Previous Post Next Post

Kid

Brought to you by

I Only Have One Kid. Stop Asking When I’ll Have Another.

By Lisa Quinones-Fontanez |

Mother and Son with Autism_AutismWonderland_Lisa Quinones Fontanez for Babble

with Norrin on 8/4/13

When my husband Joseph and I first moved in together, everyone asked when we would get married. When we got married, everyone asked when we would have a kid. Two years later, when I gave birth to our son Norrin, people asked when I was going to have another.

I hadn’t even been given the green light by my Ob/Gyn to get busy again. I was sleep deprived and my breasts were engorged and people were asking if I was ready to “try for a girl.”

The week that Norrin was diagnosed with autism, my best friend had her baby shower. Norrin was two and half years old. Attending a baby shower, everyone wants to talk about babies and more babies. The diagnosis was so new. I was angry, heartbroken, and confused.  And I wanted to scream each time someone asked, “My son has autism! And I don’t want any more kids.”

I struggled with whether or not to have another child. I knew Joseph wanted more children. My family kept saying we should have another. And every therapist that walked in and out of our home said a sibling would be the best therapy for Norrin. But autism was like this dark cloud hanging over me. I had fallen down this rabbit-hole and I was trying to figure out our new world.

After three years, I decided I was ready. And immediately I was pregnant. As I began to tell friends and family about my pregnancy, they all asked the same question: Are you scared this baby will have autism too?

For years people had asked when I was going to have another kid. Now that I was pregnant, everyone wanted to play on all of my fears. But during my second pregnancy, I was happy. Hopeful. Excited. And I told them that I wouldn’t worry until there was something to worry about. I wanted a baby.

And then during my 16 week appointment, my Ob/Gyn discovered my baby had died. I had a miscarriage and I didn’t even know.

That was three years and eleven days ago. I haven’t been the same since. And I suppose I never will.

Three years and eleven days ago and I haven’t gotten pregnant again.

Norrin is seven years old (closer to eight). Joseph and I have been married ten years. And I still get asked when I’ll have another baby or if I want one. “You should have another baby,” they say before I even have chance to answer. Because you know… it’s that easy.

Each time someone asks, it’s a reminder of what I have lost. It leaves me on the defense with this feeling of brokenness. I wonder, why me? When people question me about more children – it’s painful.

Just as some women have to defend their right not to want children, I feel as if I need to defend the reason why I have not had any more.

Nothing in my life has hurt more than carrying a child for 16 weeks and having people ask me what I did wrong when I lost that baby.

Why do people think it is okay to ask a woman if or when she’s going to have a baby? I know the people who inquire don’t mean any harm. But still. It’s such a personal question and often has many complicated answers.

Why is asking a woman about babies practically socially acceptable, yet asking someone about their salary not?

Because – to me – there is nothing at all intrusive about asking somehow how much money they make. No one dares ask that – not even the closest of friends will go there. (And bloggers won’t dare ask how many page views a post received.) But asking a woman if they want/when they’ll have children is completely invasive, and yet it is always on the table for discussion.

If I could have another baby tomorrow, I would. It hasn’t been that easy. I’ll be 38 next month. My baby-making time clock is ticking. The older I get, the greater the risk. Though it’s not autism I fear.

I wish folks would think about all the things that have to be considered when it comes to having children. I wish more people understood that it’s not a question that can be easily answered with a yes or no. Maybe then, they would think twice before asking.

 

Read more on Babble!

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

And don’t miss a post! Follow Lisa on Twitter and Facebook!

More on Babble

About Lisa Quinones-Fontanez

lquinonesfontanez

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez is a secretary by day, writer by night and Mami round the clock. Her blog, Atypical Familia, chronicles the life and times of two typical parents raising one extraordinary kid in NYC. Atypical Familia is a personal blog that focuses on autism, work/life balance, family entertainment and so much more! Read bio and latest posts → Read Lisa's latest posts →

« Go back to Kid

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on Babble.com and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

2 thoughts on “I Only Have One Kid. Stop Asking When I’ll Have Another.

  1. Jasmine Forte says:

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your story Lisa. I know all too well the struggles of pregnancy. I am blessed to have 3 children after 8 pregnancies. I also had a baby pass away in the womb at 3mths gestation. All I can say is count your blessings daily and do what you feel is right for your family. People will always have two cents. All that matters is that you, your husband and your son are happy.

  2. Sarah says:

    I lost a baby this year through an ectopic pregnancy and that experience made my husband and I decide we were one and done. We have a beautiful, smart little boy and I just can’t imagine going through the trauma of getting pregnant again. People are quick to talk about our “growing” family- unless there’s an act of God, we’re all set with the family we have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post