Getting people like grandparents to understand and accept your decision can be a challenge. Dean had to be up front with her mother and tell her to stop pressuring her to have another child. People find it odd that Quirk gives away clothing that John outgrows and tell her to hold onto it, just in case she changes her mind.
If in Doubt . . .
Nicole Connors of Asheboro, North Carolina, has a 13-month-old son, Alexander. She and her husband decided shortly after his birth that Alexander would be their only child and they have not wavered.
"It's hard to explain, but my husband and I both feel that our family is complete," Connors says. "When we get in the car, it feels like everyone is there. When we eat I can look around the table and know that everyone who should be there is. My heart tells me we're done."
Dr. Bartell emphasizes that it is very important that the decision on family size be one that both parents come to together. If there is disagreement, the person whose reason is the most serious must prevail, she explains.
On the BabyZone Single Child Family board, Dean advises parents to keep their options open if they have any doubt. Until you have reached that level of peace with your decision, don't do anything drastic such as vasectomy.
When You Know . . . You Know
"People ask, 'How do you know for sure?'" Dean says. "It's being calm and at peace with that decision. There are no more questions. It's knowing, and there's no more anxiety about it. It's enjoying what you have instead of wishing for what you didn't have."
Nicole Connors looks at how happy her life is now that her son is older. Alexander cried a lot as a newborn. Now he sleeps through the night, so she is no longer sleep deprived. She can have complete conversations with her friends, and getting out of the house is getting easier and easier as Alexander matures.
"I have friends who have had another or are expecting," says Connors. "I have even held newborns and the feeling remains the same. I have no pangs of guilt, no wishing for another. I am so happy that we have decided to concentrate on him and him alone. Our house is happy."