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eSpecially Parents July Edition: Paula's Story

Tye is an only child. Some of it is by choice, most of it because of nature. I never thought I would only have one child. I always dreamed of having more kids. I LOVE kids. I would rather be with a child than be with an adult sometimes. Unfortunately, we were not able to have children easily. Tye was an invitro baby. Talk about a child that you wanted more than anything in the world...that was Tye.

We had tried for 5 years to conceive doing all sorts of things to get pregnant. Sex was not a fun past time because it became more of "Let's go have sex. I'm ovulating today" and then positioning myself hoping that gravity would help make a baby. After too many failed attempts to count, we saw an infertility specialist and had to let science and medical interventions do that job for us.

We spent about $10,000 to do invitro fertilization. Luckily it took on the first try. They implanted 4 embryos, 2 took. We were over the moon ecstatic, we were going to have twins. A boy and a girl.

We had a huge baby shower, had cute matching names all picked out. In my seventh month I started having premature labor contractions. At the doctor's, we found out the girl baby was no longer surviving the pregnancy. In order to keep the other baby until full term I had to go on bed rest. Our hearts were broken. We were living far from family, we had many dark days dealing with the loss. We were very nervous during those 2 months of bed rest worrying about Tye.

Tye decided he wanted to be born a month early. Luckily he came out perfectly, he was just a breech birth. Again we were over the moon that we had a beautiful baby boy. Perfect in every way.  Tye reached all his developmental milestones right on track. It wasn't until he was about 18 months old that we started noticing things just didn't seem right. At 2 years old, Tye was diagnosed with autism. Our world came crashing down again. Those first few years, after he was diagnosed, were grueling, as they still can be many years later.

When Tye was four years old, I was at a holiday party with him. My Uncle was there and saw me downstairs alone with Tye. My Uncle saw how I interacted with Tye and how much joy I got from him. He also knew how difficult my time was with him because of his autism.

My Uncle approached me and asked if I ever thought about having any more kids. I told him I always loved children, but the only way to do it was if we had invitro again and we simply couldn't swing that kind of money. My Uncle, who is mostly a quiet, keep it to himself kind of guy offered me something from his heart. He said if my husband and I ever wanted to try to have any more children that he would pay for us to have the invitro.

It was the most amazing, heartfelt gift that anyone could ever offer. I was deeply moved, but told him that I couldn't accept his gift. My husband and I decided we couldn't do invitro again because I had a complication and was hospitalized with a severe, almost life-threatening reaction to the medication. The risks were too great to do it again. We also found that the odds of having another child with autism was greater, and we just could not take the chance. We needed all our attention for Tye and his needs. We didn't want to bring another child into this world with a disability and worry about how they would survive when we were no longer there to care for them when we died. That is our biggest fear, for Tye's future when we are gone.

If we were able to have a child on our own, we would have. Both of us love kids. We look at other people with more than one child and envy them. We would have loved to have had the opportunity to have a "typical child" to experience the "normal" things parents experience with a child.

It's funny trying to write about this. I feel guilty wishing that I had a "typical child" when I have someone like Tye who is awesome in his own special way. I feel bad we couldn't give him a sibling that could be there to help him when we are no longer here. Someone that would watch over him and take care of him.
But who is to say that would have been fair to that child to have that burden and responsibility added in their life. There are so many possible scenarios of the what if's, why us, boo hoo, but right now we are at the place where Tye, at 15 years old, is getting a little easier to manage than he was at 4. He's a great kid who has his own great personality and his own special quirks that I love, and he brings a smile to my face. Do I wish my life could have been different? Oh yeah, but Tye has taught us many things. We have learned to appreciate the little things in life. He's my boy and I love him more than anything.
First time reading from the eSpeciall Parents Series? Catch up here.


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