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An only child by choice

Casey Carey-Brown is an LGBTQ parent blogger from Boston. She writes daily at lifewithRoozle.com about her life with her wife and daughter.

How buying sperm helped us decide to have an only child

It was never our plan to have just one child, but after difficulty getting pregnant with our first and the complication of using donor sperm to conceive, we reconsidered our original plan and decided to have an only child. Now, five years after we first considered having just one, we are more secure than ever with our choice.

When I first met my wife, we soon discussed our family plans. She had never considered having a family and children, as she knew from a young age that she was gay and didn't think it was much of a possibility, especially since she didn't want to give birth herself. When she found out I very much wanted children and wanted to be the gestational parent, she happily changed her mind.

We were on a five-year plan: Focus on our new marriage for five years, then start trying to conceive. We started trying to conceive ahead of schedule, because neither of us had considered the biological clock that started ticking loudly for me at 28. The best plans are sometimes the ones we rearrange a bit. It took a year for me to get pregnant, so we ended up right back on schedule. We celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary with our 3-month-old daughter.

We used an anonymous sperm donor to conceive, and though we were buying vials three at a time at first, by the end, money was tight, and our daughter was conceived on our last vial. Suddenly our plans for a second child had a question to answer. Should we buy more sperm? If we wanted to do this, we'd have to. The only problem was that we didn't really want to buy more sperm. We didn't really want to do any of this again. Our infant was taking up more room than we expected — in our hearts and in our apartment. We began to look at our future with the possibility of just her. We wouldn't outgrow our beloved city apartment. We wouldn't have to go through the journey of trying to conceive again, which had taken quite the emotional toll we hadn't expected. We would have more time and energy to focus on our daughter and each other. But mostly, we were both perfectly happy with the idea of our little already-complete family.

We decided to settle into the idea of having just one child for a bit, with the promise to revisit the conversation if either of us started to question the decision. Our daughter is 5 now. The decision to have just one child started with a conversation about ordering more sperm, and led us to the realization that our family is complete as three.

More on only children

How to talk to your only child if she asks about siblings
One and done: Deciding to have an only child
Is your only child a lonely child?

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