Is He Your First?

Is He Your First? | Houston Moms Blog

“Is he your first?”

It is a simple question, a generic conversation starter at the playground. No big deal really. Except when it is. It is a question that hurts so deep in my soul I can’t truly find the words to explain it to you. I am certainly not about to break down in the middle of the neighborhood park and share the depths of my pain with a well-intentioned stranger. I don’t want to live in a world where we are expected to walk on eggshells in every single interaction. Almost anyone you meet is struggling with something, that much I have learned. I won’t expect people to think through every possible implication a question may have before they ask it. Infertility, infant loss, widowhood. I certainly don’t have the energy to do so. Are they being kind? Sure. So I will politely answer affirmatively and allow myself the grief later.

The thing is, right now at this point in my life, being forced to face the fact that he is most likely not my first {as that implies there will be a second} is hard. Sometimes it feels unbearable. I have to find a way to come to terms with the fact that my husband is gone and that I may never have another child. He isn’t here for me to talk to about whether we want another baby.  While he always teased me that he only wanted one child, I will never know how he would have felt after meeting our amazing son. I will never know how I would have felt had he been here with us at the almost two-and-a-half-year mark. So many things would be different.

What I do know is that I wanted a second child. I wanted our son to have a brother or sister. This would have been the time that I would have asked my husband to think about it. I would have explained to him that I want our child to share a bond like we do with our siblings. We would have talked about all of the ways that our siblings expanded our own lives, and I would have tried to show him that James should have that too. We would have shared all the happy childhood memories where having them there made it better. I would have explained to him that I love being a mother and that James has impacted my heart in such a way that I would love to add another baby to our family and give us all someone else to love deeply. I don’t know what we would have decided because we will never have that conversation.

I honestly can’t imagine who I would be today without my sister. Both before my husbands’ accident and after, she has forced me to become a better version of myself. I can’t tell you that we were always the best of friends – the way some siblings are – because we weren’t. There may have been times where she tried to cause me significant bodily harm. Okay, to be fair, she was 3 or 4.  But today, I truly consider her my best friend. I honestly feel so much respect and admiration for who she has become and what she has done for me.

Is He Your First? | Houston Moms Blog

There is no way it is easy to watch your younger sister fall apart and just hold her. There is no way it is easy to find it in yourself to tell her that you wish there was a way to fix what has been broken. But you can’t, so you will just lay with her until the sun comes out again, both literally and figuratively.

There are so many things known between us that no bond can ever be the same. She may drive me crazy sometimes, but I love her beyond measure. She was there when I was born, and 9 months later when I almost died. She helped guide me through the social awkwardness of my teen years. We celebrated her college graduation as well as mine. She stood next to me as I married the love of my life. She made all the phone calls and sat with me on the worst day of my life. Three months later, she held my hand as we welcomed my son on one of the best days of my life.

I wanted my son to have that same shared history. I also know that regardless of his only child status, he will know love. Strong, beautiful, fierce, all-consuming love. I know that all the people in his life care deeply about him, that they will show up in times of celebration…and times of grief.  I know that he can still have amazingly strong bonds with his friends and cousins. It is comforting. I know that he will have a full life whether he has a sibling or not. We have so many people in our lives that are wonderful, happy, brilliant, only children. I know that I don’t look at them and think that their lives are lacking in any way simply because they don’t have siblings.

Is He Your First? | Houston Moms Blog

I also know that being his mother has given me so much joy. Thanks to my sweet boy, my life is so full. I know that I am lucky and feel so honored to spend my life with him. It isn’t that being his momma isn’t enough, because it is. It is just that I wanted both of our hearts to have the chance to expand and love another. So for now, I will grieve not just my second child, but his sibling. And I am allowed that grief too. One day it won’t hurt as much, and we will look back at our wonderful collection of memories together and won’t wonder if something was lacking. One day we will get there, together.


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