I count myself incredibly lucky. Not only is my husband my best friend, but we have a remarkable little boy who we both love to bits. 

Medical issues and disabilities aside, Sam is a happy 6 year old.

But there is always a gnawing sadness deep in the pit of my stomach that he will always be an only child.

As a society we don’t talk about fertility issues nearly as much as we should.

I have known friends struggle through infertility; whether conceiving is problematic, of whether carrying a pregnancy proves to be unattainable. 

I’ve cried with friends who have lost yet another pregnancy, and been there as they talked about how desperately they want to be a Mum. Or Dad. It works both ways.

I’ve seen SN friends fall pregnant and go through 9 months of pure Hell with additional tests, fear and all the worries a complex condition in the family brings… the joy when that child safely arrives is palpable even through a computer screen!

But it isn’t always a happy ending. SN parents have seen the dark side of parenthood, and on occasion it waves back.

For us, falling pregnant wasn’t an issue. I still vividly remember every second of miscarriage too.  The fear that then crept into the next pregnancy that history would repeat.

We now have our little boy and he is nothing short of a miracle and more important to us that oxygen... Even with all his issues there is so much to be happy and thankful for.  

For us, not having more children was a difficult decision we actively made, rather than the choice being made for us; Sam is awesome but we are no closer to understanding what actually caused his problems.

Sure, we know the physical issue is that his brain didn’t form. But the why, that’s a different matter.

Pregnancy for me was brutal, leaving me with more than a few long-term issues. While I would love another child, there are serious risks to my physical (and mental) health that we can’t ignore.

And with a medically complex child already who needs both parents’ full attention to meet his needs, we decided it wasn’t a risk that was worth taking.

Many of our friends in the SN community have had more children, but for us this was the right decision. It’s a kind of self-imposed infertility.

And while the decision has been made it doesn’t stop the sadness from bubbling up occasionally, when someone announces a pregnancy for example.

I’m not broody in any way but I feel that my boy is missing out somehow.

And while I am more than grateful for everything we have, the knowledge that I will never again bring another life into this world will be one of the greatest sadnesses of my life.

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