as a child, I was lonely. I know that having a sibling isn’t a guarantee that we’d be best of friends, thick as thieves, I know plenty of siblings that hate eachother and do no speak. But I watched all my frieds that grew up with a brother or a sister, and I secretly envied their relationships, even if they spent most of their time fighting. I’d love James to be the older brother, to teach his brother or sister how to play Candy Land or run together in the yard.