I Only Want One Baby – And That’s Okay!

For some reason, it’s really challenging for people to believe when I say definitively that I only want one baby. That drives me nuts! Here’s the deal, I am me, I make my own decisions, and no one else gets to decide for me, and guess what? I only want ONE baby!

When doing a little research about how many people choose to have just one child, I ran across an interesting Gallup Poll from 2013. Not surprisingly, most people think that having 2-3 kids is best. However, at the very bottom of the article, you’ll see a chart that shows very similar percentages of people (across all age ranges) who think 1 child is ideal and who think 5 children is ideal. That surprises me. I expected that most people would say that 2-3 children is ideal, and then thought having 1 child would be in third place. Apparently people find having 1 child as outrageous as having 5 children (which, btw, isn’t crazy to those people).

Clearly, I have an unpopular view on this, but I don’t understand why the 70+% of people who think 2-3 kids is ideal must insist that I also want that many kids, or that I’m wrong, or don’t know what’s best for me. I don’t insist that they’re wrong about their own decisions, but they all-too-often tell me I’m wrong. How can people think it’s okay to tell you how to run your life?

I’ve literally had tons of conversations that go like this:

Me: Kennedy’s the only one. We’re done. We’ve always only wanted one child.

Stranger: No, you HAVE to have another one.


Stranger: You’ll change your mind. You’ll have two.

Holy cow. NO, I won’t. In fact, we’ve already made a permanent birth control decision, so there absolutely will not be a baby number 2 in this house… and we are HAPPY about that.

Everyone thinks that your baby will be lonely, or ask what happens when you’re gone, or who they’ll play with, or what happens if something happens to the first baby.

Won’t she be lonely? I can’t predict the future, but I am an only child and I can tell you that I was never lonely. I had amazing parents (my mom, dad, and step-dad), extended family, really close friends my own age, and family friends who were my “aunts” and “uncles.”

What happens when I’m gone? Well, that’s going to suck, but she’ll probably have a network like the one described above to lean on. When my dad died, I had my mom, stepdad, husband, and close friends to help.

Who will she play with? Probably friends she’ll make along the way, just like everyone else. Some of our closest friends live .5 miles away, and they have a baby who is a few months younger than my daughter. Boom, problem solved.

Also, I LOVED being an only child. There wasn’t one thing about it that I disliked! I feel so passionate about loving my childhood that I want to ensure that she has the same experience.

What happens if something happened to my baby? First of all, the thought of that is terrifying. And, as a preemie mom, we had some scary experiences early on, but Kennedy is here – thank God. If something happened to her, I would lose my mind. I’d probably be strapped to a rocking chair, facing out a window, and stay there permanently. Having another child wouldn’t fill her void. There is only one Kennedy.

Everyone has to make their own decision about the number of kids to have (if any, because that’s okay too!). I personally think that many people end up wanting a similar number of kids as they grew up with. My husband and I are both only children, so it makes sense that we only want one.

I’m A-OK with whatever people decide for themselves, but it makes me crazy that I have to defend the decision to have one kid. We are, and have always planned to be one and done.


My only child seems pretty happy about things!

Kennedy’s Story

I knew my whole life that I wanted to have a baby, and ideally a little girl. Growing up my best friend, Caleigh, and I would always play “babies.” In our make believe world (which included “Babyland”) there weren’t ever husbands, it was just us and our babies. I had a Baby Shivers doll named Misti, and she had a Cabbage Patch Kid named Tina.

Literally, having a baby girl was always part of my plan, which began around age 4. Fast forward about 30 years, my husband and I were ready to have a baby.

We are both essentially only children (we each have a half brother, but neither of us grew up with our brothers, so we and our brothers all grew up as only children), and knew we wanted to have an only child too, and we were both totally hoping for a girl.

We started stalking ovulation kit readings, pregnancy tests, the whole deal. Month one I had a chemical pregnancy, month two I didn’t pregnant, and then month three, success – I was pregnant! We didn’t want to tell anyone until 12 weeks, and we had a few ultrasounds before that point. Unfortunately, that baby wasn’t to be. I had a miscarriage and a D&C at 10 weeks. That was beyond depressing and sad. Lots of people want to tell you things like “at least it happened now and not later,” etc., but that doesn’t make you feel any better. No matter when a miscarriage happens, it’s a big deal to the people experiencing it.

Doctors told me to wait a few months to try again, and when it was time to start trying again, we had success on the first month! And that’s where Kennedy’s story begins.

Because of the chemical pregnancy and then the miscarriage, I had my first ultrasound at 6 weeks, and the peanut had a heartbeat!!!!! We went back at 8 weeks, and things were still awesome! I was soooo desperate to get past the 10 week mark. There was a constant fear that something would happen again, which would be devastating. Thankfully things kept clicking along perfectly. Once we got past the critical 12-week mark, I couldn’t wait to find out who was inside!!

I accepted that I could have a boy or a girl… until the ultrasound tech said during the 12-week appt that my baby’s “nub” looked horizontal. A horizontal nub means a girl! I’m not a fan of wives tales, but the Nub Theory is actually based in some anatomical science, so I was pretty pumped that it looked like my dream was coming true! There was no way I could wait until the 20-week ultrasound, so I made an appt at a local ultrasound facility and found out our baby was a GIRL!! Brian and I were both ecstatic, and so were our families when we shared the awesome news.

Things kept going along as planned… until the 24 week appt. when my blood pressure got nuts. I ended up spending the night in the hospital. I totally thought I was going to go to the hospital, get some tests and leave. Then they handed me a gown and told me I was being admitted.

Long story short, from that point on, I started seeing a high-risk doctor several times a week, taking medication, and also continuing to see my regular ob about once every week or so. No matter how much medication or which type of medications I took, my blood pressure crept up and up. It was regularly around 170/100+, and finally got to 176/112 or so, and I had to go to the hospital. I went to the hospital where I planned to deliver, and this time I was like, okay, I’m going to go, spend the night, and then go back to my high risk doctor on Monday. Nope. They did keep me overnight, but then they told me my lab work was high, I had preeclampsia, I was delivering the baby that morning, and they sent me to a different hospital to have the baby.

I was on Magnesium (totally necessary, but also a totally miserable experience), put in the ambulance, and transported to the other hospital. The NICU doctors came down to talk to us, gave us the 24-27 week pamphlet of what to expect, and we were ready to become parents (well, as ready as you can be at 27 weeks). To our surprise, the amazing doctors ended up stabilizing me and sending me to antepartum. Those high risk doctors thought they could get me to 37 weeks – they weren’t sure if that meant I’d get to go home, be on bed rest, stay in the hospital the whole time, etc. The plan changed daily as my blood work continued to deteriorate. One the 4th or 5th day my blood work was super crazy again (my mom said at one point my blood pressure was 190+/100+! I ended up with severe preeclampsia or early HELLP Syndrome (I was pretty out of it because of the Magnesium… I had 3 24-hour drips of it – and Brian said the doctor said I either had HELLP already or it was right at that point.).

A quick c-section at 27 weeks 6 days resulted in our perfect little Kennedy! She cried when she came out, opened her eyes, pooped, grabbed my husband’s finger, and was only on c-pap. Who could ask for more!!!


She spent 12 weeks and 1 day in the hospital and went home on her due date! She had a tough road at the beginning. After her initial delivery room success, she ended up developing a serious lung condition in one of her lungs (it’s a condition that most often effects both lungs, and treating a unilateral case can be more challenging because baby equipment is too tiny to treat lungs independently – so what you do to one lung, you do to both, and in a case like hers, that meant a constant dance between improvement in one lung and harming the other). Thankfully that resolved when she was about 4 weeks old, but we still need to be cautious even now about avoiding sickness since preemie lungs are already weaker than full term babies, and a preemie with a lung issue is even more sensitive.

We found out the day that she went home that when she had the lung condition, she was the sickest baby in the NICU. I’m so glad we didn’t know that when it was happening! The NICU is a roller coaster that you can’t prepare for – and there are days that feel like 5 years, but somehow you get through (I’m still not sure how, but you do).

Her doctors and nurses were FANTASTIC!!! I really couldn’t ask for a better team. They were so incredible, constantly working to ensure she recovered and keeping Brian and I from losing our minds with fear.

Fast forward to now and we’re very close to Kennedy’s one year birthday!!!! Preemies typically take about 2 years to catch up developmentally to their peers, but Kennedy is (and has been for several months) almost exactly on track with her birth age. Her early interventionist said it’s mind blowing, and she’s never seen a preemie like her!

Kennedy is the light of our life. We can’t believe we are so lucky to have her. We have the most perfect human in the world as far as we’re concerned. I don’t know what she’s going to do when she grows up, but I know it’s going to be epic. That girl is a fighter. She’s tougher (and cooler) than anyone I’ve ever met.

There are many other things that happened between Kennedy’s birth day and now, but those are stories for another day.




Building a Friendship


Dawn & Steph on the last day of senior year

Dawn and I met about 20 years ago (whoa!), in 9th grade. I was pretty quiet and Dawn was more outgoing and definitely had more friends at that point (and probably still does!). Our maiden names were close alphabetically, so we always ended up in the same 5th period class, which was 1.5 hours long. As I remember it, Dawn would randomly turn around and tell me things out of the blue – outrageous plans for her future, or other things she wanted to do. It would always crack me up. It kind of seemed like confession. I don’t even know if I ever said anything back. I’m not much of a rule breaker, so I probably didn’t even talk during class at that point!

Our friendship stayed at that random-fact-phase for several years, until 11th grade, when we had yet another 5th period class together (this time was Chemistry, neither of our areas of strength) and also were in the same SAT prep course. We each hated that prep course, and hated that it was after school. The mall was much more fun. So one day we decided that we were going to skip the prep course and head to the mall. A few other girls who were mutual friends of ours went, and then they had to go home by a specific time. Dawn and I decided that we weren’t ready to go home at that point and so we drove back to our little suburb, dropped off our mutual friends, and then headed back to the mall (which was about 1 hour round trip). Well, wouldn’t you know, my ’88 Cavalier broke down. And we both had to pee.

There’s something about being in a broken down car in a pretty crappy area, needing to call your parents to ask for help (after lying about skipping the prep course – which was about the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done to date… I’m pretty lame) and attempting to not pee your pants that really fosters a bond.

I honestly don’t remember much about how long we were there, who came to pick us up, when or where we ended up finally getting to use the bathroom or anything else, but I do know that it led to a life-long friendship. I’m not sure that Dawn and I ever hung out with those mutual friends again, or if we ever attended another prep course, but Dawn and I have stuck together ever since and had a fabulous time together! I ended up with a new Cavalier and put 18k miles on it in the first year – pretty much just driving to the mall and back! Now we’re moms (when did we grow up???) and are figuring out how that life is supposed to go.