Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Overshare Tuesday: On having more children

"Should we have one more baby?"

This, my friends, is the question I've asked Craig over and over for the past couple of months. (Lucky him, I know.) Again and again he heard,  "Maybe we should have just one more? What do you think? I mean, just one more?"

Each time his response was the same:

"No. We're fine. Our dynamic is awesome. What we have going is perfect."


Still, I mulled it over. Continuously.

And I do mean constantly.



A very, very, very good friend of mine asked me this:

Do I want to have another baby because I really want to have another child? Or do I want to have another baby because the idea of not holding my very own newborn in my arms all over again makes me sad?

Hmmm…

That, my friends, is a difficult one to answer.

I know this much is true:

1. I love the idea of having a large family. Crazy family holidays. Chaos. Grandchildren. Chaos. More chaos. For some reason I find this appealing.

But I'm realistic and know that what my mind's eye conjures up regarding my future has almost certainly never been my reality. Ever. 

2. I love the idea of being pregnant again. I actually enjoyed being pregnant. I liked my belly. I liked the idea of growing a human.

Still, I know that invariably "being pregnant" translates to "being a parent" with a newborn and all that comes with that. And let's be honest, my uterus isn't aching to grow like that again.

3. I'm a working Mom. I'm fulfilled both from mama-ing my babies, but also by spending (what little) brain power I have on my career.

Another baby means more balance. More guilt. More crazy scheduling. More questioning if working is helping or hindering my children.

4. One more child wouldn't financially break us

But, one more child doesn't just need diapers… she'll need shoes and a college education. We'll need a bigger car. That adds up.

Other considerations:

I live in Mexico.
I'm 33 years old.
I have no intention of getting pregnant within the next 12-18 months and I'm not overwhelmingly keen on having another baby here. While my experiences were fine, they weren't incredible.
Who's to say that getting pregnant one more time wouldn't be one-time-too-many?
The fact of the matter is that I live in a location where the finest healthcare in the world is NOT available.
Do I want to risk it?

I literally went on and on like this.

Right now, here's my answer:

"No. We're fine. Our dynamic is awesome. What we have going is perfect."


Ok, it's not really perfect. But it's us. And it works.

It's taken me a few months to confidently believe that.

My girls are 19 months apart and for the first time in a long time, we're seeing what independence is like -- for them AND us. We can go out more. There's no diaper bag. There's no, "Ohmygosh - we forgot the pacifier!" Life has gotten (slightly) simpler. We can all four sit down and watch a movie on a Friday night. We're in our groove.

I remember when I was trying to get pregnant for our first child...  I would journal and pray, trying to convince God that if He just gave me one childone child…  I wouldn't need any more. "Please dear God, just give me one child. Please, bless us with just.one.child."

And I can't help but remember those prayers now when I consider, perhaps selfishly, adding to our family. I'm reminded that I am so very and completely blessed to have these two ladies in my life.

Right now, a family of four is just right for us.

I say that without a shred of doubt.

I've heard from many friends who have three or more children that they just knew they weren't finished; they knew there was more to their story.

I don't feel that.

I know my daughters are going to grow older and the pang of them them no longer needing me in the same way they need me now will be both bitter and sweet.

But you know what else will be kind of sweet? Having my relationship with C. come full circle.

It started out just him and I.

Then it was us and her.

Then it was us and her and another her.

Then, again, it will be him and I.

This.is.good.

Life is good.

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How about you? Where are YOU with this?
How did you know that the number of children you have is enough?
Did you and your significant other agree? Do you?

(If you're having trouble commenting on my blog - let me know. Email me at kyleeATtwopretzels.com.) Just remember to not actually type AT and instead use the @ sign, mmmkay?

Note: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but I've been slightly superstitious about publishing it. You know, as in as soon as I do I'll end up 7 months pregnant. I understand the potential fallout and hope that by putting this post out into the universe I don't end up knocked up.


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15 comments:

  1. Oh dear Kylee, I could have wrote this blog - word.for.word.

    We have had this same discussion in our household several times. I also loved being pregnant. I am infinitely sad at the idea of never going through that again. It really is hard to think about.

    I've never wanted more than two children. I always believed that would be enough for me, for us. I had to somewhat talk my husband (an only child) into two in the first place. But when I hold Gracie and think that when Lily was the same 14 months old, I was newly pregnant with her it makes me sad.

    Oh, but life... life is crazy right? We are still in the place where diapers are a continual investment and the search for a lost pacifier can and does stop the world from spinning. We long for the time when the girls will be more independent and we can focus a little more on "us." At the same time, I know how fleeting this time is and how in a few short years, I will long for those little hugs and late night rocking sessions.

    I think our story is complete. It hurts a bit to even write it... but I think it's true. Every month that goes by I'm starting to not only think it, but believe it.

    The funniest part of all of this... on a date afternoon several months ago, the husband and I were having this conversation. He threw a complete curveball at me and said... "maybe we should have another??" He was serious. And all I could say was - "Are you kidding me? We just gave away all my maternity clothes, the baby clothes and the swing!" I couldn't believe that for even a second, he was open to it. But even then, with that complete turn around in his feelings... I still didn't get butterflies about it. So I'm sticking with we are done.

    But there is still the option - I can't make it official... yet. :)

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  2. OH! This has been a running commentary in my brain for the last year and three months. I thought we were done. Now I know for sure I'm not done, but it is so very difficult for us to add to our family in a conventional way. It makes me sad because while I am truly satisfied and happy with my family as it is right now, I know I want to add to it, and I know that years from now, I will know I had always wanted to add to it. I fear I'll have a sense of disappointment. It may happen, we may be able to add to our family, but the chances of it happening are very slim. It'll be incredibly difficult either way so I'm bracing myself for the reality of it not happening and I just have to be OK with that. My husband will tell you he's OK with 2 kids, but, if it were to happen that we had another, then that'd be great too. Maybe this is something us women, with our aging children, just naturally begin to obsess about?

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  3. @google-53b88bd0497b354a43dcdf9c28c2d4d0:disqus - thank you for the comment. I look forward to hearing about your experience as the mama of 3. I think your friend is right - you'll never, EVER regret that baby. I'm sure your life will absolutely and 100% change for the better once she/he arrives.


    Do you have a blog I can follow you at?

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  4. Oh Kate

    I am nodding and listening and telling you sincerely that life has gotten so much, well, EASIER these days. Your independence is just around the corner.

    This resonates: "I think our story is complete. It hurts a bit to even write it... but I think it's true."

    I hear you.

    And I've given away ALL of my maternity clothes and EVERY baby thing that Vivienne has grown out of, too. ;)

    Hugs.

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  5. I agree with your sister.

    Good advice.

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  6. LOL. Your note cracked me up.

    This post doesn't mean you can't change your mind later. No rush, friend. :) You are so lucky to have 2 perfect kids! You're a SUCH great mom of 2 and would be an equally great mom of 3... should you decide you want that... OR you get knocked up unexpectedly. Hehheh.

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  7. P.S. I totally second Sarah's comment....perfectly said. "You're a SUCH great mom of 2 and would be an equally great mom of 3... should you decide you want that.."

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  8. Lawson finally got his first tooth yesterday. He started walking just a
    few weeks ago. He's 15 and a half months (hehehe!) but it was still too
    soon for me because I know that he and Kennedy are it for us. I'm
    finding that I'm incredibly emotional as Lawson has his firsts. With
    Kennedy, I was always in a rush to see what was next. With him, I kind
    of want him to be a baby forever. :) Two is our number, though. It feels
    right for us – especially knowing my sister went for 3 and got 3, 4 and
    5!

    Thanks for posting. 33 is still young, right?! Totally agree with Sarah and Jenn. :)

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  9. See your email. xo

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  10. First off, every time I see that first family pic of you guys I DIE a little bit inside b/c it is so freaking gorgeous of all of you. BEAUTIFUL family pic.

    As a fellow IFer, I'm all to familiar with the guilt of "I prayed for just ONE -- am I being selfish for wanting another?" But NO, we're not selfish. We don't think of fertiles as being selfish for wanting another (or a third or a fourth or however many!), so why do we feel such guilt when we realize that as grateful as we were to get our ONE, we still want more?

    I'm glad you're content with your decision right now, and if it changes down the road, that's okay too! :)

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  11. I'm a third child who was born after two brothers who are 18 months apart and after my parents were told it was medically unwise to have another child (first two pregnancies and births were difficult). Keep an open mind. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Let me tell you a funny little story...
    After our daughter was born (she'll be three on Friday) my dear sweet husband proclaimed we had the perfect family of a son and now daughter and he would in fact be getting a vasectomy. He did not want more and said we were done...

    Fast forward three years later and I am 35 weeks pregnant with our third little surprise blessing. I guess you can figure out what never happened:). What is funny is that I was the one freaking out and my husband was so excited. My pregnancies are not easy as our first was born 10 weeks early.

    You still have plenty of time to decide. Only you and your husband know what feels right for your family.

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  13. Oh man I agree with a lot of your same emotions and answers...I feel like we had our girls a little closer together then desired but it was a surprise and were glad for it! I too am one of the few who likes being pregnant and enjoy most of those precious newborn months.
    IF we didn't have the risk of having another baby w/CF if conceived naturally, I dont think we'd be reluctant. When we even touch on the subject now Andy says No Way..I say our minds aren't made up yet. Ive never met anyone whos said "Man I have too many kids" but I do know people who would've liked to have more.
    My 2 best friends are both pregnant w/ their 3rds, 1semi-planned, the other swore she was done, but she gave away all her baby stuff and then it happened!!
    I think Ill sit back and watch their lives over the next year and see what its like before making that "ultimate" decision!
    Good luck whichever way your path takes you :)

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  14. I do! I am at http://tomalafamily.blogspot.com/
    I would love to have you follow on our crazy, busy journey!!!

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  15. And- Those family pictures you posted are beautiful!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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