Please Don't Tell Me To Have A Second Child

by Stefanie Bari
Originally Published: 

OK, I was caught off guard this time. In a super swell optometrist office, finding out I need corrective lenses for the first time in my 30-some-odd years of existence when my well behaved newly six year old asked for my help playing Lego’s in the kiddie corner.

You asked: “Oh, is she your only?”

(Insert deliberate long ass pause.)

“Yep. Unless you count my husband who acts like he’s six.”

“Wow, then what are you waiting for?! She needs a sibling!”

OK, listen, Dear.

Yeah, you, too. And you over there.

Want to know why I won’t have another? Or why I can’t?

Because I almost fucking died having her, and if I were to put my damaged heart under that sort of pressure again with a baby in the womb, I could likely have severe complications for both myself and baby and potentially one (or both of us!) could die and my daughter would also be minus a mother in addition to a sibling. So, ummm, that’s why.

Yeah, I memorized that monologue and have used it many times since 2008. Just not for auditions. Usually for jackasses.

Enter the nail salon. My own fault for being selfish and going while my kiddo was in school, huh?

“You have kids?” you asked.

“I have a six year old.”

“No more? Ah come on, Why no more?!”

Because… fuck off.

What if I had another child. And something absolutely devastating happened? (I know an amazing family whom this happened to and I can’t imagine their pain when asked this question.)

Oh, wait. Here we go again.

I am at a party for my six year old’s six year old friends. There are 26 six year olds high on sugar and omg CHEMICALS in their cake. It’s not vegan, dammit!

You try and initiate conversation. I get it.

“She your only one?” you ask. “No siblings?”

Here we go.

Did you take into consideration just how many women have trouble conceiving, remaining healthy, and keeping a healthy baby in the womb before pretending to be so intrigued by my ability or inability to reproduce?

What if we had unexpected financial hardship and lost just about everything to our names while raising our one year old with our entire world around us falling apart, and we realized that perhaps it is more of a wise decision not to dig ourselves deeper into financial and emotional distress in the future and save thousands of dollars by deliberately not having another child?!

Oh wait, she needs a playmate. You said so, right? I forgot.

So, Dear. You still here? Wanna know how I almost died having my daughter? I was a sopping 105 pounds at seven months pregnant in pre-term labor, and I was given WAY too much terbutaline, WAY too many times and wham. Mommy goes code blue all up in the hospital, bitches.

Had to zap mommy back to life, cardio version style, baby in womb and all. Oh, and let’s get permanent heart valve damage and recurring atrial and ventricular fibrillation. So yeah, it wouldn’t be so wise of me to intentionally put my already jacked up heart through this potentially fatal thing called pregnancy so that my daughter can have a sibling.

That’s why.

Related post: 10 Reasons I Love Having An Only Child

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