Only Child Family- When Not by Choice


Only Children Forums Discussion Forum Only Child Family- When Not by Choice

This topic contains 23 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Help! 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #1026 Reply


    Article discusses the feelings of hurt and resentment of parents who have an only child not by choice but by medical or other factors. Coming to terms with your Only Child Family situation.

    [See the full post at: Only Child Family- When Not by Choice]

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  • #1364 Reply


    Did any of you set up a support group? I’m really struggling and desparately need some support. Would be good to have others to speak to.

    #1360 Reply


    I am also in the position of having an only child and not by choice. It makes me so sad thatI will never again be pregnant, or hold a baby of my own, especially because with my daughter I had a terrible pregnancy and early experience as my relationship with the father was awful. Now I have a lovely partner who would make a great dad but we cannot have a baby. Ivf etc is a potential avenue but it is a lot of money that I dont think we can afford to gamble on the hopes it would work.
    So I try to reconcile myself to the positives. My daughter is 7 now and amazing fun and a fabulous child and I try to think of the good times we have together. I feel it is slightly easier for me personally as she has siblings on her dad’s side so I luckily don’t feel that extra burden. She is growing out of the extremely dependent age which is sad in a way but also signals that I have a little more freedom (granted, I would prefer to be ‘tied’ with another small child but since I don’t get to make that choice i have to try and spin things in a positive light!)
    To be honest, the hardest thing for me is the sheer crushing jealousy and pain of seeing others grow their families without even trying, even by accident at times, and knowing we will never get to post a scan photo or see what our child would look like. Heartbreaking. And so hard to find support when you have one, because you should be grateful you at least got to have a baby when so many people don’t. And I am grateful (although at 23 when I had my daughter I never for a moment thought that having babies would ever be anything that took trouble!) but that doesnt mean it isn’t still damned unfair that we don’t get to have another!!! Or a first in my partners case. But we keep our fingers crossed for a miracle and try our best to count our blessings however life turns rational mind says there is so so much more to life than having a baby but my biological clock and whatnot seems to override that rationality on the regular!

    #1344 Reply


    Sorry for typos-dictated the comment to my phone.

    #1343 Reply


    Sorting for typos-dictated the comment to my phone.

    #1342 Reply


    Please have an actual secondary infertility patient who learned to make peace with having an only rewrite this article. This touches on two of our biggest anxieties- that we are harming our children with our grief and that everyone is judging us for being greedy. I don’t “approve” of how I feel, believe me, but learning to accept that my grief is real and valid is the only thing to bring me a measure of peace so far. Guilt is the secondary infertility patient’s constant companion yet my daughter is happy and secure. As others said, it’s precisely because she’s so wonderful that I feel this loss so acutely. Having two kids has always been in my heart, A feeling that I suspect the author of this piece of nothing about. There is nothing wrong with that, but they are not the right person to write this column. And frankly I find it very shortsighted, not to mention the fact that a major issue here seems to be the family’s communication skills. I kept our problem a secret for over a very lonely year precisely because I was afraid of being lectured on appreciating what I had. I have always wanted to children, and I have always wanted them equally. My daughter is the most important thing in the world to me, but that makes giving up harder, not easier. Please take these words in the compassionate spirit that they were intended and find a way to make this a resource that heals, not accidentally hurts.

    #1332 Reply


    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you. I, too, was looking for something to help me come to terms with having an only child not by choice.

    #1329 Reply


    I agree with many commenters before me. This article was insulting, condescending and beyond unhelpful. I have NEVER neglected my only in my pursuit of having another. She is my world and no child has ever been loved more or been cared for better. We have an incredibly close bond. That is part of what makes this so incredibly painful.

    I went through primary infertility. I tried for 4 years to have my amazing, cherished, miracle child, nearly lost her due to pre-eclampsia and prematurity, and with her has been a blessing. Do you not understand that this is WHY Ive gone through what I have in order to try for a second?

    My children have DIED. All the children I could have had, wanted to have, dreamed of having, they are dead. I cannot have any more and the pain of that is overwhelming. Having my daughter does not make this better. It makes it worse because I know what I’ve lost.

    There NEEDS to be a place for those of us who are in this situation. I feel like I’m drowning in grief all the time and there is nowhere for me to go. My family does not understand. My friends do not understand. Infertility groups don’t understand because everyone there is still trying and I can no longer try. But support groups for infertility grief only allow for primary infertility and living childfree.

    This HURTS. All the time. I need help getting through this and there is no help available.

    #1294 Reply


    I don’t see anything insulting about this article, I think you just want to make a big deal out of nothing. As you can see you are the only person who has a problem with this article.

    #1280 Reply


    Hello Cristin, Cio, Rachel and Janice

    Sorry I haven’t checked back on here for some time – it seems there are long periods of inactivity. I still haven’t found any resources on this myself and am still really in need of a community. Recently, my daughter has been struggling a little with some friendship issues at school and I’ve been really miserable about this, and having to totally suppress my own emotions in front of my daughter. I KNOW that my grief over multiple miscarriages, failed IVFs (over 20 supposedly grade A embryos that died after transfer) and consequent lack of siblings is affecting my mindset over what is happening. I have tried multiple counsellors none of whom even began to understand my situation. Abigail – I’m sure your comments are well meaning but they sort of illustrate my point that people who have an only not by choice usually have a complex situation. In my situation my daughter’s only cousin lives a continent away and that is a situation we can’t just change – so we just don’t have the option of that. We will see him at most once a year. I wish we had cousins nearby but we can’t just magic them up just as we can’t magic up a sibling. And, the lack of close cousins or other family of similar age does make everything worse of course. And of course again, with things not great with what used to be her two best friends at school, it has caused my grief to rear it’s ugly head yet again. I, like Cristin, am desperate to hear of someone who has managed to move on to find acceptance and peace but I haven’t found anything. I do dip in and out of ‘the Next Happy’ which I recommended before but it has nothing on how to cope with the bumps in my daughter’s life. I’m going to keep looking because there seem to be at least 6 or 7 of us on here who could use a support group – if I can’t find anything maybe I’ll try and set something up myself so keep coming back here and checking! Best wishes to all xxx

    #1279 Reply


    I have a little girl, nearly 6 – the joy of my life – conceived after many long years of trying before we finally discovered that we had an almost zero chance of getting pregnant naturally. We did one round of ICSI and miraculously the result was our beautiful girl. I am one of 7 and always wanted a big family. So just assumed it would work again when we tried for a second It didn’t – 4 times in a row – by which point I had a bit of a breakdown. I have suffered from depression on and off since then – now nearly 4 years ago.
    I am finally trying to accept this – for years I played with ideas about adoption, donor eggs etc. Because thinking of alternatives stopped me from having to deal with the horrific grief of not being able to have another baby and of having lost so many babies (just potential babies to the world but to me I already loved them and they were my babies who died). I suffer huge guilt, feeling I have failed to create the ,right size’ family and to give my girl a brother or sister. Every time I see her playing alone I suffer a pang.
    I am now having grief counselling. Just being able to acknowledge the pain is helping a little. The thing is I know I am blessed – I love my husband and daughter deeply and we are a great unit. I am working very hard on mourning my lost babies, whilst also really affirming the family I do have. Because the alternTive is to stay in limbo forever and miss out on the pure joy of this life I do have. But it is bloody hard to let go and the hardest thing is the feeling that no one understands how much this hurts. It has helped me to see that others feel this grief every bit as strongly as I do and I am not selfish / crazy. I hope my post helps some of you other brave ladies out there. We have been dealt a really tough hand and most can’t understand why we feel so badly when we have ‘just one’ (a hated phrase for me, so much judgement..) But maybe if we can reach out to each other we can start to feel less alone.
    Would love to hear from anyone who has managed to find some acceptance and peace with only one and not by choice, to give me hope that thus is possible.
    Sending positive thoughts to all out there who are going through this.

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