Today one of my best friends had a baby boy, to go along with her almost three-year-old daughter. She and I were pregnant together for her first time, and my first time and my last. A few months before Tyler’s second birthday I was diagnosed with Lupus, although I had been becoming sicker months before. I did have a time of good health where I naively thought that I had been as sick as I was ever going to get and my husband and I decided to try to have a baby.
I conceived easily and my diseases obediently stayed away. Now I can barely handle the care of my one child, much less think about ever having another. Because I have been so ill, I have been unable to work for over a year, so having another child would be financially impossible as well. I don’t know what is to come for me and I don’t know how Tyler will feel having a disabled, sick mom. Even if finances were good, for me, it wouldn’t be right to bring another baby into my situation.
It’s a different kind of feeling, I think, than being infertile. You can make babies, you just shouldn’t. It makes you so angry that chronic illness has taken away from you one of the greatest powers a woman has. I always pictured myself with at least two children. I was one of those women who wanted to have children ever since she was a child herself.
As I was writing this, an email with pictures of the new baby came. As I was watching the slide show, an up way too late Tyler came in and I showed him the pictures. He only wanted to see the ones where his little friend was in. I told him that now she was a big sister. “Mommy, your nose has boogies.” “Oh, thank you, I’m sorry,” I said, reaching for a tissue.
I got up with him and put him to sleep by singing him a very long lullaby that I made up for him while he was a newborn. As I sang, the tears ran down my face. Tyler is still my baby and I know I am lucky that I had my ONE, but sometimes I do wonder, what if?