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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Knowing when your family is complete.

Last night we were walking out of the YMCA as a whole family. Emeline insisting to be held like a baby, and Lucy insisting to walk (toddle/run/face plant) on the icy path back to the car. I could tell we were holding up traffic on the sidewalk, so I glanced back and said, "oh I'm sorry, we're slow--you can pass us!" as I moved over to the side.

The sweet lady with her teen son replied, "Oh, no--I'm actually enjoying this. I miss these days sooo much."

I jumped back, "Really? I'm told I will one day--I'm not sure I believe it...yet."

"Oh, trust me. Mine are 21, 15, and 13. I miss these days more than you know."

***

One of our biggest discussions around these parts the last few months has been this whole idea of when do you stop having kids, is our family complete now, is this even in our control??

Actually, I should say, the conversation has dwindled down recently because according to my husband it's been tabled until we have time to sit on it, to really think about it, to pray about it, to see where life takes us in the next year or so. Right now we just aren't on the same page, nor are we ready to make any decisions. So as usual in our marriage, we just wait. No one trump-cards the other. No one gets sneaky. We stop worrying about perfect-age-gaps between our kids, because, we don't really care about that. We just wait and see where our heart takes us.

But let me back up. Before you got married, did you have ideas of how many children you'd have? Did you discuss details of the approximate number of little bodies that will rule your household over your quiet little dinner with your clean, un-wrinkled, clothing, and with that well-rested sparkle in your eye? Ohhhh, did you go as far to discuss the names of your precious little babies, too?

We might have.

Okay, fine we totally did.

And if you're wondering....4. That's what we said back then in those days. And no, we never used any of the baby names we discussed back then either.

The problem is, you see, I'm a realist. My husband might call it something different, ahem. But let's just say if I feel overwhelmed now, with two kids, which, to be very honest with myself and you, I do most days. (Please stop laughing mom of lots of children. I know. Perspective.) Then I think---WHY ON EARTH WOULD I HAVE MORE? Back then, when I said 4, I had no clue. I just thought that I was kid 3 of 4, and I loved it. So, yea, 4 sounds good. Never did I consider my mom in all this.

I admit that I don't handle stress very well. It's a weakness of mine. In a moment of high stress I feel my entire world is crashing down and I might get a tad-bit dramatic about it. But the idea of more than two children absolutely terrifies me.......at this moment right now.

My reasons for this are more than just the whole raising-a-whole-'nother-person-thing, although that's part of it. I mean, it starts alllllllllll the way back to how I feel like I'm dying a slow flu-death from about the moment of conception on. I become the World's Worst Mother when I'm growing a human in my mid-section. I am capable of basically nothing. Every smell sends me into a spiraling downward pit of Puke All The Time. I become way too familiar with every throne in the house. Can't even prepare my children breakfast without the wafting smell from the fridge getting stuck up my nose and making me sick for the entire dang day. I mean, every system in my body feels like it's shutting down except my uterus apparently, and well, that just doesn't work for me when I have other children to take care of.

And before you say that every pregnancy can be different--all I know is, that sounds like a trick to get me knocked up again. A mean 'ole trick. I have two full term pregnancies now that I've learned from. I can only go based on history......................and you know what they say about history. It repeats itself.

I sometimes feel so pulled between just my two children right now that I want to just call TIME-OUT on the world so I can have a moment to pull myself together and figure out Who Do I Get To First? Too bad that a quick time-out-freeze-life magic aren't my superpowers because Lord knows I could have used that. Instead I was born with none. Rude.

I like where I'm at now. Physically and mentally I am feeling pretty good (ok, the snow and cold miiight have me down a bit, but Spring is coming. Yes. Yes it is. Breathe.), and I love that I can do fun things with my kids and run and play and keep up. I know I'd lose my body again if we decided to have a bigger family, and while yes, that's a tiny struggle in my mind, at least I know I have the tools to get back there if I had to, I guess.

I think about when and if we'll ever move from this townhouse. Right now I feel crammed and yet I know larger families live happily (while I'm sure a little squished) in even closer quarters and I feel like a brat for even caring about something like that. But admittedly, I do think about it.

I think about how fun having my two girls is now (and also how hard some days are), and imagine that traveling with just two is probably so much easier than traveling with more. That maybe, just maybe, this could be our life as a family of four and I actually think I'd be very happy with that.

But then there's this part of me that isn't sure. There's that part of me that just cannot fathom the idea of not going through another beautiful birth and seeing my husband hold a tiny, sweet newborn that we made together again. But I sure as heck don't want to do it again for a looooooong while.

The funny thing is, ultimately, we don't really have control over this stuff, as much as we think and hope we do--- really, we just don't know.

I think what's important for me to remember is the here and now. I really think that's the phase in life I'm in. I'm totally and completely content with these two amazing gifts. I have beautiful little ladies that God entrusted me with. Right now, being a girl-momma is my thing. It's what I am, it's what I know. I may not necessarily want any more children (now), but I have no idea of what the future holds for my family, and that's ok, too.

I'm really ok not knowing right now. I mean, what do we actually know anyway?

That lady at the Y last night reminded me of one thing, I will enjoy this season of life. Because no matter what our future holds for us and for our family, there will come a time when we miss it. Or at least that's what I'm told. :)




***

What are your thoughts on this whole topic? How do you and your spouse handle differences when it comes to your ideas for your family? When did you know your family was complete? Did you have lofty goals for # of kids you'd have and then, like me, reality kinda smacks you?

Share.



53 comments:

  1. We are the same as you guys, if we aren't in 100% agreement, we table the idea for a few weeks/months/years depending on the topic. Then we reevaluate. I think the decision to have more kids is something that just comes to you when the time is truly right! Like you said, no matter how hard we try to plan it all out perfectly, in the end it's really not up to us at all! :)

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  2. I always said two.kids. Then i met Jeremy, and together we decided "as many as He send us." Then we couldn't have any biological children. We decided to adopt through Foster care, which is so different than private adoption i can't even tell you! We just adored our son in December, and we get asked all the time if we will adopt again, and i want to say yes, but I'm so afraid. I want more children, but the fear of seeing them hurt when a child comes into our family and then goes back home is to much right now. So like you, we tabled it. It's not something we talk about. Not that we don't think about it! Anyway, you're right, it's really not up to any of us. I'm grateful for my son, and for now that is enough!!! Great post, thanks Katie!

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    1. Hugs to you! What a remarkable momma you are!
      xoxo.

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  3. We are in a similar place- 2 girls - 3.5 and 11 months...and clearly not ready to have another anytime soon. My husband is totally set on being done and if I'm being honest our little family feels pretty darn complete (and busy!) right now...but the idea that I always thought I'd have 3-4 bothers me. We are tabling it until our youngest is closer to 2, and I'm hoping that by then we are both on the same page, which ever way that goes!

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  4. I have two girls right now. My husband and I agreed that two was enough for us..and then God decided otherwise. Our baby boy will arrive in 6-8 weeks. I am not going to lie, at first I was really upset. (I know, I sound like whiny cry-baby.) But our ways are not always His ways. I had that on repeat in my head for months. And now, I'm excited! Am I ready for this kid? Nope. Am I nervous about having three? You betcha. I wonder when I'll ever sleep again or go out with my girlfriends for dinner. But this amazing gift from God? I wouldn't trade it for the world...

    You will know when the time is right or God will tell you when the time is right. Or not. Maybe God will tell you that your family is complete. Either way, isn't it fun to dream and imagine?

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  5. As Colin nears his first birthday in just two short weeks (how did that happen?!?), the whole thought about number 3 is swirling in my head. Not because I want one now, but because my husband is so resistant that he keeps throwing the whole, "See, and you want three?" into any 5 minute evening where chaos ensues and Connor needs something and Colin is about ready to shatter a glass lid from the cabinet. I hate that he does this. I hate that he focuses on the short season of parental hardships and doesn't see the beauty of parenthood that emerges more than that. I finally called him out on the fact that he brings child no. 3 up more than I do. Because I'm currently content with where our life is right now. I know one of his reasons would be financial, but when we pay more for daycare than our mortgage, life is going to be GOOD when we get that $1000 a month back. Private school tuition is looking so easy these days. FOr us, I know three kids is going to be easy. I teach at the school my kids will be attending. They will come with me in the morning and we won't have to worry about plans for them after school because they will make a short trip to my classroom. Most days, Adam is home by 4:00, which allows me to get dinner ready without having to occupy children. Sure, I don't have him to help in the morning, but it's nice to have him home when we get home. I see Colin as my healing child. Connor had such stressful newborn days, that Colin has really healed me from that and I have just enjoyed every moment of his. My biggest fear right now is something happening to Connor or Colin and them growing up without a sibling. While one is at practice the other is home bored. It was nice coming from a family of three kids because we always had someone home to play with or keep us company. Sure, it was also easier to team up and gang up on the third, but that is all part of a family dynamic, and I wouldn't want anything less. But for now, I don't bring up child number 3, because it isn't even on my radar. Then again, neither was Colin, so you are exactly right. As much as we try to plan, It isn't our decision in the end.

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  6. We always said 4. Last summer when we had agreed #3 would be made J wasn't ready so we said we would wait until we both felt it was time. It's been hard on me to wait. But so much has changed in the past year I am so glad we chose to wait! We both still feel 4 is our number. But if things don't go the way we are planning 2 would be perfect too!

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  7. I find this topic AMAZING. Every person has their own views on things. I was a ANTI all kids when I met my husband and he was all I HAVE TO HAVE BABIES. I mean I loved kids but I loved my career more, my career that involved lots of travel and looooonnnnngggggg hours. I still work in the same field but have moved positions to allow time for the family. Now I am all I WANT ALL THE BABIES and my husband is like ONE is good MAYBE TWO (we are currently expecting our second LOL). Who knows minds change all of the time, feelings change, lives change. I don't feel DONE with the arrival of number two (yet). I'll let you know in a few weeks how things are going. My sister always said she wanted four. She just had her third and they are planning on number four already. She has HORRIFIC (hospitalization horrific) morning sickness and some bladder problem that flares up with pregnancy. It definately doesnt stop her though - UGH. I have the I puke every day from day one to birth day sickness. IT SUCKS!

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  8. After over three years of struggling to expand our family, a miscarriage, and some fertility help... we have sort of thrown our hands up in the air. The expansion of our family was slowing ruining our lives. Since taking a step back things have gotten so much better. We are also starting to think that just one kid is in the cards for us. We are starting to think how our life will look with just our daughter, when in the past we had envisioned it so differently. That is not to say if we end up with a baby we will not be over the moon.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I enjoyed reading it.

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    1. This so sounds like our story.... we have a four year old (through IVF) and in the past two years have had 4 miscarriages and basically non-stop fertility treatments. I can close to saying "we're done with it" but, the doctors still think there is hope because there is nothing that seems to be causing all this trouble. Who knows, but I totally get starting to look at how we envision our family and that it might be different that what we thought. Best of luck!

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    2. Fellow infertile here ; ) I was diagnosed at 26 y/o with stage 4 endo, premature ovarian aging & we have male factor issues. Before diagnosis, when we thought we had a say we always said 2. After multiple rounds of IVF/ICSI and almost dying during childbirth I can honestly say I feel beyond lucky to be here and have 1 healthy boy...We are considering a FET next year to try for 1 more and it is scary as heck...I agree with unknown & Angela, it's difficult but also somewhat liberating to let go of what you had envisioned for what your family would look like and be satisfied with what it does look like ; ) Thanks for sharing Katie, you always make me think ; )

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    3. Fellow infertile here ; ) I get completely what you ladies are saying! We have a 3.5 y/o thru multiple tries at ivf/icsi & I almost died during child birth...Back in the day we always said 2 kids, now I long for #2 but truly am grateful for my little guy & to be alive to tell the tale! We are considering a fet next year but it scares me to death. I pray every day for the grace and peace to be content with what my family does look like and not sad or jealous of what it would look like if I could just make a baby like everyone else ; )

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    4. Another fellow infertile. We struggled and needed help with #1 after 2 miscarriages and a D&C. When he turned 2, we decided to revisit our fertility dr knowing it would take time. I was less optimistic this time, especially after 4 more miscarriages. After doing treatments for 11 straight cycles, we took a couple off. I was struggling with accepting that our son would be it. I finally wrapped my heart around the fact that the 2-3 kids we envisioned might only be one. We agreed to 2 more cycles and got our little girl. She's a fighter and was from the start of my pregnancy. Although I still want a third, I've accepted that we are done (we're over forty and it's not going to get easier). It's so hard when it seems like such an easy thing for others to accomplish. But I appreciate these kids so much, and they know their/our journey and why it'll only be the two of them.

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  9. Were in the same situation really. I have a 2 year old son & a 10 month old daughter. We have no idea what we want, just that we don't want more kids in the next 4 years. We want to get out of debt, have a bigger house & me possibly go back to work. None of our family wants us to have more kids. They say we have it perfect, one boy, one girl. But my heart aches thinking we may never have another baby. I recently had my iud removed because it was making me sick. So now we've made the choice for my husband to have a vasectomy. At only 24 (me) & 26 (him) I can't help but cry over this choice. But knowing we can get it reversed is my only comfort. I feel for you in wondering where to go from here. I wish there was a clear answer to the gnawing question of when are we done?

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  10. Our number was 4. I'm pregnant with our third. And we know after this we will be done. This is the first pregnancy that I have felt ok after this we will be done.. All three of them have been never ending nausea and morning sickness and yeah I don't do pregnancy pretty either... But that didn't contribute to us feeling done .. It's just a feeling I have that came and everything contributes to it.. Everything u mentioned.. Space..easier travel.. For us financially mattered too.. I really think you will know...

    Www.onlywiththebestintentions.blogspot.com

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  11. I didn't want any kids at first.... then God gave us this little blessing (we weren't exactly preventing her) and I loved her so much. At that time, I thought, Ok, I have had the experience of being a mom. I'm just going to enjoy it, no more. Then my aunt talked to me- what if something happened to you and J, you wouldn't want Zoe to feel alone.... I also didn't want her to be bratty and think the world revolved around her, so now I am pregnant (due any day now) with our son. This is it. Tubes will be tied. lol

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  12. I always said 3 or 4, then I met my husband who said none! We were married for 2 years when a brought up having a baby he said that he felt ready to have a baby but wanted to wait to try until the following year. I was fine with that once we started trying I was pregnant within the month and we now have an 11 month old. Now he sings the one and done song but I just can't. I neeeed another baby. We have decided to discuss it once G is older (around his second birthday). My husband wants another baby he is just worried about the whole how could I possibly love another little human like I love this one now, and I don't want G to feel less love. I get it and I know he will come around just like he did the first time. Also 2 is now my magic number because with two you are never out numbered, two parents two kids.

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  13. We thought 3. We have a four year old now, but after two years of fertility treatments and 4 miscarriages we are unsure what our family will end up like. Will we keep on trying? for how long? Will we look toward adoption? Will we stay a family of three? I always thought my first two kids would be three year apart, so I think the hardest part (other than the actual miscarriage) is realizing that things will not be as we thought they would be, and you know what? That's OK. Our little guy is so precious, healthy, and just wonderful and we are blessed to have him! But, I do hope beyond all hopes that we can give him a sibling...someday...I hope.

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  14. The conversion is tabled for us too-- our insurance policy changed in November, and now AFTER a $5,000 deductible and a $1,000 maternity co-pay....insurance only covers 20% of pregnancy/maternity care. Needless to say, that is SO MUCH WORSE than it was before, and barring several methods of BC failing, it just isn't even something we can discuss right now!

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  15. I always love your perspective, thanks for sharing! My husband and I are really struggling with this ourselves. With our little princess turning three THIS WEEK!?! we have been trying for number two for a while. We have decided to give it back to God and let him determine the size of our family for now. If we find out we are expecting we will be absolutely thrilled but we are also fully prepared to love on our little girl and give her the best life possible.

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  16. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I too originally wanted 4 and I still do. However, like you, I am a stressed out momma when things are crazy and I just can't imagine having more than the two I have. I want to write a blog about this also. I tell myself I am open to as many kids as the Lord blesses me with, but that doesn't always mean 5 kids or 19! I really hope not 19!

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  17. I always thought I would have 3. I grew up in a house of 3. My husband wanted 5. 5?! We have a 3.5 year old girl. I thought I would have a 2nd by now, but due to Phoebe being a little behind in her speech, I decided I want to focus on just her for now. I will have at least 1 more. I want Phoebe to have a sibling, but my pregnancies are super rough too. I throw up pretty much until the 3rd trimester, plus I have to get my cervix stitched up and get progesterone shots once a week. It's rough. However, I refuse to give up on having more kids just because my pregnancies are hard. I'm just waiting until I can get My girl caught up.

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  18. I am so thankful for what we have: 2 healthy little boys that are lovely little attention-needing tornadoes. I don't want to be done with this whole lovely little baby thing, but I know we need to get in a good rhythm and enjoy what we have for a while. I'm going to wait till the younger one is four to even think about it. Fertility treatments, c-sections, and a hubby who doesn't take more than two weeks off make me remember that sweet squishy babies come with a price that costs more than sleep.

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  19. I can totally relate to a few things! We have 2 little girls ages 2 & 5, and I was just thinking... My first was at the age my youngest is now, when I got pregnant with her. But I cannot ven fathom getting pregnant right now. I always say that we will try when they turn 3 & 6. I know it's a bit of an age gap, but I feel like I'd be a better mother if I waited. I also get sick sick sick when I am pregnant, that my poor kids eat out of a can for months. Not only am I not ready for that, but I think I need the 2 year old to gain a little more Independence first- NOT that I am trying to rush it though. 2 is one if my favorite ages. :)

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  20. We're having the same discussions here. Right now (in DC) daycare is more than our mortgage which says something. I'm the middle of 3 so I feel for my second born in that sense and my little brother has had a "challenging" path so both my husband and I are weary of that third one. Then there's my stress level. I work full time and so I feel like it's unfair to spread myself thinner....then I feel crazy guilty for "not being selfless". Basically we're not planning on a third but we haven't ruled it out 100% either. If the mood strikes we may act on it which is ironically exactly what I said I didn't want :)

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  21. It's funny you bring this up because it has been a topic in our house/family lately, especially since we found out this upcoming baby's gender.
    When we were dating and first got married, having kids was the last thing on my mind. Being the oldest of 4 (6 if all are accounted for) and having a single mom, I had a lot of responsibility to help her. Once I was on my own, I felt like I finally had time for me, without the weight of being responsible for everyone (even though as the oldest, I don't think that ever goes away). Then when we decided it was time to try for #1, we kind of just thought "let's see how this one goes and we will decide if we have more". I think Avery was only a few weeks old and I started talking about having another - I now blame that on crazy postpartum hormones. It was around Avery's 2nd birthday that I really started to get the baby fever and I knew I was ready, Ryan is pretty laid back and I think he knew it was now or never for #2. Really, for the past 18 weeks of this pregnancy is when I have honestly thought the most about our family, it's size and future and it all really had to do with the gender of this baby. On one hand, I wanted a girl because I have SO MANY GIRL CLOTHES! and well, sisters. But I had a feeling that if it was a girl, Ryan would want to try again for a boy. So on the other hand, if it was a boy, I knew we would most likely be done but I felt sad for Avery that she would not get the blessing of a sister. I was really conflicted, even though whatever this baby was, I had no control over. The funniest part was that as we sat in the room, having our 20 week ultrasound, and the technician announced it was a boy, I felt an immediate sense of relief (and excitement, of course). The first thing I said to Ryan was, "does this mean I don't have to be pregnant ever again?" And it has been quite relieving to know that after this, I am done. To be able to get rid of baby stuff (not feel like I have to save everything "for the next one") and just enjoy the remainder of this pregnancy knowing it is my last. I think it may have been having 3 pugs that made me realize we should never outnumber ourselves.

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  22. Well, I am not a mother and a lot times with the some of the women I know, not having a baby means I cannot offer up an opinion because I could "never understand". But, I will throw this out there anyways because someday I do plan to be a mom. Personally, from all the mothers I have spoken to including my own...watching my mom babysit 8-10 kids as her job for the first 13 years of my life (as well as having 2 of her own), I have been around babies, toddlers...just kids in general for a long time. And honestly...it depends.

    Every single mother I met was different, some had the patience of saints and to this day I still don't know how they didn't throw their child across the room when they smeared peanut butter on their brand new $500 suit for work. Or how others were SO impatient when the child simply wouldn't put on their shoes fast enough. Every mom wants and handles things very different. And to me? That's okay. I think you need to take a deep breath. Go ahead...

    Realize that you are a great mom as you are. If that means you don't handle stress well and you have meltdowns? That's OK and part of it (and I am the same way). But know that your kids love you, they think the world of you and absolutely definitely think you are the worlds best mom. Patrick and I don't have kids. We have talked about the topic MANY times. Whether or not we should, how many we might have, if we would totally and utterly mess them up beyond all belief if we did. We may not have kids but the uncertainty is what scares people. Just like your situation. Uncertainty of if, when and how many more kids you might want. Just know that you and Delcan will get through it. People always have differing opinions on just about everything. Something tells me whether you stick with 2 or have 2 more you will be happy and blessed either way :-)

    That's my non-mom two cents :-)

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    1. Everyone has a voice, and yes, even non-momma's (yet!). Thanks for your thoughts on this. xo

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  23. My husband and I talked about having 4 kids, back before we had any concept of how hard and expensive having kids is. After we had our first - a collicky, crabby baby - we thought maybe one is all we need ; ) Now we have 3 girls - ages 6, 2.5, and 1. I adjusted to two kids fairly easily, because my oldest was almost 4 and very independent. She was a great helper, well past potty training and temper tantrums. My second was calm, sweet tempered, and a great sleeper, and I was 34 years old - approaching the dreaded "advanced maternal age" - so we thought ok, lets start trying, maybe. And I got pregnant on the very first try. In fact, after I was already pregnant (but we didn't know it) we thought, lets wait a few more months. Anyway, 3 is indeed crazy, but its not really 3 so much as having the younger two only 19 months apart. That first year was crazy, but it got easier and easier. I mean, my now 13 month old is nowhere near walking, because she spent the first 8 months of her life in an ergo carrier out of reach of her crazy sister (my sweet tempered baby turned into a wild toddler). Before you know it your oldest will be in kindergarten, your youngest in preschool, and there will be room, both physically and mentally, for another baby. You may be outnumbered, but its not as if a six year old is as difficult to manage as a toddler. I was sure I was done after 3, but my baby turned one and the idea that she may be my last is weighing heavily on me.

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  24. This is a tough one for us. Since C had cancer, we have to do IVF. Which is a good thing because I'm such a planner, but a bad thing because I'm a procrastinator. And $$. Like, whoa. I'd like to have one and be done. Of course the likelihood of multiples increases and that makes me want to jump off a cliff...

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  25. Unfortunately we have no say in our ultimate family size thanks to the kids' health issues. I do not feel complete. I long for a third. But it will never happen. We've done the chemo/ transplant/ save your kid's life thing twice and can't do it again. So we are learning to appreciate the miracles we've been blessed with while praying that our hearts come around to being complete as a family of 4.

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  26. You will know. I have 4, my last one is the bow that made it complete. We never felt done until we had her and then we just knew. I also have 3 of my 4 with names I picked out in high school :)

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  27. My husband originally said he didn't want any. I said I wanted 4-6 children. Now we have 2 daughters Claire (2.5) and Eden (9 months), both planned, and then it was my husband saying that he wanted one more, but I was done! Funny how things work out that way. I just never was around little ones much growing up, and I lived alone at home but had 2 half siblings who lived with their mom, so I just knew that I wanted my kids to have siblings, because I was often lonely growing up. As a mom though, 2 is enough for me! Eventually my husband also agreed that he felt the family was complete and we are on the same page now.
    www.bearandeden@wordpress.com

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  28. I want 3 or maybe even 4 but right now I can barley handle my two... In fact most days I would like to put one back infor safe keeping. So right at this moment a third terrifies me and it would be just enough to put me over the edge but I do still want to experience one if not two more pregnancies and births because there really is nothing better i life. And down the road I know I will want to have more but at us point my youngest 20months is slowly becoming a little easier as is my oldest 3 1/2 so I don't really want to disturb the good I see coming. I do worry about age gaps between these two and the possible next child or children but I think my sanity is more important and when/if we have a 3rd or 4th I figure that's in Gods hands and if it doesn't happen then it was meant to be and life is good.

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  29. I joke that God gave me twins because he knew I wouldn't want to have a third after having 2. We always said we wanted 3. After we heard our chances of having twins again is high and finding out we were having 2 more boys our answer to are we done is yes, I don't think I could handle 5 boys. That I made it to 38 weeks with twins I would say it made it 99.9% sure we were done to 98%. There's a part of me that's sad to think this could be my last day pregnant ever! Hubby and I are in agreement that we aren't ready for any permanent birth control.

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  30. Interesting topic! I don't know if I will ever feel like our family is complete even though I'm pretty sure we are done. I'm just not sure enough to make it permanent yet (snip snip) I always wanted three. I grew up with one sibling and always wished there was another. I felt the transition from 1 to 2 wasn't too hard for me (mostly, I definitely had my moments) but A LOT of that has to do with them being 3 1/2 years apart. Kevin was a surprise. I still wanted my third but wanted a little more space. And for me? 3 kids feels like 10. It's so hard. Every day. I get home at 6:15ish and I do not sit until 10:30 (unless I'm nursing the baby which is also the only time I waste on FB etc) Having a school ager, 2 year old and baby has stretched me beyond my limit. Add in the health scare I had with my bp after Kevin and I'm most likely done. Although there is a part of me that longs for a daughter.


    Marcus is laid back when it comes to stuff like this. He pretty much leaves the "more kid" topic up to me but we definitely would sit on any big decision like that until we were on the same page.

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  31. Well, you know the last time you talked about this you were pregnant with Lucy a few months later ;-)

    For us it's changed. When we had KP we were "complete" with just her and then we had a change of heart a year and half later. Now I feel like we are complete, for real. Jimmy will sometimes mention another but unless he's got a girlfriend on the side he's got all the kids he's going to get!

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  32. I don't think we even talked about it before having our first. After that, we both said 3. We have two and I definitely have moments where I think I could be "done", but they only last for a split second. But, heck, I would imagine every mom has that moment...especially with babies only 2 years apart! I hope that I'll just know when I feel like we are done, but I also think that I will always have moments of longing for one more birthing experience, one more "big bro/sis meeting baby for the first time". It's just one of those things that are too amazing not to long for it!

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  33. We always said 2 because 2 was just a nice number, and I feel like so many people secretly want the boy-girl family, and "that would be perfect" and then done. Now that we have 2, I'm like, wait! I'm not done yet! There are some days when I think this would be nice to just stay like this, us 4, but in terms of our family feeling complete, I don't feel like it is. And like you, I feel sort of sad when I think about Gabe being my last pregnancy experience and birth experience and all that jazz. I'm not sure if that ever ends or if that plays a valid part in "feeling done," but I want to experience all of that again.

    After Gabe was born, people asked if we were going to have more because you know, we "have to try for a girl." (Grr.) We said it depended on how Gabe was. ;) But really? It depended more on how WE were...how we function as 4, and if we think we can handle more. I don't know that there is a set timeframe for us in terms of years apart...I just want to feel totally ready, not a little ready, and so, we don't have a set time when baby #3 will come along, but I'm 99% sure there will be a baby #3. In fact, Jarrod has brought baby #3 up twice in the past week ("We will need a vehicle with 3 rows of seats since we'll have 3 car seats at some point." were the exact words the most recent time.) which both excites me and makes me nervous. TOO SOON for that shenanigans! ;) But yeah...3 for sure, and...MAYBE MORE? Eek. I really don't know. 4 sounds scary. 3, not really. So, maybe 3 will be it.

    annnnnnd I wrote you a book again. Sorry!!!

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  34. I can tell you that I love having two kids... but sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed. But I can tell you that my family doesn't feel complete for either James or I. We both want at least one more. We both want to have a larger family and if 3 kids is what God wants for us then that's where we'll stop but if he wants us to have another after that then that's when we'll stop. But I know for right now at this moment my family is not complete at al. So I know where you're coming from and I know that feeling of is this the right time to stop or is it not?

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  35. You sound just like me with the overwhelmed with what you have part (and I only have the 1!) but then also wondering about how you can give up having another squishy newborn. Part of me things I'm one and done, and part of me is desperate to get pregnant asap because OMG I need another one! How did you know you were ready for #2? I'm assuming whatever convinced you it was the time for 2 is the same thing that will let you know when/if you want a 3rd.

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  36. Same.exact.boat. We used to always say "at least 3, maybe 4." Now, having 2 healthy girls, we are content. Just a couple of days ago we had this same conversation. We don't get pregnant easily (I have to go through many steps), so we decided not to take any measures to get pregnant, but if God has plans for another one, we will happily accept :). But if He doesn't, were ok with that too. Funny how actually having kids changes what you previously thought. And I'm like you, I can't imagine not housing another baby, feeling it kick in my belly. I can't imagine not breastfeeding again. I can hardly see that chapter of our lives as "over." Ahhh, it's just so hard!!!

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  37. Our boys are 16 mos and almost 4-so 2.5 years apart. My husband always said 2 and I wanted 4, so we kind of settled at 3 and we are pretty much still there. But, I'm also less concerned about spacing than I was back in the day. I'm only at the point where I can begin to entertain the idea of getting pregnant in a year. (As I write, I've exiled myself to my room the minute Fred walked in the door because I was DONE.) I had to first embrace the idea of 3 boys-I know all of these posts where people don't care about gender are popular, but I grew up w a single mom (my dad has more kids, but in a different house) an boys are wild y'all! I thought that would be the harder one to get over, but I'm okay with that now and yet still not ready for #3. I think it'll be easier when my oldest is in school-and I dot want to wish these precious years away, but I also don't want to crowd him out with another baby.

    I hear you about that fear of never doing it again. I have a miserable pregnancy and yet I know I need one more-to really savor the beauty of it-before I am done forever. And that's also part of why I'm okay with waiting to experience it-it Savors those moments just a little longer.

    Have you read Sarah Bessey's blog? She wrote an amazing post recently about "the ache". http://sarahbessey.com/learning-live-ache/


    Oh yeah, one other reason we had an idea about our spacing was because we wante time with our kiddos out of the house that we could still enjoy one another. Y'all are a little younger than we are. I'd probably be inclined to wait even a little longer if I had those years too.

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  38. This has been a MAJOR topic of conversation for us for the last over 2 years. We have a unique situation where our oldest is actually my step-son from Shane's previous relationship. Though I consider him as one of my own and love him dearly, I always wanted to have at least 3 of my own. We have 2 together and then my step son Tanner part time. My husband keeps saying 3 is enough. But I still have this STRONG yearning for another child of our own. I feel like just because he had a child already before us doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to have the amount I always wanted! ha I USED to want 4 but after 2 I knew that was stretching it. I don't think I could handle all 5 kids when we would have Tanner! But I still really would like just one more. I had it all planned out that we would start trying again in Fall of 2011 and all our kids would be 3 years apart. Shane was on board too at the time but when we started paying so much in daycare for the younger 2, he changed his mind. So now for the last 2 years we have debated it on and off. Our youngest will be 5 in July and I really don't want to wait any longer. He seems to be leaning a little more towards the idea now that I am making a lot more and all the kids are school aged. I am hoping this is the year but we will see!!!! It really is a tough decision, at times I think I must be nuts for wanting more, especially on those real stressful days but like I told Shane, the days may be long but the years are short. I could not agree with Lindsey's statement more. Shane always points out the chaos and wonders why on Earth I could ever want more. He doesn't think of all the rewarding and amazing parts of being a parent. We will forget the sleepless nights and the temper tantrums. I think I would regret not having another, but I KNOW I would never regret having one more, no matter how challenging.

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  39. The boys are 19 months apart. When Trey was an infant baby #2 wasn't even being discussed! BUT (like you mentioned) we have no control over this. Jackson was our surprise miracle baby (me having PCOS). There he was, growing in my tummy, and Trey wasn't even a year old yet. There were days that I'd cry so much for "robbing" Trey of his toddler years and knowing there was nothing I could do about it. But today? These 2 boys are my world and Jackson was the perfect addition to our family...no matter how soon he came about. :)

    Now. With that being said, they are now 5 and 3.5. And Momma is craving that baby #3. My Husband is like you. A realist. Practical. Look-at-the-entire-picture before deciding type of guy. (Drives me CRAZY) And unfortunately, he's just not ready for a third as much as I am at the moment. I may not know when our family will expand, but I DO know that it is not complete yet. I am getting used to the fact that there WILL be an a good age gap b/t baby #3 and the boys. That used to freak me out a bit. But as of now, I just want another baby. I want to experience it again, and savor each moment (like take toonnssss of bump pics, birth the way I want, etc) I know you might hate (kidding) me for this, but pregnancy is not bad for me. Okay, all day sickness lasts for a good 7.5 months, but other than that, I'm fine. Minus the whole, plus size Momma and my bump doesn't show for a good while thing. Working on that though. In the end, it happens when it happens....I guess. For a while there, "baby fever" was actually getting the best of me and that was all I could think about. Not cool when your partner isn't on the same page. Boo. But we've tabled it for now. Living in the moment. Enjoying our growing boys but still longing (quietly) for a new bundle. Permanent BC will never be in the cards for us, so all in due time is what I can say. :) For now, I just live vicariously through my preggo Momma friends. ♡

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  40. We are a household of 3. That's it. Us and one child. I am an only child and my husband has twin sisters that are 7 years younger and he had nothing to do with them until they were out of college. We got married saying NO KIDS! Then we turned 30 and decided we should have one. He is three now and we are still firm on only having one, even as the majority of our friends are on their second. You really just have to make the best decision for your family and ignore outside pressure. I am very easily overwhelmed, work 40 plus hours a week, and I can't fathom handling the after school activities that will show up soon - especially with more than one child. That's just the honest truth.

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  41. After Gabe we were DONE. I mean done. So done. Two kids in two years and my uterus wept at the idea of another baby. I was overwhelmed with toddlerhood, and even thinking about adding a newborn made my brain leak out my ears.

    Fast forward four years and I was yearning. I felt like we weren't done. And then Maddie was a big surprise. Family size is a weird, unexpected thing that you can plan for, but doesn't always go the way planned. Ours didn't at all. When we got married we planned on having two kids, and then when they were in school I'd go back to teaching. Life takes us different places sometimes-it's pretty cool to just wait and see how things turn out.

    With Maddie? I'm enjoying every second of her baby and toddler years because I know now how fast it's gone. And I know she's the last.

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  42. I have two girls, almost 3 and 15 months. My husband and I are both in agreement that we don't want anymore at this moment. At first I thought that I was ok with not having anymore ever, but I feel similar as you...I am not sure we're done. We think in 4-5 years we may bring it up again. It's really hard to think about my life as a family of 5, considering being a family of 4 feels so stressful.

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  43. When we got married my husband said 3 and I said 2. I'm the "I've got 2 hands, there are 2 of us, 4's an even number" person. I think my husband wanted 3 because he (and I am too) 1 of 3 kids. Well I eventually talked him down to 2, but saying we'll have to see how 1 goes before 2 would even happen. Plus when we actually decided we were ready for kids, he went back to school full time and we were living on my teacher's salary. We both agreed that it was not the time to have kids because we would have been so stressed financially that we wouldn't have enjoyed it. Well here we are with him out of school a year and working again, but we are still waiting. I will be 35 this summer and I'm thinking we will be lucky if we have 1. It just all depends at this point. We don't know if it will be easy, if we'll struggle, and the older I get the more informed I become and 1 sounds good. Honestly, I really wouldn't mind adopting. Thankfully our families have been really good to us and not hounding us. My parents are kept happy with my brother having a preschooler and one on the way in the next few weeks. And on my husband's side his baby sister took that one on with a baby due in April. I think my MIL would like for 3 babies to be coming at once. I really thought that would happen. Maybe she'll get two. No matter what, nothing is happening here until after our Disney trip this summer. I will be riding the thrill rides:)

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  44. I'm 30 and don't have any kids of my own due to infertility issues (that I just found out about) that can't be resolved because my job, as well as my husband's job, have us on opposite sides of the country. I know that my husband would love for me to quit and come home to work on the infertility issues, but unfortunately our job doesn't work that way.

    Growing up I wanted 4. Even if I could physically, or even wanted to keep that as a goal in general I couldn't anyway. I have 3 step kids that we never get to see so our funds are stretched in that manner anyway.

    We just wait and pray. That's our coping method. We don't get to talk much due to the time difference and we see each other 3 times a year so the only way we can cope is hoping, praying, and waiting.

    It's clear from your writing that you know how lucky you are and your blog shows how happy you all are because of the path you've chosen. Your method is definitely working for you so you should always trust that! You have a beautiful family, a happy life, and you make stable, well-thought-out decisions regarding your family.

    I can't sit here and say that my family is complete because I wouldn't really know how to do that at this point so I certainly can't weigh in on that but I assume that when you know, you know!

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  45. For me personally, I always felt in my heart I would have three. Not sure why, I just did. SO, after Katie was born, I KNEW I was DONE. I am pretty sure that Tim felt like we were done before I got pregnant with her but, well, God had other plans. ;)

    I still get wistful when I see babies, but I think that just comes along with being a woman and a mother. I am sure that our family is complete. You are a bit (a lot) younger than me so I can see how it would still be a major factor/decision in your life. Ultimately it is about what you feel is best for your family and yes, maybe the compromise is three for you guys. Or maybe even two and you're already done. I say pray about it and know that they are only babies for a short time.

    xo

    p.s. I loved being pregnant so that was never a factor for me, personally...

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  46. oh, this is a tough topic for us. We have two and I wanted another. My husband did not. It was very tough for me to accept for a very long time. Even now but I will admit I'm resentful but the honest truth is I'll be 41 this year and time is not on my side sadly. so that said . . . we cherish what we do have and do what works for us as a family.

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  47. We're in the thick of this right now, with #3 due any day, but our current thought is that though we thought our dream was 4, we're feeling pretty lucky to have the soon to be 3 we have. I always said I want as many kids as I can raise well - knowing that everyone's definition of "raising kids well" is different and encompasses different values. For me, on top of teaching them to be good and kind people, it means being there for each of my kids - supporting them unconditionally through challenges, exposing them to culture, our Faith (and also talking about other faiths), etc, showing up in their classrooms to volunteer, being at every single sporting event that is feasibly possible to cheer for them, staying up late to help them prepare for tests...the list goes on. And as much as I love the dream of 4, I think I'm going to be tapped out at 3 with those goals for each of my kids and my role in their lives. Plus, my body is currently saying 3 pregnancies is good.

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