I make it a priority to meet new people every day and one of the easiest ways to connect with people is through our children, because this gives us a place to begin a conversation. I often get asked if I have just the one child, not out of a place of negativity but curiosity mostly. Or I get this: Oh! I thought you had more than one. And I understand that most people don’t realize that these simple words and phrases can sting a little bit every time they ask.
The reality is that most people don’t know the truth behind why someone has zero or twelve kids. And sometimes that truth is a little bit uncomfortable. What most people don’t know about me is that I have endometriosis which means that I am very very lucky to have been able to give birth to one child. About a year before my husband and I were married, I had a surgical procedure in order to get rid of some of the endometriosis that was growing in my uterus and ovaries. It wasn’t too serious a case, however my surgeon did warn me that it would grow back and I should be trying to get pregnant sooner rather than later. We ended up waiting just over a year and after four months of trying, I became pregnant the night before my 35th birthday.
Thankfully, in September of 2010, our daughter Céline was born, a few days premature, but a fighter from the start. She was pretty tiny and suffered from severe jaundice – we narrowly avoided a blood transfusion at three days old. Since then, she has grown into a very healthy and very active 6 year old and I thank God every day for sending her to our family.
So yes, it’s just one. And some of you many know that there could have just as easily been three. In late 2012, I was pregnant for a second time and made it all the way to 15 weeks. Unfortunately, I suffered a traumatic miscarriage at home and lost the baby. What many don’t know is that moment of trauma flashes back in my mind every once in a while. It ended with a trip to the ER (after the cops had to break down my door as I was home alone) and a very quick D&C. I was released in time to pick up our daughter from daycare that afternoon, after being admitted only a few hours earlier.
As for the third pregnancy, I was hesitant to share it with many people because of the loss a year and a half prior. Once again I made it through the first trimester but ended up losing the baby at 12 weeks, possibly because I hadn’t had another surgery to clean up the endometriosis. I had to have another D&C and although the miscarriage wasn’t as traumatic this time, what follows was.
I ended up with a very rare bacterial infection that almost took my life. After spending a week in a medically induced coma, I survived to heal and continue my journey on earth here in this specific moment in time, partly to be a mom to just one child.
There are times when I do wonder about those angel babies. Especially when I seen friends with three children of similar ages to what mine would have been. The good news is that I am completely happy and totally grateful that we are a family of three. It works for us. All I ask is that you please stop asking me if I’ve only got one child. Yes I do. But I might have had three.
The next time you meet someone new and you’re talking about kids, instead of making assumptions perhaps ask how many they have or if you’re unsure if they have any, ask about their family in general. Chances are there is more to the story then they are comfortable sharing with you. And if someone asks you a question that makes you uncomfortable, assume that they mean no harm and are simply unaware of how their words might make you feel.
Lifestyle & Leadership Masterclass – Thursday Jan 12th at Le Jardin in Woodbridge with one of my mentors, Natalie Dion. Registration now open! www.lifestylemasterclass.eventbrite.ca
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