As my husband walked all webble-wobble from the hospital, we almost simultaneously shared our biggest regret, “I wish we would have started earlier. It would have been nice for our fella to have a brother or sister.” We both felt bittersweet relief. Moments before a nurse was nonchalantly holding my husband’s vas deferens while explaining a litany of post-op care. All I heard was “bag of peas,” “here is a list,” “come back in 6-weeks with this cup to make sure it took.”
Now that a couple of weeks have passed, I have rethought “I wish we could have started earlier” phrase. The truth is, I think we both said that dismissively. Yes, it was a bittersweet moment and if we had a passel of kids we would love each one of them BUT…this was the right decision for us.
When I was younger, I was focused on my education and career. I have no regrets. I also needed to get my own sH*& straight before bringing another life into this world. Again, no regrets. I am so glad that I did not get impregnated by the fellas I dated before my husband. Not joking—marriage is hard and adding a baby into the mix adds a depth that requires loyalty, love, and longevity. I would certainly have been divorced by now if I had chosen any one of my former mates during my past. No offense guys, but our timing was not right. Further, my husband and I weren’t ready yet in our earlier years together. Our marriage needed to marinate.
We needed time together as a couple—just the two of us to experience intense intimacy before we became the three bears.
Also, the idea of “it would have been nice for our son to have a sibling.” Yes, there are benefits like the idea that siblings can learn from each other, play together, support each other as they get older, may not be so lonely. All of that might be true. For some folks, multiples are great; my intention is not to offend here. I deeply admire parents that can pull off raising multiples with fortitude and grace.
I am also not sure of how great it would have been for us, considering my family tree has mental illness and alcoholism. I just now feel that season has passed for our family tree. Our parents were healthier than theirs and we are healthier than our parents. While my kid may not have a large family of siblings, he does have a distinct, nurtured bond with both of his parents. We are able to focus on being the best that we can be as individuals and parents.
Everyone parents differently and family plans differently. For my husband and me, a vasectomy was our choice. Reasons for that decision are his. I am grateful that I no longer have to have a back-up plan. For the last four years folks have asked me, “When are you going to have another one?” Typically, when I say, “Oh, we’re not. We are one and done…” Folks look at me with a smirk that implies, “Oh, ok. Sure.” Some also look at me all narrow-eyed with the implied meaning, “Oh, really. Well we shall see about that.” Now I can say with finality, “Yep. We are one and done.”