Bloggy Moms

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why My Daughter is an Only Child

For years my daughter begged my husband and I to give her a sister. I don't think she fully understood how difficult a request that was. Even though she knows that her father had cancer, she doesn't realize that the chemotherapy that saved his life rendered him incapable of creating a new life via natural means. Before my husband underwent chemotherapy, we did take measures to freeze some of his little swimmers in hopes of having another child. In Vitro Fertization was something that we considered eventually doing. It is pretty expensive and not 100% effective.
 Our situation is pretty unique because my husband's second bout with cancer came at the same time as my pregnancy with our daughter. We thought about trying to have another child when our daughter was around four. At that time my dad had passed away. I received enough money from his estate to consider doing In Vitro or possibly adoption. When I broached the subject to my husband, he replied, "We're thinking of getting a dog not having another child." I laughed when I heard his response. I wasn't surprised though.
At the age of four our little cherub was already a handful. Even though my husband came from a large family and we had agreed to have three or four children in our brood, he knew his limits. So the topic of having additional children never came up again.
We'd actually been married for six years before our daughter was born. About a year or two after we were  married, I became pregnant. Sadly that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. It happened very early into the first trimester so we never learned of the sex of the baby. I believe in my heart I was carrying a little girl. We named her McKenna. One day I will see her again in heaven. I imagine her running into my arms and saying, "Mommy!" Knowing this gives me great comfort.
It wasn't until four years later that I finally conceived Princess.  My husband and I had dealt with the onset of my mom's mental illness and my husband's testicular cancer in the years before that. In fact we were told that we could try to get pregnant after our first battle with the beast of cancer because that time he'd only had surgery and radiation. We had to wait six months after the treatments ceased to try to conceive. We didn't get pregnant right away. My husband's doctor suggested that he come back and see him in six months if I still wasn't pregnant. My doctor took a different approach. He suggested that we increase the frequency of our conception efforts around the time of my ovulation. His plan worked! I became pregnant within a month of this method.
As I previously stated, my husband's cancer returned at the same time as I was pregnant. It turned out to coincide almost exactly with my our daughter's conception. I might even be so bold as to say that looking back my husband discovered a cancerous lump the same day as our daughter was conceived. It was surreal. We were announcing that cancer had reared it's ugly head. At the same time we were announcing a new little life growing within me. My mom's mental health issues became worse during that time period as well. Essentially I was dealing with cancer and an unwell mother all while pregnant with my child. It was a stressful time to say the least.
As the years progressed, we saw the signs of ADHD in Princess which was later diagnosed as bipolar disorder and just this past October we added autism to my daughter's diagnoses. Life with her has certainly been a roller coaster.
This past week I've been having more car chats with Princess as I transport her to and from school while we wait for some school transportation issues to be resolved.  During one of these the subject of my miscarriage came up. My wise child said, "I know why God didn't let my sister live." I asked her why. Her response blew my mind. She replied, "Because God knew how hard it is for me to get along with other children and to share my toys. Maybe if my older sister had lived, we would always be arguing. It's much easier for me not having a sister." Wow! She's right. I honestly don't feel that she could have handled a sister. Before my daughter was stable, there were many days when she wasn't safe to be around. Yes it is hard for her to be an only child. I'd venture to say that for her, for us, adding another human to our household would have been too much.
As for the dog, we did get a one. She's added a lot of joy and love to our family. I guess my daughter did get a sister after all.
My daughter and her fur sister on the day we adopted her.


  1. This was a beautiful post, Cate. Your family is perfect, and I also know you will see your "McKenna" in heaven someday. Princess is a lucky girl!

  2. Your daughter's explanation of why God made her an only child cracks me up. Thanks for adding this to's Tuesday special needs link up.