For different reasons, they decided to have only one child. A choice not always well accepted by society.
Table of contents
- I would like our choice to be respected
- I had my tubes tied
- I don’t want to go through a C-section again.
I would like our choice to be respected
Pauline, 32 years old, a 14-month-old boy
Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted several children. At least two: a boy and a girl. I also dreamed of a wedding, a house, a dog. All the wishes of a little girl! I met the man of my life in 2006. My partner doesn’t want to get married, and if we managed to be owners, for the moment, it’s only of an apartment, but not of a house as we would have liked. It doesn’t matter because I’m a happy wife and a fulfilled mother. We waited 13 years to have our first child because we both wanted to have stable work situations. I am a former military woman. I had to wait a long time to find a position in civilian society. Now I have a good situation. We felt a great deal of pressure from those around us to have a child during all this time. It was very hard morally as if it was an obligation! Luckily, as soon as we decided, I was pregnant right away, and a beautiful baby boy was born in August 2018.
From the beginning, we had decided to have only one child: first reason, our age. I am 32 years old, my spouse 37. For me, you have to be on top of your game to raise a child! Second reason: in today’s world, what a selfish act to have children when we see the world we are giving them! This polluted earth, unemployment, the cost of living. It’s terrible to know that because of our ecological impact on the planet and the resulting climate change, my child will never experience Christmas holidays in the snow. The only thing we don’t do green is fly. We want to continue to travel far, with the three of us!
There is also the financial aspect
If my son tells me later on that he wants to go on a long course of study, I know that we will be able to finance it without any problem. We’ll still be able to enjoy life together as a couple. Finally, even though I loved my pregnancy, it damages and changes the body forever. My body has changed. My husband helped me accept it. He said, “Okay, your belly looks like chocolate mousse, but it’s your new body, and we’ll both learn to love it.” During my pregnancy, I gained 11 kg, and I really wanted to lose it. I managed to do that by stopping snacking and exercising. Twice a week, I leave my son with his dad and go to the gym. I also go jogging, and it clears my head. Today, the pressure to have a second child is terrible. People say to me: “Yes, I said that too, and two years later, I had a second child.” Or again: “But you are selfish, you have to give him a brother or a sister, you are going to make him a child-king.” We wanted our son. He will lack nothing, especially not the love of his parents. I wish all these people who give us advice would respect our choice.
I had my tubes tied
Emmanuelle, 37 years old, one daughter aged 9
I’m not saying I have ONLY one child, but I do have a child. She is not alone. She is surrounded by her cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends, and especially her parents. Before, when I thought of my ideal family, I visualized two children. I come from a family of three, and my husband is from a family of two. When I found out I was pregnant, I felt a lot of joy. The pregnancy was a bit complicated. I had vomiting until four months, many contractions, and a threat of premature delivery. Finally, Margot was born at full term. I gave birth quickly, without an epidural, on 13 December 2010. A nice memory!
Three years later, I felt the desire to have another child. After a few months of trying, I thought I was pregnant. I panicked. My first thought was, “I’m not cut out to have two children. I didn’t feel like I could give love to a second baby. In the end, I wasn’t pregnant. After that, we had a couple’s talks where I told my husband I didn’t want another child, and he was very relieved. He also didn’t want one, and he didn’t dare tell me! It’s important to talk to each other as a couple! We said to ourselves that our family was good with three and not with four. With three people, we can afford more activities than with four, five, or more. For example, we can go to the cinema, the restaurant, or the tree climbing, but we wouldn’t necessarily do it if we had to pay for an extra ticket. Recently, we even took our daughter to Venice. I think if we had to pay for four plane tickets, we wouldn’t have done it.
My husband didn’t dare tell me, but he only wanted one child
I am lucky to have a gynecologist who listened and agreed to perform a tubal ligation on me. At 35, with a child, it was not easy. But after the reflection period and the various appointments, I had the operation in January 2019, and I do not regret my choice. The most negative feedback came from girlfriends my age. One said to me, “I couldn’t bear to know that I would never be pregnant again.” But for me, it was a real relief! One person even said to me, “But if something happens to you, your daughter will be all alone! I thought that was a horrible thing to say. As if having two children would make them less unhappy if something happened to us! As if we should have children “just in case”! So now we are a family of three. Some may think it’s wobbly, but to me, it’s complete!”
I don’t want to go through a C-section again.
Jennifer, 28, 4-year-old daughter
As recently, we were asked when we were going to do the second one. We both replied that we would stop there and not have another one. I love my daughter to bits, and I don’t spend a day without her. The three of us are very close. But I’ve decided to have one child, and my mind will not change. I loved being pregnant, especially since it took a long time: a year and a half! But in my case, giving birth was such a trauma that it brings tears to my eyes when I talk about it. I didn’t want to have a C-section or an epidural. I had imagined an ideal birth: I wanted to be skin-to-skin with my baby and have my partner cut the cord. Instead, I had an emergency C-section and couldn’t hold my baby right away. By the time I delivered, I was almost full term.
I had two inductions, as the first one didn’t work due to a suspected cracked sac, and after several days in the hospital, the pain was so unbearable that I ended up accepting an epidural. I would have cried with disappointment. That evening, something terrible happened: it was the attacks at the Bataclan in Paris. We were in our bubble and didn’t know what was happening outside. The midwife and I decided that it was better for our baby to be born after midnight. When I pushed, the baby didn’t come out. I couldn’t deliver. It turned out that the cord was too short, and my baby couldn’t come out. It was decided to have an emergency cesarean section, and my partner could not come with me. I had an anesthetic, but even if you don’t feel the pain, you see everything. There is only a veil to protect you; it was impressive.
I had imagined an ideal birth
Not being able to touch her, do the skin-to-skin thing, or watch my man cut the cord. None of that was possible. The first image I saw was of her and her daddy skin-to-skin. It’s a beautiful image, but for me, the birth is still a failure. Of course, this C-section was done for the sake of my baby, but I don’t want to go through this again. I will always have this scar on my stomach. Four years later, when I look in the mirror, I still can’t look at it. So, for me, it’s no, my daughter will remain an only child.”
With the passing years and the rising expense of living year after year, having a large family is no longer regarded as a viable option. In fact, a growing number of couples are thinking of having only one kid, and some have no desire to have children at all. The most evident advantage of having only one child for parents is that they may give their child more in terms of material items and their care and affection.